Networking- The Magic Bullet During Job Hunting Season

It is job hunting season for many hygienists. 

My Dad always told me, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." As I have gone through the job hunting process myself, I have realized that Dad was correct.  I currently work in education and private practice. Both of these positions came to me through someone I know. I have also been able to keep these positions because of WHAT I know. Both the WHO and the WHAT I know have been because of networking. Networking is the secret weapon of being an extraordinary hygienist.

My Dad also taught me that relationships are one of the most important things to cultivate. The opportunity to create relationships is one of the reasons I chose to become a dental hygienist. I encourage you to look for every opportunity to create networking relationships. For example, I have come to find that going to dental conventions are not only for CE's but for networking. Conventions are for connections too! We sometimes get CE focused and miss out on the most important part... the relationships! At my first ADHA convention I met incredible hygienists that have impacted the way I understand and engage in with patients and students. The one and only Esther Wilkins even beat me down the hall on the way to a class. 

My fellow RDH friends often comment that I know "everyone" when they come with me to our local convention. The connections that I have made at conventions are invaluable. I have been able to help direct colleagues to products and people that have enhanced their lives. I myself have been introduced to mentors, educators and entrepreneurs that have enhanced my profession. When you find yourself sitting in a CE class waiting for the speaker to start or walking from booth to booth in the exhibit hall, stop, look around and strike up conversation with those around you. You may meet your next boss, a new mentor or become a mentor for someone else.  

Here are some suggestions on how to network:
Join a Facebook group of fellow Hygienists. 
Use Linked In.
Be friends with your former professors!
Join ADHA and be involved in your local chapter.
Attend CE courses.
Stay in touch with your class mates.