Now may not seem like the best time to reach out to your network, especially considering meeting up for drinks or coffee isn’t an option. But it’s a new year, and after 13 months of adapting to the current state of the world, people are starting to make moves, and making moves often requires the support of our villages. So, let’s talk about networking and how to ask your network for referrals!
How Networking Helped Me in an Unexpected Way
When I was first moving to New Jersey from upstate New York, I was on the search for a position in my new city. In all my planning and research, I found that a former colleague of mine — someone who had actually interviewed and helped onboard me for a previous position — had relocated to the same area a few years prior. I made it a point to reconnect with her through LinkedIn, and we chatted about family, work, and our new mutual area.
It was great to reconnect with her and learn more about her work and what brought her to the NYC area, and this colleague also happened to be a chief nursing officer at a major hospital network in the area. I knew if anyone had any leads or could possibly refer me to an associate looking to hire a nurse practitioner, it would be her. Though this connection didn’t end up landing me a job, this colleague was very enthusiastic about introducing me to people. Reconnecting with her taught me one very important thing — my network has my back. And I’d be willing to bet yours has your back as well!
People are happy to help, especially colleagues that you’ve left with a good impression and stayed in touch with. I’m also fully of the belief that there’s no time like the present to take action. Connect with your existing network, and let them know you are hoping to find work!
Your Network Equals Your Net Worth
An astounding 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking and word-of-mouth. In a professional world that is so reliant upon human connection, it only makes sense to put those relationships to work and ask your circle for referrals.
I know it can feel like a big ask, or that it might seem awkward or uncomfortable to put your business out there, but most people will be happy to help if they have something to offer.
If you’re hoping to reach out to your network but you aren’t sure how, keep reading. We’ve got you covered with a sample email script, a link to a free networking tracker spreadsheet, and a little extra info about our Success Scripts.
How to Make The Ask
Regardless of how or whom you ask, be sure you express your appreciation. Now is a great time to reconnect with colleagues and to reach out to your network, but it’s also a time of considerable stress to many. Thank your network for their time, and express that should they find themselves in a similar position in the future, you will gladly pass on any referrals as well.
When you are deciding who to reach out to, don’t hesitate to let your close family and friends know that you’re on the job hunt! Even if they are not in the medical field, chances are they may be able to make an introduction to someone who is.
You can decide to reach out informally by text or phone call to a select few, or even go the route of sending a mass email if that feels right to you.
Sample Email Script (personal):
Sample Email Script (professional):
Once you’ve reached out to your friends and family, consider doing the same with your professional network. This includes co-workers from current or previous positions, former managers or supervisors, classmates, clinical instructors, preceptors, and faculty.
If you’ve found that all of these connections of yours have gone cold, consider this a good reminder to make an extra effort to check in with your contacts regularly. Not only is it a nice way to socialize professionally, but you just never know when these relationships will lead to an opportunity!
More Career Resources from TRRx
And when that opportunity lands you an interview, check out these TRRx resources for some extra guidance. 🙂
- Episode #028 of the Nurse Becoming Podcast during which I interview improv actor, Sean Sullivan.
- Episode #020 of the Nurse Becoming Podcast when I talk with with Andrea Dalzell about what she’s learned after more than 100 job interviews.
- Get ready for your first meeting by reading this blog post, How to Prepare for Your Interview.
Once you land that job, listen to Episode #013 with Monica Carter on how to negotiate your contract, and for my NPs, I’ve got a blog post for you too. And if, like me, those referrals don’t end in you signing a contract, we’ve got you covered — take your search online and check out Episode #016 about how long is too long to look for a new job.
In the meantime, please reach out if you have any questions about how to incorporate this practice into your job search, and remember, I’m always rooting for you!