The power of networking should never be underestimated. A study done by LinkedIn discovered that 85% of jobs are filled by networking of some sort.~~1 Every conversation should be viewed as an opportunity to connect with someone who can help you, or who you can help. Here are five ways to help you network to get work!
- Business cards: Having access to high quality, professional looking business cards is an essential part of networking. Every day we are presented with opportunities to meet someone who can elevate our professional goals.
Whether we are at the spa, Starbucks, or a local ADHA meeting, multiple business cards should be easily accessible. Try giving one card to the person you’ve met in person and an extra for them to pass on to another influencer that may be able to assist you in your career goals.
- The Millennial business card: In addition to high quality, printed business cards, a “digital card” is also a way to impress potential employers. Creating a “digital business card” is as simple as saving yourself as a contact in your cell phone, then sharing that contact when you are networking.
This allows you to add the correct spelling of your name, credentials, email, phone number, website, headshot, and notes to include specifics of what you are looking for.
- Trade shows: Dental trade shows are a great way to network. Meet the people working the booth and ask them specific questions related to what you are seeking.
For example, you may be looking for a new hygiene position or perhaps moving into a sales role. They often have ample contacts that could be looking for you to join their team!
- Remain professional: A dear friend of mine was at a national sales meeting and sat next to a man who was sitting alone in the restaurant bar. She made small conversation with him for over an hour, keeping her demeanor and conversation professional, despite the relaxed environment.
The next day, she found out he was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Six months after her initial conversation, she was asked to join the sales team. Every interaction you have is an opportunity to open a door to your next career advancement.
- Rest: To be your best networking self, sleep is necessary. Great networking requires being present in the conversation, both verbally and physically. Arriving well rested allows you to respond more thoroughly, stay engaged longer, and make a better impression.
A network is a powerful resource that can be used to help guide your next career steps. Priceless wisdom is achieved through mentorship and it begins with networking. What are you waiting for? Get out there and go network to get work, today!