How to Network
by Robert Priddy
Networking is part of finding a non clinical career.
Making connections can be easy, and people often want to be helpful. It’s catching up with long lost relatives, attending business and organizational parties, and connecting with friends and associates you usually just pass in hallways or in elevators.
People will honestly ask about you and what you’re doing. Starting your conversations with, “I’m looking to make this a great year of change,” will certainly elicit responses of tell me more, and what kind of change. Then, “Well, as you know I…. , and I’ve been involved in doing a lot of…., so now I’m working on…,” stands a far greater chance of getting the attention you want.
So, don’t think for a minute you should be hanging up your Nonclinical Career Transition resume, stump speech and business cards when you are networking.
Some years ago I administered the Birkman Behavioral Assessment® to a group of high level members of a national physician executive organization. What differentiated them most from my control group was their elevated interest in “persuasive behavior.” Note, the Birkman assessment interprets “persuasiveness” with an orientation towards direct, persuasive communications.
While interests may or may not translate into actual behaviors, those results showed a heightened awareness in the need to convince others of their message. Outside of practice, in pursuit of a nonclinical career transition as well as in nonclinical work, physicians, like everyone else, need to be selling their ideas, their recommendations and their results constantly.
While starting your sentence with, “As a physician,” may turn heads and gain initial
attention, it won’t guarantee you’ll get your way.
Persuasiveness is a skill, and a skill that can be learned. Learn to make a case for your point and presently it knowledgeably, logically and cogently, and you’ll find many more opportunities for success await you.
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Career Advice From the Experts and Leaders in Healthcare Careers