Updated: Sep 21, 2018
While it can seem daunting, networking is important in the world of work and it needn’t be as scary as you think. With our handy tips, we’ll help you expand your professional network in no time.
A key part of any career is being able to create a strong professional network both online and offline. After all, you never know who may be able to recommend you for a role, offer useful insights, or simply provide you with helpful advice that will further your career.
While it can seem daunting, networking is important in the world of work and it needn’t be as scary as you think. Just as you have family and friends to support you and advise you in your personal life, you need the same strong network in your professional life. With our handy tips, we’ll help you expand your professional network in no time.
Use the right online channels
LinkedIn is the number one professional network to use throughout your career. Here, you can join a number of groups and join discussions with industry peers. Similarly, you can even use these platforms to learn more e.g. a specific niche in medicine that you’re not already familiar with. Alternatively, use it as platform keep up to date with what the leaders in your field are doing. They’re on there for a reason, so use the opportunity to make meaningful engagement.
Alongside this, you can follow certain organisations on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and keep up to date with the content that they’re sharing. Most will seek to post news and updates that could be relevant to you and you can even reply or comment, boosting engagement even further.
Join a professional body
Across medicine, there are a number of professional bodies, which you may choose to join. This will give you professional recognition and may even boost your chances of securing a new role during your job hunt. In addition, it also demonstrates that you are serious about your career and development.
These professional bodies will keep you up to date with their latest studies, news and insights and tend to organise small and large-scale events throughout the year. These provide a great opportunity to interact with likeminded people.
Attend networking events
There are also several large medical conferences and events throughout the year, which may be worth going along to. Not only do you learn a great deal, but they’re also a great way to meet new people. You can attend networking sessions, seminar discussions and larger talks.
Remember, everyone is in the same position at these events, so don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with a stranger. Simply asking how they’re finding the event, or even talking about the weather can be a great conversation starter. Find out what interesting projects they’re currently working on, you might have the expertise to help or it may spark up some ideas for you to go away and work on.
Keep in touch
You should ensure that you keep in touch with anyone that you meet at these events, through your online network or as part of a professional body. Whether that’s engaging with their social media posts, or sending an email every now and again, building these relationships can help you throughout your career.
Overall, networking doesn’t have to be as stressful as you think. There are plenty of events to attend, professional bodies to join, and interesting groups to be a part of online. Expanding your professional network is far easier than you think so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
In medicine, it can be easy to feel that you have a set path ahead of you which relies on your success alone. However, no one gets to any level of achievement without a support system. To create an incredible career, you’ll need to know that it’s possible. And what better way than to learn from those who are already there.