This is Part 2 of the Networking for a Better Nursing Job Series. Part 1 was all about strengthening the connections you already have in your network. If you missed part 1, click here: Part 1: Who do you already know.
As you read through this networking for a better nursing job series, you may notice that a lot of these suggestions are “business-like”. In fact, I am doing the same networking series on my other website http://mynursingbusiness.com/, with a few minor changes geared towards nurse entrepreneurs. I bring this to your attention because I want you to start thinking about yourself as an entrepreneur.
Hear me out:
Instead of thinking about nursing jobs, think about your career like a business that you are the CEO of. You may have heard this concept of You, inc. before. If not, let me explain.
Here are a few of the key components to thinking about your nursing career as a business that you are in charge of :
- Adapting strategies that position you for career advancement and success
- Participating in ongoing training/education/learning
- Creating a career vision and goals that are in line with your core values in life
- Developing personal and professional networks
- Contributing to professional organizations/associations
Enough of that, let’s talk about networking.
Today, you and I are going to have a chat about who you want to know. This is where the fun begins. In my coaching, I really really enjoy this (sorry for the double reallys lol). I get excited. Can you tell?
I enjoy helping nurses think of people to connect with and also come up with a detailed strategy for making these connections.
So many nurses are afraid of networking. I used to be as well. Until I realized that it is nothing to be afraid of. Even the most introverted person can make connections with new people.
Just a reminder, you’ll often hear me refer to networking as connecting. This is because networking has a connotation of pushing yourself on someone for your own agenda. I am not a fan of that concept at all. I know you want a better nursing job, but as I mentioned in Part 1, if you focus on forming real relationships and giving, everyone involved wins in the long fun. So focus on authentic connections.
According to master networker/connector Bob Burg: “if you are networking correctly, the other person will never notice you are networking.”
Here are a few suggestions for adding new people to your network:
- Attend conferences
- Join relevant nursing associations
- Create a relevant “meet-up” group (www.meetup.com)
- Attend networking events for health care providers/fellow nurses
How about using the internet?
Social Media is often a fantastic way to connect with people who you would like to know. For example, if there is an organization that you know you would like to work for, do some research and find out if they have a social media presence.
You do not want to stalk people, but that organization may have people on social media platforms (such as linkedin.com or twitter.com) who you can follow or add to your network. Maybe they are on Linked in and participate in groups that you would be interested in joining and contributing to. These are great ways to get noticed and make career relevant connections with people.
When I coach nurses on using social media for career positioning, I provide an entire module of examples of real life people who have gotten jobs by connecting with people and organizations on social media. When done properly, social media can be a powerful networking tool right at your fingertips (no pun intended).
Those are a few suggestions to get you going. Pick 1 or 2 and Go Forth And Connect. :)
*photo courtesy of sjcockell