This article originally appeared on The Wealthy Physician Blog.
I recently completed reading the classic networking book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. In it he describes a new kind of economy, one shaped more by the people you know in your industry rather than the company you work for. In other words your resumé is really only as good as the people you can share it with.
This is a far cry from the economy of generations past in which one expected to earn both a living and enough for retirement working at one job over an entire lifetime.
Nowadays such steady work has mostly been replaced with constant turnover amongst employers and having to plan for retirement on your own without the guarantee of a cushy pension.
UNDERSTANDING THE BUSINESS OF MEDICINE
The point is that to expect your career to be based on one job for one employer is a major fallacy. One must adapt and change to the current and future expectations of business in order to be successful.
This truth counts just as much in banking, stocks, or real estate as it does in medicine. To say healthcare is big business if of course a massive understatement. It is the largest portion of our economy as a whole. So why do so many doctors have no clue how to conduct the business of medicine?
It starts with a lack of formal education in medical school but that is not the entire story. Individuals must be motivated to excel not only in medicine but also in the business of it in order to truly help their patients nowadays.
It’s critical that future physicians be appropriately skilled to manage their own careers so that they can ultimately do what they set out to do — help patients.
NETWORKING: THE LIFE BLOOD OF YOUR CAREER
Keith Ferrazzi’s focus on developing meaningful relationships centered around your work is the key to not only surviving but also truly thriving in medicine. Just as it is important to develop quality relationships with patients in order to promote their health and well-being it is equally important for physicians to have such connections in order to have a healthy and successful career.
These relationships serve to establish the stability that is no longer present in today’s economy. Rather than being with a single company imagine yourself being with a single network of successful individuals that you surround yourself with.
You can lean on these connections when you find yourself in a pinch like when looking for a new job opportunity in medicine. Similarly you can provide help to the members of your network community when they are in need of assistance, and the cycle goes on.
Instead of being at the mercy of an employer that may not have your best interest as a priority you can control your own destiny. Now in order to achieve this connection economy one must work diligently to develop such a network of strong individuals with similar goals and mindsets for success as yourself. Here are three ways to go about starting your own network economy:
3 WAYS TO GROW YOUR NETWORK ECONOMY
- Find a mentor – Mentors help provide a framework for you to emulate your career after. He or she will also have lots of connections that you can gain access to for your own network if you work it right.
- Attend a conference – Conferences are an excellent way to meet lots of people with similar interests in a fun, relaxed environment. But don’t just expect to show up and walk away with a list of meaningful contacts. Be prepared by doing your homework ahead of time so you know exactly who you’re hoping to connect with and how to spark their interest when you meet them.
- Join an organization – Organizations are another excellent way to meet lots of like-minded people in a single setting. Be sure to volunteer to take on projects that will both challenge you and allow you to work with the people you’re looking to connect with.