May 1, 2018
by Jillian Cecchini, Managing Editor
LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, has developed a reputation as one of the “most beloved CEOs in the world”. Two sentences in one simple tweet proves just this – “Inspire, empower, listen and appreciate. Practicing any one of these can improve employee engagement; mastering all four can change the game”.
My previous editorial in the March issue of Oral Health Office focused on the benefits of workplace engagement and the key characteristics that influence leadership and overall success. But success includes many forms of engagement, and one in particular that our profession proves beneficial is the power of networking.
I’ll be honest, up until just a couple of weeks ago, I had not touched my LinkedIn profile in years. My assistant editor, who is keenly up-to-date on the benefits of engaging on all social media platforms, politely insisted that it was time I logged in. My profile was extremely outdated (i.e. a selfie from college as my profile picture) and lacked the key components to represent who I am professionally. LinkedIn is the perfect platform to represent your brand, skills, experiences and ambitions, and an obvious outlet to connect with industry peers. With a bit of polishing and an updated professional headshot, I obtained over 100 new connections within one week. Keep in mind – expanding your connections on LinkedIn is vital because these ultimately are the people who will open the doors to new business.
While social media outlets are an important platform for engagement, industry tradeshows still prove beneficial for expanding your network. In a recent research study that Oral Health conducted with a third-party company, results found that 75 per cent of Canadian dentists network with other dental and medical professionals. I was not surprised to see such a high percentage, but what I did find interesting was that 19.4 per cent seldom network, and 5.5 per cent never do.
Does not everyone see the value in professional engagement and the opportunity it provides to learn and grow within your industry?
As I transition into my new role as managing editor for Oral Health, I was excited to attend all of the major dental tradeshows to maintain and create new relationships. Over the past six months, I have attended the Greater New York Dental meeting, the Chicago Midwinter meeting, and the Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver. In the next two months, I’ll attend the Annual Spring Meeting in Toronto and the JDIQ meeting in Montreal. Walking the tradeshow floor, engaging with industry professionals, meeting our valued customers, and sitting in on keynote speaker sessions is something that I personally find very valuable for my career.
Making connections and ensuring that the industry knows who I am, and the brand I represent, is something that I will continue to strive to achieve. My dad once said to me, “Work hard until you don’t have to introduce yourself”. I couldn’t agree more. Developing connections and becoming recognizable truly says something about the power of networking.
It’s simple – networking is all about developing a mutually beneficial relationship. Though making a memorable first impression is key, effective networking requires persistence. Strive to build and maintain your business relationships. Attend industry events, follow-up with your connections, and stay active on social media.
I’ll end this with another quote from Mr. Jeff Weiner: “LinkedIn is not just a place to find your dream job, but a way to be better at the job you already have”.
My advice to you: login.
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