Networking is a vital technique to utilize for career growth – resulting in positive relationships, opening doors, and the opportunity to learn — no matter where you are in your career as a CRNA.
The benefits of networking
Networking is sometimes referred to as “schmoozing,” a term with deeply negative connotations. In reality, networking is always positive – you build relationships by being willing to connect with and understand others. The benefits are obvious – positive relationships increase job satisfaction as a whole, and create an environment that is more understanding, increases learning, helps others, builds mutual trust and respect, welcomes diversity, and provides a source for open communication.
As a CRNA, effective communication is a key component in providing quality care to patients. Networking provides CRNAs with a means to sharpen their communication skills, a direct benefit that can be transferred to your everyday tasks and duties.
Networking also has direct professional benefits for CRNAs, too. Building relationships with people in your field of work provides greater opportunities to find new jobs or positions. In fact, around 80% of jobs are discovered through networking. Reaching out to new individuals provides insight into other areas within the ever-changing field of anesthesia, leading to potential career advancements or career changes.
Networking gives new medical professionals the opportunity to connect with mentors to receive advice, knowledge, and a means of stress management. Networking exposes CRNAs to a variety of opinions and ideas to provide them with the best knowledge base possible to evaluate future situations and make informed medical decisions.
Plus, networking can help you learn about working with different kinds of people. When networking, you’re actively trying to meet new people, and will come into contact with people with different opinions, beliefs, personality types, and ideas. Connecting with new people builds character, understanding, and acceptance towards others. It builds your ability to adapt to new circumstances, and work with a wide variety of people
How to get better at networking
Networking doesn’t always come easy, especially for more introverted people. But there are some things you can do to help improve your networking skills.
- Utilize LinkedIn to build an online professional profile. This helps potential employers who find you. Request to connect with professional acquaintances on LinkedIn – you never know when that connection might be useful.
- Have a memorable business card with your contact information on it. But only give it out after a conversation.
- Don’t worry about the immediate benefits each connection can give you. Do your best to be genuine with each new contact. Whatever you do, don’t give the impression you’re looking for someone more interesting to talk to.
- Ask questions that you are genuinely curious about. Everyone has something interesting to say!
- If you are attending an event specifically for networking, research some topics that could be discussed or individuals that you know will be in attendance. Coming prepared will help you feel more confident and get more out of each encounter.
- Don’t be afraid to reconnect after a networking event. Asking to connect on LinkedIn is a good start. You might even email a contact and let them know you enjoyed meeting them.
Our annual student seminar is a great place to network
Held every spring, our annual student seminar represents an excellent opportunity to network with CRNAs, as well as SRNAs, as you embark on your career. Visit the education section of this website www.aanesthetists.com/education/ to learn more about past and future educational opportunities available through Allegheny Anesthetists.