Networking: The ability to make yourself uncomfortable
So often when we use the term networking we think of “pressing the flesh,” “elevator speeches,” and in general promoting of one’s self. I’ve found that for true networking to occur one has to give of oneself, and maybe not so ready to be on the take. Getting involved in your community and giving back is the most effective way I’ve found to meet those people who can build your career. Get involved in your profession -- take part in county, state, or national organizations – and become that “go to” pharmacist in your community. Getting involved in civic organization, such as youth organizations, chamber of commerce, and your church, is a great way to build trust in your community.
Networking involves the ability to make yourself “uncomfortable,” not sitting with your acquaintances at dinner meetings but by talking with someone you have not met. Everyone is looking for a common thread when they meet someone new. If it is a non-professional meeting I seldom ask people their profession, because it categorizes them too quickly. I’d rather know about their hobbies and passions rather than how they make their money.
Put your smart phone down. Listen twice as much as you talk. Lots of people are looking to meet you!
Pete Kreckel practices independent community pharmacy in Altoona, Penn. He welcomes your e-mails at [email protected]