Sure, you’ve heard the advice: ‘you have to network’. And yes, you’ve heard ‘who you know is more important than what you know’ when it comes to career opportunities. But still, it seems you don’t know how to make your professional relationships help you advance. Does effective networking seem mysterious, elusive, or just not relevant?

If you’d like to learn how to develop the right professional network – the kind that does help you get ahead – this episode is for you.

In this episode of The Career Rx we’ll discuss:

  • Where to find contacts in the industry when you don’t know where to start
  • Where to find the folks whose actual job is to help you (they want to connect with you)!
  • Leveraging new organizations to learn, and to get the right visibility for your next move

I always hear people say they don’t know how to network outside of their current industry. But it’s really pretty easy! I’m going to share three very simple and highly effective ways to connect with people who are doing the kind of work that you aspire to do, and who will be interested in knowing and helping you.

By the end of this episode, you’ll know exactly how to get started networking in an entirely new way.

In this Episode:

[1:10] This holds true no matter what kind of career move you’re seeking
[3:12] This idea helps with networking and insider info
[6:30] The ‘obvious’ secret that you probably don’t know yet
[11:15] Another easy way to show your interest and get insider information
[13:33] There’s an entirely new set of organizations – you should join and volunteer!

Links and Resources:

Industry Insider – learn exactly how to land a rewarding nonclinical career without a new degree, connections on the inside, prior experience, or a pay cut
America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms The Forbes list mentioned in this episode
The Branding Rx – 18 hours of CME, mastering digital strategies for advancing your career, building your business, and growing your professional brand



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Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx!

TRANSCRIPT: Episode 84 – 3 Ways You Aren’t Networking Today (But Should Be!)

Hey there. I’m Marjorie Stiegler and you’re listening to The Career Rx Podcast, where we tackle the important things they don’t teach you in medical school. Like how to treat your career, like the business it really is, with strategies to accelerate the kind of success that you want, because you deserve a career you love, and a career that loves you back. Are you ready?

Let’s get into it.

Hey, all welcome back. Today, we’re going to be talking about creative ways that you could be networking that you probably aren’t yet. And this is because I get asked all the time how to begin to build a network that’s highly relevant for either a career advancement or a pivot right into something else, particularly when someone wants to get into sort of the industry or business side of healthcare, and they’re coming from a clinical or academic background. There is, you know, very, these are really different professional circles.

So this is a question I’m asked quite a bit. But this could be true, really, no matter what you want to do. And frankly, whether you are a health care professional or not.

Before I dive into these three, I should certainly mention that if you are actively trying to make a change in your career, come on over and check out my webinar that I’ll put in the show notes. And think about joining me on Industry Insider, where I will take you from exactly how to begin your search, how to begin creating your own professional assets and branding, in order to successfully navigate and land and negotiate an industry position.

Even if you don’t know anybody today, even if you don’t think that you have the right experience, because you don’t have prior industry experience. These are commonly perceived to be hurdles, but I am telling you they are not, it absolutely can be done. So if you’re interested, come check it out, I can help you.

Alright, into the three ways that you are probably not networking yet. But you should. And these are going to be, you know, ways in which you can find the right people that you may want to connect with. And also critically, that gives you a sort of a springboard so that you have something to reach out to them about. And so even if you don’t know them, and it’s a little bit of a cold outreach, that you have something specific to reference, that will kind of immediately give you something in common because that is going to increase the likelihood, of course, that you get a response back.

And I should also mention, I’m a big fan of doing all of this on LinkedIn, I mean, you can see all of my episodes that are related to LinkedIn, I’m a big fan, that’s where the job action is. And you should absolutely be leveraging it if you’re not. The other reason is that when you send somebody a message on LinkedIn, the open rate is just so much higher than if you send them an email from your email address, even if you know, and you may or may not be able to find their email, but say you’re lucky enough to have it, the likelihood of them opening that and responding to you is much, much lower via email much, much higher via direct LinkedIn mail.

  1. Alright, the first specific place that I recommend that you go to begin networking is at So Reuters is obviously an international company that does quite a bit of work across a variety of sectors. They do research, they, they do consulting, they have events, and they have webinars. So you could certainly go to an event, and I’ve been to some of their events in the past, they’re fantastic. But the more easily accessible thing are their webinars, and they do have an entire series.

So if you go to, you’ll be able to find a whole section of on demand content, that’s going to include webinars, and a lot of these webinars are specific to topics that are going on in industry. So they may be specific to drug development or to medical device, life sciences.

1a. And, and importantly, I mean, not only is that helpful for you to understand kind of what are the hot topics in the industry, so it’s helpful for you to really kind of embed yourself. But also all of the speakers are folks who work in industry in a variety of different capacities. So this gives you an opportunity to check out each of the speakers. And ideally to do so you could do it even in advance of hearing them speak but you can also follow up with them after you hear them speak.

