3 Ways Strategic Networking Can Further Your Life Sciences Career
What comes to mind when you hear the word networking? Do you think of crowded happy hour events where people are practically throwing their business cards at you? Or, do you think of meetings run by professional associations where the group discusses the latest industry trends? Many people have a negative view of networking that involves feeling uncomfortable in a setting where most of the attendees are trying to sell their products/services, or are focused on social climbing. In contrast, strategic networking can be extremely beneficial for your career.
BioSpace holds Talent Connect events for life science professionals to engage with recruiters and industry-leading organizations. This is an example of a strategic networking event, where there is a clear purpose that can help you achieve a goal. You can also determine the meaningfulness of an event by getting feedback from past attendees. “Talent Connect creates an environment that breaks down the initiation barrier to networking.” “I had the opportunity to interact with recruiters, exchange business cards, and know more about the jobs that I am interested in.” Those statements came from past participants of BioSpace’s Talent Connect events. Hearing those types of comments can let you know a networking event is worth your time. Here are three ways strategic networking can further your life sciences career.
It Makes the Job Search Easier
Looking for a new job can be stressful and time-consuming. Going to strategic networking events, focused on your industry or profession, can help you learn more about the jobs you’re targeting. In addition, you might find out how to become a more attractive candidate. You can often interact with decision makers and hiring managers at different organizations and get a better idea of what they’re looking for. A BioSpace Talent Connect participant described it this way, “I was able to talk one on one with several individuals and go over my resume and experience.” These kinds of opportunities are priceless and can save you months or years worth of time when making a job or career change.
It Increases Your Visibility Within Your Industry
How do you know who the movers and shakers are in your industry? You might read about them in well-respected publications, see them lead a presentation, or meet them at a strategic networking event. Making the choice to attend industry events increases your visibility among other serious professionals. Depending on your career goals, you might travel to conferences, trade shows, or events where cutting edge research and technologies are being discussed. You could have the opportunity to learn from high-profile leaders, and engage with others who have similar interests. Getting out of your everyday routine and environment can also spur creativity and innovation.
It Improves the Quality of Your Network
What is the current quality of your network like? Do you know individuals who could help you find a new job, land a promotion, or secure a feature in an industry publication? Do you have online connections via social media who are discussing relevant information to help you perform better at work? Attending strategic networking events can help you grow your professional network in an authentic way. Meeting others at conferences and events allows you to form relationships with people who could be future collaboration partners and colleagues, even though they may work in different organizations. Having a high-quality network is extremely valuable. A solid network can lead you to a mentor, or an internal referral for a job within a company.
Strategic networking, with a deliberate purpose in mind, is very different than the common conception of networking at restaurants, bars, and huge hiring conventions. Attending events hosted by industry and professional associations, like BioSpace’s Talent Connect, can help you move your career forward. One Talent Connect participant said, “I had a nice time and felt it was not overwhelming like some hiring events can be.” Benefits to strategic networking include making your job search easier, increasing your visibility within your industry, and improving the quality of your network. What is your strategic networking plan?
Porschia Parker is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.