Networking may not be something that you expect to do as a nurse, but it can be a hidden superpower that can propel your career and earning potential. For nurses, networking can make the job application process faster, open up valuable opportunities, and provide access to jobs with higher salaries and better work/life balance than your current role.
Networking is time-consuming. It can require email follow-ups, attending networking events, and trying to navigate LinkedIn. But it can also be a natural, efficient process. Here are the top three ways to make your networking process easier and more effective.
1. Join North Carolina healthcare organizations
Successful networking is an ongoing process, not something you do only when you’re looking for a job. However, constantly reaching out to your current network and meeting new people can be exhausting. It’s hard to set aside time to grab coffee with a new contact or follow up with an old coworker.
Joining a healthcare association can make this easier. When you join a healthcare association or organization, you get emails about different events and have something in common when you meet other members of the organization for the first time. Attending association events can also expand your professional network.
Some of our favorite healthcare organizations in North Carolina include:
Metrolina Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (Charlotte, NC only)
Metrolina Council of Nursing Organizations (Charlotte, NC only)
Piedmont Black Nurses Association (Charlotte, NC only)
2. Attend in-person events
Whether you join an organization or not, there are most likely in-person networking events happening near you. Even in the age of the internet, in-person networking is one of the most effective ways to meet new contacts. Actually, over 85% of professionals think that in-person networking leads to stronger connections and more opportunities.
However, in-person networking can be intimidating. Who should you talk to? How long should you talk to one person? What specific events should you attend in North Carolina? Should you attend any national events? How can you leverage in-person events to get a new nursing role?
While a lot of the answers to these questions are personal, there’s an easy way to define what events align with your goals.
Follow these 5 steps to make the most out of in-person networking for nurses events:
Define your goal: What’s your goal for wanting to network? Possible reasons could include learning more about your industry, connecting with employers, or finding a mentor. Try to select one main priority, even if multiple resonate with you.
Choose networking events that align with your goal: Once you’ve chosen your main networking goal, identify different nearby events where ideal contacts would be. If your goal is to meet a nursing mentor, attending events for nurses would be a good idea. If you want to connect with employers, consider job fairs hosted by local hospital systems.
Look at the invite list: If the event uses Meetup.com or a similar online networking platform, you might have access to the invite list. Do some light research on who will be attending and identify a few key contacts you’d like to meet. These contacts should align with that primary goal.
Generate conversation topics: After identifying key contacts, brainstorm some conversation topics. These don’t have to be memorized questions or the most in-depth conversation starters ever. The idea here is to go in prepared with a couple of topics to discuss.
Quality over quantity: At networking events, the quality of your conversations matters more than the number of conversations you have. Try to speak to a couple of key people and have genuine conversations instead of meeting everyone there.
3. Download the HireMe Healthcare app
While joining organizations and attending in-person networking events are effective ways to grow your network, they might not be the most convenient or even the most effective for finding a job ASAP.
Hundreds of employers across the state of North Carolina use the app to fill open nursing roles. When you sign up for the app, you’re putting yourself in their path–without ever having to leave your home or apartment!
To make the most of this free app, add all relevant work and education experience to your profile. After that, you can scroll through different employers and engage in in-app conversations with them. You can also schedule interviews through the app, meaning you could get a job without having to send a single follow-up email.
Networking is important to your nursing career. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. By joining the right organizations, attending networking events, and downloading the HireMe Healthcare app, you can grow your network–and leverage that network to find more job opportunities.