Networking Tips for Behavioral Health Professionals
As with most industries, getting ahead in the behavioral health field is largely about who you know. Of course, your skills and experience are also crucial, but there’s a lot of talented professionals out there. Knowing how to network the right way can help you get to the top.
More than just an occasional activity, networking needs to be part of your regular routine. When you’re connecting with people on a frequent basis, you’re able to build and maintain a robust network that can take you places. Get started by following these tips.
Join a Professional Association
Connecting with like-minded people is crucial for your behavioral health career, but you might not know where to find them. Becoming a member of at least one professional association in the industry is the key. Groups like the American Counseling Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association offer conferences, continuing education workshops, and local chapter mixers where you can get to know your peers.
There are countless behavioral health professional associations to choose from, so find one — or a few — tailored to your specialty, with a chapter in your local area.
Attend as Many Events as Possible
Being a member of a behavioral health professional association is great, but that alone won’t get you far. Make the most of your membership by taking advantage of all the group has to offer. Whether a skill-building seminar or happy hour, when an event notice appears in your inbox, try your best to attend. You just might meet someone who will have a significant impact on your career.
Put Yourself Out There
No doubt, some people will reach out to you in an effort to connect, but you’ll also need to put in the work. When attending in-person events, introduce yourself to at least a few people. Bring plenty of business cards, and if the people you meet give you their contact information, follow up in a timely manner.
Networking online is also important. Search for local behavioral health professionals in your specialty on LinkedIn and send a request to connect. Include a personal note to introduce yourself and explain why you’re reaching out. Also seek out relevant groups, join them, and raise your profile by actively participating in discussions.
Nurture Existing Connections
Constantly making new contacts is essential, but staying in touch with connections you already have is also crucial. Reach out to former managers, colleagues, and classmates on a periodic basis to see what they’re up to. When possible, invite them to catch up over lunch or coffee. Keeping up with these people will likely be fun, and it’s good for your career. No doubt, the conversation will inevitably turn to work, giving you the opportunity to update them on what’s next for you. Feel confident they’ll keep their ears open and let you know if they hear about any openings that might interest you.
Taking the next step in your career can feel intimidating, so allow the experts to guide your search. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.