Whether you’ve been working as an allied health professional for many years or are just entering the field, advancing your career is most likely something on your to-do list. You may be content where you are (or maybe not), though nonetheless, finding new opportunities won’t happen without gaining some momentum ahead of time. And while working as a travel allied health professional can be a great job for those who prefer to be as self-reliant as possible, this still requires some synergy. Here we’ll be talking about networking for allied health and how you can maximize your opportunities at each travel assignment!
Networking for Allied Health: Four Quick Tips for Travelers
Traveling to new locations for work means you’ll come upon all sorts of new ways to build your skills, explore unique facilities, and of course, meet other professionals in your line of work. Even though medicine is a pretty standardized field, you’ll almost always learn something new during the course of each assignment. This inevitably opens up new thoughts, opportunities and professional relationships that you can use to further your career.
1. Join National Organizations
Moving around the country from one state to the next means you’ll always have a fresh bunch of coworkers to interact and grow with. However, having some consistency through the form of joining national organizations can be a good idea. In addition to receiving information on the latest in the allied health industry or your specific focus, you’ll have the chance to connect with others on a national level. Certain organizations can help you to make the most out of new locations, or even help you gain traction with certain facilities or places where you’ve always wanted to work!
2. Be Social When You Can!
While social media is quick and easy, making connections in real life is what it’s all about. We know that allied health jobs can be very time consuming and stressful. Yet, taking the time to bond with coworkers in non-work related settings can make the entire travel experience much more impactful in terms of advancing your career. In the context of networking for allied health, getting lunch or drinks locally can be a great way to get to know the overall culture of your latest assignment’s location. Meeting with coworkers who have lived in the area for a while may help you gain insight into what things are needed in terms of health care and how people in the area respond to certain elements.
3. Maintain a Professional Database
Even if you’re tempted to keep your whole life contained in a smartphone or tablet, it’s best practice to use a cloud service or external hard drives (at least) to maintain all of your professional contacts and other important information. Traveling across the country to new locations is bound to present unforeseen situations in one way or another. Backing up the networking you’ve achieved up until this point is absolutely critical! You never know when you may need to reach out to someone with a specific phone call or email and vice versa. Whether or not you ever use a majority of these contacts won’t even be a question if they all get dropped down a storm drain or are smashed under a bus tire.
4. Networking for Allied Health is a Two-way Street
It’s important to keep in mind that networking for allied health goes both ways — the connections you make might make requests for your own time and efforts! While looking out for your professional aspirations and goals is always a focus, it’s important to understand when you can help someone else catch a break or get their foot in the door. A handy way to think about this is considering professional requests as if you were asking them yourself. Staying open to the possibilities as they come your way is an important part of making the most of your networking efforts. More specifically, connecting on platforms like LinkedIn or even Facebook and Twitter is a useful practice. You should try to maintain a good response rate and positive interactions. Maintaining these personal sites, even statically, can help you stay approachable and open to new opportunities along the way.
When it’s all said and done, networking for allied health takes time. Opportunities can arise just about every day! Do you have any techniques you prefer for networking in professional settings? Let us know in the comments below!