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How to Build a Great Network in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

I’ve learned quite a few things during my 25+ years as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter, and one of those things is that, “Your network is your net worth.”

You may have heard this phrase before, and perhaps you didn’t give it much credence. However, I can attest to the fact that it is true. I have helped countless professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession grow their career, and at the same time, increase their level of compensation and other benefits associated with that growth.

And for the majority of these professionals, one of the major reasons they were able to experience such growth—and enjoy more and better compensation—was networking.

Networking Success in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

Building a great network is akin to constructing bridges, linking individuals and opportunities in a web of mutual support and collaboration. (And I have previously written about the topic of “building bridges” as opposed to “burning bridges.”) In this particular article, though, I want to detail how you can build a great network in your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

In fact, there are eight main steps that I’d like to explore:

#1—Expanding Your Circle

The foundation of a great network lies in the diversity and depth of connections. While it is tempting to gravitate towards like-minded individuals, embracing diversity enriches your network with a variety of perspectives, skills, and opportunities.

Attend industry events, seminars, and workshops to meet people from different backgrounds and fields. Engage in online communities and social media platforms relevant to your interests and profession. Remember, the more people you know, the broader your network becomes, opening doors to unforeseen possibilities.

#2—Nurturing Relationships

Building a network isn’t just about collecting contacts; it’s about cultivating meaningful relationships. Invest time and effort in getting to know your connections on a personal level. Show genuine interest in their aspirations, challenges, and achievements.

Stay connected through regular communication, whether it’s a friendly check-in, sharing valuable insights, or offering support when needed. Remember birthdays, work anniversaries, and other significant events to demonstrate that you value the relationship beyond mere professional gains.

#3—Strategically Networking

Networking isn’t about aimlessly collecting business cards or adding connections on LinkedIn; it’s about strategic engagement. Identify your goals and objectives, and tailor your networking efforts accordingly. Are you looking to advance your Animal Health or Veterinary career, explore new opportunities, or seek mentorship?

Align your interactions with individuals who can help you achieve those goals. Similarly, be proactive in offering support and assistance to others within your network. Networking is a two-way street, and creating a culture of reciprocity strengthens bonds and enhances the collective success of your network.

#4—Building Trust and Credibility

Trust is the currency of networking. Establishing trust and credibility is critical to nurturing lasting relationships within your network. Be authentic, reliable, and transparent in your interactions. Honor commitments, follow through on promises, and uphold ethical standards.

Share your expertise generously, but also be receptive to learning from others. Position yourself as a valuable resource by offering solutions, insights, and support whenever possible. Remember, trust takes time to build but can be easily eroded, so prioritize integrity in all your networking endeavors.

#5—Embracing the Power of Weak Ties

While close relationships are vital, don’t overlook the potential of weak ties—connections with whom you have infrequent or casual interactions. Weak ties often bridge diverse networks, serving as conduits for new opportunities and information.

Stay open to encounters and chance conversations, as they may lead to unexpected collaborations or insights. Cultivate a habit of nurturing weak ties through occasional check-ins, sharing relevant content, or attending informal gatherings. In the realm of networking, it’s often the weak ties that catalyze breakthroughs and open doors to uncharted territories.

#6—Utilizing the Digital Landscape

In the digital age, networking transcends physical boundaries, thanks to technology. Leverage digital platforms and tools to amplify your networking efforts. Maintain an updated online presence across professional networking sites like LinkedIn, showcasing your skills, accomplishments, and aspirations.

Participate in online forums, groups, and discussions relevant to the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession. Engage with thought leaders, influencers, and peers through social media channels to expand your reach and visibility. However, remember to balance digital networking with meaningful offline interactions, as face-to-face connections often yield deeper rapport and trust.

#7—The Power of Following Up

Networking doesn’t end with the initial introduction; it requires consistent follow-up and nurturing. After making a new connection, send a personalized follow-up message expressing gratitude for the interaction and reiterating your interest in staying connected.

Keep the conversation alive by sharing relevant updates, articles, or opportunities that might interest them. Schedule periodic check-ins to maintain the relationship and demonstrate your continued support. Remember, genuine relationships are built over time through sustained effort and genuine interest in each other’s success.

#8—Including a Recruiter in Your Network

Among the many diverse connections in your network, recruiters hold a special place. Whether you’re actively seeking new opportunities or not, having a recruiter in your network can be immensely beneficial.

Recruiters possess insider knowledge about job markets, industry trends, and emerging opportunities. They can provide valuable career advice, connect you with potential employers, and even offer insights into refining your resume and interview skills. Cultivate relationships with reputable recruiters who specialize in your field and leverage their expertise to navigate the job market with confidence.

As I mentioned above, building a great network is akin to building bridges, creating connections that transcend boundaries. By expanding your circle, nurturing relationships, and strategically including key figures like recruiters, you lay the groundwork for a supportive network. And remember: networking is not just about what you can gain, but it’s also about what you can contribute.

With that in mind, be sure to cultivate a spirit of generosity, reciprocity, and authenticity, and watch as your network flourishes. This can open doors to many possibilities, including numerous employment opportunities, all of which can help you grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career!

If you’re looking to make a change or explore your employment options, then we want to talk with you. I encourage you to contact us or you can also create a profile and/or submit your resume for consideration.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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