Do You Network?
Networking is a process that fosters the exchange of information and ideas among individuals or groups that share a common interest. It may be for social or business purposes. What are the benefits of networking?
There are many business related, or professional advantages to networking. The exchange of information with other Physician Assistants in Orthopedic Surgery may provide you with an opportunity to learn practice improvement ideas. If you are struggling with a specific issue in your practice, it is great to have a group of people that you can garner suggestions from or even receive a solution from someone who has been through similar situations. For example, if you are struggling with post-op dressings on your total knees, you can network with another PA and see what success they have had in their practice. Or, if you are having problems with no-shows, you can get suggestions on how other practices help prevent them.
There are many personal advantages to networking as well. The biggest of these can come into play with salary negotiations. The ability to ask other individuals how their salary is structured, what type of CME money and days do they get, how is their bonus structure set-up (if they have one) and what type of benefits do they get will allow you specific information to bring to your negotiations. They may also be able to provide advice on when is the best time for negotiations. Networking will also allow you to gain advice from individuals in your same situation regarding loan repayment, investing opportunities and vacation ideas.
It may be difficult to find people to network with especially if you practice in a smaller community. So how do you find other people in similar situations? PAOS has many resources to help with this. Our organization has three conferences a year, online forums, blogs, and community outreach programs. These are all perfect opportunities to network. Attend one of the upcoming conferences in 2019 and make a goal to meet at least 5 new people. Get their contact information and keep in touch via email or text. Swap information and see if it doesn’t help you out in your practice and in your overall day to day life. Don’t be surprised if you end up making friends that you will look forward to seeing at future conferences and will even make plans to attend conferences based on each others availability. Get started next month at the Ortho in the West conference in Phoenix, February 15-17. The early bird deadline ends on January 15th.
What’s your best networking story?