Networking is easily one of the most challenging aspects of a dental hygienist’s career development. Who has time for it, right? However, nurturing your network is quicker than you may think.
And it is so incredibly important to your career! You cannot neglect your professional network because you never know when you are going to need them.
So this week, here are some tips on how you can quickly and easily show your network connections some love every now and then to keep it alive and working for YOU.
Pay it Forward
Whether you are currently searching for a job or not, we all hear about opportunities that might not be right for you, but great for someone you know. The problem is we don’t always follow through and let our network know about them.
When you share information about a job opening, you have the added benefit of helping both the person you are sharing it with and the employer who is seeking. So be really clear in letting both know that you are trying to help them out. If it works out, both will owe you a favor that you may need for a new opportunity of your own.
Share Interesting Articles and Videos
There is so much valuable information out there today. As you come across interesting articles share them with individuals in your network – even tag them (if using social media) – let them know you thought they might find it interesting and even the specific part you want them to notice (that further ensures they will read it).
This kind of activity creates a great conversation starter that keeps your relationship fresh and even makes it stronger. It also lets them know you are both serious and passionate about dental hygiene.
Share What They Share
Some within your network are probably sharing articles and videos, too. First of all, take time to read what they share. But don’t let it just lay there, comment on it and share it out to others. That sends a message to the person who shared it with you that you valued their content (which to them means: “they value me”). When someone feels valued by someone else it strengthens and validates the relationship.
Networking is all about connecting dots – me connecting with you, so that you will connect me with people you know. Everyone has someone they would benefit from if they were introduced. You could be the person in the middle of some great connections, and if you are the one who brings them together it makes you even more valuable to both.
So always be thinking about who would benefit from knowing someone within your network. Then figure out the best way to bring them together. Could be in-person or even virtually, but figure out what you think will work best and take action on it.
Endorse or Recommend Them
LinkedIn.com has a really cool set of tools whereby you can provide a testimonial or endorse the skills of another person you are connected with. Offer to do that for someone, whether it be on LinkedIn or a different format. This shows you think highly of them and helps keep the connection between you and them much stronger – and every time they see it they will be reminded.
Effective networking shouldn’t be a hassle – it really only takes a few minutes of your time and builds up a huge reservoir of good will and powerful connections that will help you land a great dental hygiene job.