Let me offer a few reasons why social networking is so important for healthcare professionals who are interested in non-clinical opportunities:
- You may find your next job through someone in your social network. If you grow your network on sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo, then you may end up meeting some people who are in a position to hire you.
- You may need quick and reliable references. If you ever need some professional references, you can have some that are ready to go if you leverage social networking tools.
- You may find some consulting opportunities through someone in your social network. Even if you're not looking for a new full-time position, perhaps you're open to some part-time consulting. I know many people who have found some unique opportunities through Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Twitter.
- Your old friends and colleagues may be in powerful positions. They may not hire you, but they could be a hiring manager and they may want to meet some of your colleagues, friends, and acquaintances.
- You may need an audience someday. Perhaps you'll write a book and you'll want some help with promotion. Perhaps you'll start a blog and you'll want to recruit some readers. You may need an audience who will be interested in something you have to offer.
- You never know when you may lose you job. I realize that people don't like to think about this possibility, but it's a reality for many in the corporate world. You may get the pink slip someday. You may get disabled. You may run into personal issues. Things in life may force you to make a transition and you want to be prepared by having a strong social network.
Eventually, you may wish to explore the complete world of Web 2.0 and play around with blogs, RSS feeds, forums, and other social networking tools. If you're on Twitter, I invite you to follow me (@DrJosephKim) and I will follow you back.