In a seemingly niche industry like Healthcare IT, networking is an essential practice. Specialized job boards and specialized professional networks are valuable tools in nailing down that entry-level or dream position. The core of generating this kind of opportunity lies in a genuine approach, buoyed by specific focus, and a fueled by honest intention that will ultimately benefit you and those you meet in a profound, positive way.
Understand the Basics
Before focusing on the health care profession specifically, it’s important to understand the basics of networking. Particularly for new job seekers, cursory knowledge in the practice will help focus networking efforts and encourage fruitful efforts and practices.
At its core, professional networking is about establishing relationships that are mutually beneficial to the aims of both parties. Shamelessly shoving resumes into the hands of powerful people is an excellent way to turn off individuals to beneficial and enriching relationships (and this occurs more often than you might think).
Instead, your intent should be to place yourself in situations that build connections based on genuine interaction. Consider every working relationship on the basis of what it means to the both of you. Do they often find exciting opportunities? Can you help them get a project across the finish line? Focus on what you bring to the table and interact in a genuine manner with others. Avoid burning bridges when leaving a company since you may well see your previous employers in your next job.
In all things, focus on making a lasting, positive impression with people. You never know what interaction might shape your career.
Look in the Right Places Online
For health IT professionals specifically, existing in the right places online is crucial to success. Despite its generalized focus, LinkedIn is an excellent place to start.
What really powers the platform is focused search and participation in specialized interest groups. When building your network, use the search function to find individuals in your field or administrators in the process of expanding their IT department. Consider messaging them with questions about their efforts or expressions of interest in joining their team.
Building a reputation in the aforementioned interest groups is a great way to inspire contact from others. Join professional groups and answer questions, letting your knowledge build an air of competency. Much like building your in-person network, make sure your interactions are friendly and genuine. Pinging questions with right answers in hopes of a job offer is guaranteed to lead to disappointing results.
Attend Industry Events
With more and more hospitals focusing on IT initiatives, industry events are featuring a greater volume of IT solutions. With a meeting of the minds focused on areas of your expertise, attendance provides an opportunity to converse one-on-one with hospital administrators and demonstrate a working knowledge of the technology involved.
Even if it doesn’t lead to any additional meetings, building a presence in these influential circles will help establish your reputation as a savvy professional. Getting your feet wet by immersing yourself in emerging technologies while building contacts will ultimately pay dividends when interviewing. After all, you never know who knows who, and being able to cite specific solutions is a great way to inspire confidence in your abilities.
For job seekers looking to build relationships, the opportunities abound. Genuine interaction, both online and off, is a great way to generate job leads, contribute meaningfully to the efforts of influential industry professionals, and build a reputation of authority. Look in the right places and practice good networking, and your prospects and people skills will see the benefit of your hard work.