Whether you're just finishing up a health information technology degree or patient care technician training, it's probably time to start thinking about career opportunities in your new career field. Use these three tricks to improve your networking skills and expand your options.
1. Be strategic.
Many people have a tendency to attend general networking events that host several types of companies in various industries.1 As you begin to learn how to network, you might attend these events to only end up disappointed by the end of the night as you walk out without a single business card. That's why it's important to find events that cater to your industry or career. If you're invited to a general networking event, call up the event coordinator to find out what companies you can expect to be there. That way you can decide whether it's a waste of your time. Getting a few company names can also help you research the CEOs and employers beforehand, so you know who to look for and what to say when you meet them. On LinkedIn, join groups that are relevant to your career and reach out to people who are connected to it.
2. Look to make a friend.
Some people begin to network with the idea that this person could help them advance their career.2 While this is the case, you may want to get into a different mindset. Act like you're trying to make a friend instead of thinking that you're using someone for personal benefit. Trying to connect on things you two have in common outside of your industry will actually make the conversation less awkward. You're more likely to have a smooth conversation that allows you to be memorable and makes the person much more willing to talk to you. It'll make future conversations with that person more lighthearted as well.
3. Know what you bring to the table.
At networking events, it's crucial to walk into them with confidence. The same goes for connecting with someone via email or LinkedIn. Make introductions with pride. Know what you have to offer and why it might benefit this person or his or her company. In networking, there should be some form of exchange. You get something from a person and he or she gets something from you. Listen carefully to what your new connections have to say and then volunteer ways you could help them. Helping two people connect so they can both be more successful is a great way to become a valuable networker and make other people want to help you.
Speaking of networking, Ultimate Medical Academy has a relationship with more than 48,000 employers across the country. That network comes in handy when their Career Services team reaches out to help UMA graduates find employment opportunities.