Thousands of pharmacists will graduate in the coming months. They will all join the work force either through residency programs or look for a new job. Often times we hear the advice to “go out and network”. There is no guidance or instruction on “How to Network in Pharmacy”. Many YouTube viewers and subscribers to this blog have asked this very question: “How do I Network in Pharmacy?”
How to Network in Pharmacy
The key approach to networking is being able to ask for help. A common misconception to asking for help is feeling that you are bothering someone. Some may feel that people will think less of them or it could be their own pride preventing them from asking for advice. Research from University of Pennsylvania Behavioral Science found that asking for advice is beneficial to networking. Why? It is a method of ego stroking. Asking for their advice makes the adviser feel important or smarter. Not only do you gain valuable insight and knowledge, this will help establish a network connection. This is the foundation to networking in pharmacy. Here is a 5 step process on how to network in pharmacy:
- Have a Plan: Have a plan before going out to meet people. Map out what you want to discuss, research if possible information on people that you are meeting, and what you can offer other people. People will remember you for your generosity and what you can offer them as well. Establish network connections throughout your life versus only when you need them.
- Treat everyone with Respect: You never know who will be important to you in your life. Do not dismiss someone because they are a pharmacy assistant or technician. These individuals may be best friends with the pharmacy director or manager which can help you in the future!
- Family and Friends: Check in with your family or friends. Any of them work in pharmacy? Ask them to help connect you to someone they know who works in pharmacy.
- Volunteer: Find volunteer opportunities in pharmacy. You will meet pharmacists by volunteering. When you work with pharmacists, ask for their advice and learn as much as you can from them.
- State and National Pharmacy Organizations: There are many events and meetings held by these organizations. Research and find out when and where they are held. Try to go to these events. Pharmacy Schools also offer information sessions and events. Try to attend to find out more information.
Through my own personal experience, networking has been extremely powerful. I have held ten different jobs starting when I was 14 years old. Every single one of these jobs was through a network connection. Networking will be a powerful tool in your life. Make sure to have a plan, offer your own expertise, and do not be afraid to ask for help.
I hope the recommendations above will help guide, motivate, and inspire you to achieve your goals. Follow my blog for more tips and advice on finances and being a pharmacist. What are your experiences? Please comment below and share your thoughts.