The one thing that will help you move forward in your travel nursing career and open future opportunities for you is networking.
In travel nursing, if you don’t schmooze, you lose. If you think about it, travel nursing puts you in the perfect position to meet people of various backgrounds and levels within the healthcare industry. Networking will be a critical part of your career as a travel nurse. Here are three benefits of travel nurse networking and five tips on how to be successful at schmoozing.
- More industry contacts
Every time you relocate to a new assignment, it’s another great networking opportunity. Most importantly, it’s a chance to meet more industry contacts, so it’s important to keep track of everyone you meet. Having more industry contacts is a benefit because, if for some reason assignments are slow or perhaps you want to return to a previous hospital for a permanent position, you can pull out those nifty contacts. You never know when a quick phone call to someone you met months or even years ago is going to be helpful.
- New job opportunities
As we hinted above, networking can lead to more job opportunities. Perhaps you’ll meet someone on assignment in Vermont who can then connect you to a new contract in California. The more you talk to people, the more you’ll learn about where the top jobs are. Travel nursing is a niche industry, so it’s important to be in the know.
- Maintain lasting connections
The third benefit to networking in travel nursing is that you can meet people who you’ll connect with for a lifetime. Whether they become a close friend, a mentor, or an idol who inspires you in your career, networking can help you meet critical connections. A successful networker doesn’t just meet someone once and forget about them, but they know how to make those connections last.
With that said, here are five tips on how to be successful at schmoozing.
It is not enough just to show up to networking events and exchange business cards or phone numbers. You have to make your time networking count. Here are five tips for how to be successful at networking.
- Don’t be late
It may be tempting to be late, because it’s awkward to be the first one in the room. This is especially the case for people who are naturally anxious. Regardless of your reasons, you should do your best not to be late. Being on time makes a good impression and those who are serious about their career will also be on time. The last thing you want is for an important contact to notice that you strolled in late to the party.
- Smile and relax
If you look uncomfortable and unfriendly, people are unlikely to approach you. It’s important to relax the best you can and to smile! Although networking events can sometimes be dry, you don’t want to look bored or be daydreaming about pizza and Netflix. Body language is telling, and it’s important to be an enthusiastic schmoozer.
- Talk about your passion
If there’s one way to get people’s attention, it is to talk to them about your passion. That will help you to relax, be yourself, and say something interesting. Hopefully, if you’re a travel nurse who is networking, you’re passionate about nursing and traveling and so is the person you’re talking to. Finding a common ground for conversation will help to take the edge off.
- Ask good questions
With that said, it’s also important not to dominate the conversation. If you’re a talker, be aware of that and try to tone it down so that the other person can get a word in. If you’re talking at someone, that can be overwhelming for them. Make sure you ask them questions and learn as much about them as they learn about you.
When you finally get home, kick of your shoes, and veg out – don’t breathe that sigh of relief quite yet. Your networking isn’t finished just because the event ended. The most important part about networking is following up with the connections you’ve made afterwards. Try to remember what you discussed at the event that you can reference in your follow-up, and do it within a day or two so that you’re still fresh in their mind.