I moved to Wisconsin for residency last summer. As a native Midwesterner, I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with the culture, values and cheese curds of Middle America. License plates may label this state as America’s Dairyland, but it seems to me a different indulgence is its most famous export. Beer.
Wisconsin isn’t the only drinking danger zone! Today’s dental students face alcohol-fueled culture at mainstream professional events. Social receptions tend to come well stocked with spirits. I see four significant alcohol-centered threats staring you down as an ambitious young dentist working hard to expand your network.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from my involvement with ASDA, it is the power of networks. A strong network can open doors and help you stumble onto new opportunities. Yet the idea of networking makes many people uncomfortable. I’m a natural introvert so my idea of a perfect Friday night includes curling up in bed with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. The thought of roaming around a room talking to hundreds of my peers is quite intimidating. Through practice, I’ve honed my ability to network and meet people. Here are five networking tips that have helped introverts like me connect with people at events.
In this month’s Mingle Monday we’re building off of Friday’s suggestion to attend ASDA’s National Leadership Conference. Whether you’re at an ASDA meeting or a CE session or a networking event, you’ll probably run into a situation where you’d like to meet the person who just spoke at an event. It can be intimidating to introduce yourself to a speaker, but the benefits make it more than worthwhile. I made this video while working as an extern in ASDA’s national office this summer. These tips have helped me gain valuable contacts and enhance my network–I hope they help you too.
You have a Facebook account, Instagram, you tweet and you Snapchat. So why haven’t you joined the social network that can actually advance your career? It’s a good idea to join LinkedIn and start attending to your profile now as a dental student. While the medical industry is still not as open to LinkedIn the way other white collar industries may be, you still want to be present on this social network.
We’ve shown you a lot of networking tips here on Mingle Monday, but did you ever consider your CV as a networking tool? Of course it is! Here’s the scenario: You meet a dentist at a state society function and you hit it off. You tell him you’d love it if he could look over your CV because you’re looking to match in a residency program next year. Send him the CV a day or two later, receive feedback and take his suggestions to heart. You never know who this dentist is connected to and where this CV swap can take you. Maybe he’ll notice some work you did with Give Kids a Smile and hook you up with a colleague who shares your philanthropic passion and can jump start your career.