So this is a really great way to begin to reach out and get some connections at the specific companies that you may be interested in. And some of these will be focused on commercial and other parts of the organization. You’re probably mostly focused on medical research and development or studies. And but either way, you know this will be a way to open the door.

1b. The other secret about these webinars is that when you attend them, there’s often a public chat. And I’ve experienced it when I’ve been on a panel moderating. A panel that people who have come into the public chat, you know, they’re not everybody’s fully identified, but a lot of people will say, you know, right in their name that’s in the chat or in, as they’re asking a question or making a comment. They will specify, you know, what company they work for, and what functional capacity they work in.

And they’ll ask a question or, or make a comment. And what this does, of course, is if you’re following the chat, and you’re watching the webinar, this gives you an opportunity, if you find somebody who has either a question that you have the answer to, or who has an interesting perspective, or that you just feel like if it is, I like the way this person thinks, I’d like to connect with them.

Now, you can probably go find that person based on the information shared in the chat. And this is not, you know, if you’re doing this through LinkedIn, and you’re referencing an official webinar, this is not sort of outside the realm of professional, this is totally normal, right? This is how people network and connect with each other. You just send them a message, let them know, you know, what you attended together, what you heard from them, say what you think, or whatever.

Obviously, you’re not asking anybody for a job, right? That’s really important. This is networking. If you don’t know how to do that, well, be in touch with me, let me know. But this is a good way to meet people, and to grow that network where you don’t have it already. So Reuters Events, I’m not affiliated with Reuters in any way, except for that sometimes I do speak for them. But I just want to be clear, there’s no relationship to disclose there.

  1. Alright, the second place that you should probably plug yourself in if you are not today, and most people are not, is with executive recruiting firms. This is something that a lot of people don’t think of, maybe they just don’t know enough about these firms. But you can and I’ll put a link to Forbes has a recent list out and I’ll put a link to that, in the show notes in which they rank some of the America’s best executive recruiting firms and at the top, some very well known, very well known ones like Korn Ferry, Robert Half, Russell Reynolds Associates, there’s a lot I mean, these may sound like, you know, totally unfamiliar to you.

And that’s okay. That’s why I have them on the episode here today. And again, I don’t have any specific relationships with any of these companies. But a lot of people overlook the value or they just have never heard of, and they don’t know how to connect with executive recruiting firms. So it’s really important for two reasons.

2a. One is that if possible, you want to develop a few relationships with some executive recruiters, right? If you have, if you’re working with a recruiter in one of these companies, you know, their entire job is to vet and place high level executives into companies.

And I’ve heard people before say, well, those types of jobs stay through, I don’t need recruiters, right, those kinds of jobs, you know, they fill themselves, that’s not necessarily true, the higher that you go, when you think about it, the busier the people are who would do the hiring, right, because you’re kind of you’re either talking about C suite level folks or other senior leaders in the organization.

Sometimes a board of directors needs to be involved. And so companies really do retain these types of firms for those kinds of jobs. Now, they may have an internal candidate, there might be a variety of reasons that they need to entertain multiple candidates. And so this is, you know, a bet, the best way to use this strategy is in the long term, so that you can develop a couple of relationships with some key people who are retained exclusively by a variety of firms.

Because it may not be that there is an immediate, clear placement for you. But over time, this is really, really an important way for you to leverage an executive recruiting firm.

Now, obviously, when you approach these folks or when you’re initiating your relationships with them, it is important to get some of your professional branding in order right to get your your professional stories straight, so that they don’t have to work too hard to connect the dots about what you might be appropriate for professionally.

So that is outside the scope of this. But I would, I would refer you to check the show notes. So I’ll put the link to that list of best executive recruiting firms. And then what I recommend you do is just click on a few of them, right search them. And what you’ll find are a few things.

The one is you may find some actual people you can connect with either on that website or again, by going to LinkedIn and finding some of those people. Their entire job is to talk to potential talent. So their job is to talk to you. So this is different than when you’re trying to reach out to senior leaders at actual companies where you’re hoping to kind of get a foot in the door. They have a regular job.

And they have way too many people reaching out asking for time with them and in networking connections and conversations with them than they could possibly ever accept. They can’t say yes to everybody. But people are executives, you know, search firms that is their job. And so it’s an important thing to kind of keep perspective right. That’s their job. So they will be interested in speaking to you and you can reach out to them.

But again, I do recommend that you kind of get your professional trajectory story straight to position yourself as an executive or as a favorable candidate for some kind of career pivot before doing so, but definitely try to build some of those relationships.

