by Nick Hanson, MHSCN board president-elect
Networking is important for various reasons. It's fun to grab coffee, a drink, lunch or hop on the phone and swap stories with others in the industry trenches.
It can also be educational. It's beneficial to sharpen your skills at a conference, learn best practices from other professionals and organizations, and knock around ideas with peers in a virtual breakout session.
But, what's the most rewarding aspect of networking? (In my mind, anyway...) Advancing your career. Getting your next gig. Taking the next steps in your professional journey.
Since college, I have not received ONE job offer where I didn't know somebody working at my eventual place of employment, was given a great reference by someone in my network or had some sort of foot-in-the-door connection.
Have I ever had to apply for a job? Yes. Write a cover letter? Of course. We're communicators. Apply through the company website? Yes. The difference is that my resume and cover letter rose to top-of-the-stack position after I applied, instead of getting lost in the mix.
Two lessons to impart:
1) Don't burn bridges. It can be tough, especially if you're unhappy. On occasion, it will happen. Remember, it's a small world. You never know when you're going to cross paths with a former coworker, professional or peer. If you do leave on bad terms, or get in a conflict with a colleague, mend the relationship. It's worth the time and effort.
2) Network! Stay in touch with former colleagues. Go to conferences. Meet new people. Seek advice from those you respect and veterans in the field. Most important, join and participate in organizations such as MHSCN. We offer virtual and in-person opportunities to meet peers in healthcare communications and marketing. We have virtual and in-person educational events and conferences. And when you join, you instantly have access to a network of hundreds of people who work in healthcare communications and marketing.
We hope you are having a great summer and enjoying the three months of summer Minnesota has to offer.