Networking - Discovering Opportunity

Understanding the opportunity is crucial and in the health sector, understanding the dimensions of the sector is key. In this article we explore tips for exploring network opportunities and getting the most out of your networking opportunities.


Networking is often considered an art and a science and we’re not all naturals at the process. Networking is a powerful business tool and allows us to expand our client base, develop professional relationships and even find new job opportunities.


It’s interesting to discover that a recent Harvard University study shows that 15% of the reason behind an individual getting a job is due to their technical skills or actual knowledge, the rest of the 85% comes down to people skills.


This staggering figure provides an interesting insight into the power of networking and communicating in your professional career. Whether you’re engaging at an official business function, board meeting, office drinks or in the work corridor, the key to business success is successful networking.


First impressions count and while it can be a challenge to always be professional and engaging, it is essential for your professional development in a workplace.


Tips for successful networking are outlined below:


-    Remember names when introduced – we all find it hard to remember new faces and names at business functions. However, it is important to find a process for remembering new names so that you can engage with individuals. Repeat the name when introduced and aim to make a conscious effort to remember it. You can also make an association with the name that may help you to remember.


-    Make the effort to network – Ask questions during conversations and take the time to find out about others. Always be inclusive and bring others into your conversation.


-    Make your introductions memorable – often the health sector can get a bad wrap during the networking process. When introducing yourself, offer an exciting insight into your role or give a relevant example so people can understand what you do. 


-    Follow up with an email– sometimes at networking events, you may come across a professional relationship that could benefit your career or current role. Take the time to email the new contact and pass on your details and a friendly introductory email.


-    Have a topical point ready to discuss if the conversation stalls – sometimes networking events can get a little slow, and you may like to have a few conversation starters up your sleeve to get the conversation flowing. Be prepared!


Next time you’re at a networking event, take the time to develop a strong personal communication style with your new contacts and make a great first impression that lasts. First impressions count, and networking effectively is a practical tool for business success in the health sector.