2b. The other thing that is helpful when you go on their various websites is you’ll find a lot of resources and white papers. And a lot of this requires you to opt in right to give your name and email. And a lot of people don’t like to do that. But for example, right now, I’m looking at And they have a 2022 Salary Guide, which they describe as a report, projecting starting salaries and employment trends for more than 500 positions across finance, accounting, technology, healthcare, legal and others.

And they, you know, they do want you to opt in, I have not done that yet. So I’m not. I don’t know what is in this Salary Guide. But if you are interested in understanding what are you know, what’s the type of salary that can be expected in a certain type of job, gaining some insights into that landscape, this could be a really informative paper, and in my opinion, it’s worth opting in, because frankly, these are people you would like to contact you.

So if you give them their information, and they reach out to you, call them back, right, be in touch with them, this is a relationship worth nurturing, if at all possible. And even while you’re working on that part, you can learn an awful lot from their websites, they have really strong and valuable resources. And a lot of these do work across multiple sectors. So you will want to zone in on the healthcare ones, if indeed, that’s what you hope to do. But nonetheless, lots of good resources on their respective websites, and an important set of relationships to leverage that a lot of people really just overlook or miss altogether.

  1. And then the third resource that’s often overlooked is the business side of healthcare. They all have association. So you are likely already a member of the professional society or association that’s relevant to your medical specialty. These kinds of associations exist for all of the various sectors within healthcare, and overall, so there is one that I will recommend specifically here, and again, I’m not affiliated in any way so there’s no disclosure, the Healthcare Business Women’s Association that HBA is a really fantastic powerhouse, a wealth of resources. This is a place where you can go, you know, you can go and join, they have internal chats, they have local chapters, so you can get to know people around you.

And then they have major events, they have an annual conference. And some of those conferences include specific things like at the November 2021, Healthcare Business Women’s annual conference, they have a thing called Brain dates, where they’re utilizing some type of sort of matching software, where you put in your own interests and the kind of people that you’d like to meet and your contact information.

And they match you up with people that either meet those criteria, or who are also looking for people like you, however, you’ve described yourself. So there’s a very overt and sort of structured and supported way to meet other people at this meeting. I think that’s really a great idea, then obviously, of course, you’ve got the speakers, you’ve got the sponsors.

And then the really often overlooked bit about this is they need volunteers, they always need volunteers, organizations always need volunteers. One quick way to accelerate your network is to offer to help. So it may not be on the annual meeting, it might be more of your local chapter, or some other you know, way in which you get involved with the organization, but go identify for yourself an organization like the HBA or something else and find out you know, what are their events? How can you help?

How can you embed yourself in that community and get to know other people within that organization, it’s ready made, it’s there for you. So if you’re willing to show up and put in a little bit of effort, you can not only really get to understand the industry, and a lot of various facets of it. But you can also meet a lot of people and begin to really grow and develop your network.

And you can do it all the usual ways too, I mean, of course, that their meeting, they are having a hashtag, it’s on Twitter. I mean, you can connect with people the way that you would today in your existing sort of digital circles, but there’ll be entirely new people.

And again, you know, I recommend, obviously not approaching people by asking them to help you get a job. Nobody likes that. And making sure that you do have, you know, your professional narrative sort of on point and ready to go as you’re connecting with people, but there is absolutely a treasure trove of new relationships. And people who would be very, very receptive to making those relationships right. That’s the main point is you want people who will want to connect back with you, either at HBA or some other person related association.

So those are three that I recommend that are sort of underutilized. So Reuters events or could be a different company, if they have the same kind of thing going on, you might have the same type of experience doesn’t have to be Reuters, executive search firms, particularly in life sciences and healthcare, really, really important relationships to nurture for the long term. And also there are websites, important white papers and resources to help you just understand hot topics and for benchmarks within the industry today. And then yes, indeed, healthcare business associations.

And in particular, I’ve mentioned the healthcare business, Women’s Association, men can join this as well. This is a really, really great way to meet people who are doing the kind of work that you aspire to do, and who are interested in collaborating and connecting and meeting new people. That’s what they’re doing at these kinds of sessions. So it’s, it’s, it’s a warm audience, if you will, you’re likely to get a good receptivity. And again, have all of your professional ducks in a row before doing so to even really maximize your success in your outputs there.

So I hope these are helpful. If you don’t pursue these three specific ones, you know, try to find an analog, something else that’s similar. If you look around, you will find there are tons and tons of ways for you to begin to grow that network totally organically completely from scratch that you just haven’t checked out yet, but you should. So I hope this gets you started in the right direction. Bye for now.

Please be sure to leave me a review on Apple and don’t forget to send me your questions so I can answer them and give you a shout out on a future episode.

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