Some of your most meaningful experiences have the potential to come from saying yes to an opportunity and keeping in touch with the people that you meet along the way.
However, what happens when you seek out these connections in a purposeful way? How do you think your personal and professional life may improve if you intentionally network with people that share the same goals as you?
A supportive and far-reaching network doesn’t happen overnight, but there are things that you can do to get started on it right away.
Be Purposeful About Networking As A Vet
A supportive network does not happen without some purposeful effort. Sure, you may happen upon a serendipitous connection from time to time. However, they occur with exactly that frequency: from time to time.
Start by making a list of your personal and professional goals, as well as your mission. And then seek out connections that align with that mission. For example, if one of your goals is to volunteer for a community outreach initiative and you are passionate about animal welfare, then start by reaching out to a director of one of your local animal welfare organizations.
If there is a fundraising event happening for one of these organizations, take the opportunity to attend and introduce yourself to the stakeholders and volunteers. And yes, this might take you out of your comfort zone a little bit. Veterinarians are well known for being humble and sometimes shy. However, consider the fact that you are amongst like-minded people who are just as interested in meeting you, as you are in meeting them.
Whenever you meet someone new, write down their name, their contact information, and their personal details. Keeping a contact list with this information doesn’t mean you are disingenuous. It means that you, like most human beings, may forget someone’s name or where they work.
Knowing that it’s always nice to be remembered, keeping track of this information for quick reference is a great way to keep in touch with people down the road. And speaking of names, use them! Don’t hesitate to address people by name, both in conversation as well as when you are parting ways.
Lead With Who You Are, Not What You Do
How often have you introduced yourself as, ‘Hello, I am so-and-so, and I am a veterinarian.’
What does that say about you?
Well, in the most basic terms, you have given yourself a name and an occupation, however, we don’t know anything about who you are as a person.
So what if instead, you said something like this, ‘Hello, I’m so-and-so, and I am an animal welfare enthusiast with a self-proclaimed veterinary volunteerism fanatic.’ How about that for an elevator pitch?
You are far more likely to make a faster connection with people who should be in your network, and you are far more likely to make a memorable first impression. This is because you are leading with who you are, and not just what you do.
Help Others Make Connections
One great way to pay it forward is to help other people in your network to make connections.
It is important to do this genuinely. You should not be looking for a trade or something in return. Make introductions with the sole intention of enriching their lives, and making a positive impact. The boomerang effect will ensure that the same gestures are extended towards you in the future. But in the meantime, it just feels good to help people that you respect!
You Are Worthy!
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Imposter Syndrome.
You are worthy of meaningful introductions with people that you respect and admire. You don’t have to wait until ‘you make it’ in your career to connect with people who are already doing the things that you aspire to do.
The most successful people are those that seek to make connections, and in turn, share their gifts with others. Remember that when it comes to networking, the time is now! The time was probably yesterday, but don’t worry. There’s plenty of time to catch up.
At The End Of The Day, What Is Purposeful Networking As A Vet?
Networking is not just who you know; It’s about who you stand with, and what you collectively stand for.
To read more about networking, check out this article on the: Three Ways to Network as a New Vet
For more blogs by Dr. Samyra, click here.