Networking is one of the more underutilized and under-appreciated tasks any professional can perform. In the healthcare industry, specifically the “front line” type positions such as medical assistants, experience the rigors of day-to-day work and can make it easy to lose sight of the importance of interacting with colleagues in the profession.
And, to their loss, many medical assistants continue to neglect this activity, preferring to keep their heads down and plow through their daily work rather than take a true active interest in others in their field and how those people are doing things.
Why is networking important?
It’s always worthwhile to see how other people are doing things, and to get a grasp on what works and what doesn’t, and to get an alternate and perhaps fresh perspective on how an office runs. This offers insight, and gives you a chance to introduce some of those effective ideas into your office.
Next, it provides you job opportunities. If you have friends in other offices, it’s easier to hear about new positions opening up. Being part of the larger community also gives you a larger voice, and may attract employers to you.
So how do you do it?
Good networking skills begin in a Medical Assisting Program, such as the one at Milwaukee Career College. Simply make friends among your fellow students, and stay in touch with them as they find employment. Having two or three friends in the industry to start can widen your social net considerably.
Also, consider joining a professional medical assistant organization like the AAMA. These groups are designed to connect medical assistants and offer educational opportunities, job boards, news on the industry, and more. These groups are well worth the membership cost just in the benefits and discounts you receive.
Finally, attending trade shows and conferences give you another outlet. You can meet other medical assistants nationwide and locally, obtain certifications, and generally increase your standing in the field and makes you more employable. It also affords you a chance to travel, and many times your employer will foot the bill, since it is a professional development activity.
Networking is essentially just talking and making friends. It’s simple to do, but offers so much to your career in return.