The second thing I have learned from working with graduate level students is that many of them are already looking for meaningful work… some unsuccessfully.  One in five of my students are in the healthcare field but not in the position they desire. My remaining students are trying to get into the field.  When I ask, “Why do you think you have not been able to get in?”

The number one response is: I don’t know the right people to get in.

Networking is a huge part of your success. We have all heard stories about people getting in because they were recommended by someone in the company. Perhaps they knew the hiring manager. How do you set yourself up for this transition into networking and into the job you want?

I am making the assumption at this point, that you have the basic skills and requirements to be considered for the job you want. If this is the case, then we just need to work on getting you connected. I often recommend a few things to my students. One is to consider doing Board work… you know, serving on a Board of Directors. Easier said than done in some cases.  Or maybe you don’t see the value or even how you would begin to get on a board. There are a few ways.

One, nonprofit boards (especially local ones) usually have a great need for either board members or other types of volunteers. My recommendation is that you find an organization whose work you love. Maybe that organization is helping students, or at your local animal shelter, or for an art related organization. Maybe you are interested in networking in healthcare. There are plenty of healthcare nonprofits, and this is also a great way to get connected.

I have served on two boards thus far. The people that I met there, have in many cases become lifelong friends or at minimum solid business acquaintances that I have grown comfortable over the years, reaching out to when I needed business related help.  Serving on a board or doing any volunteer work, also helps you to develop your own skills. Maybe that is networking, or fundraising, or event planning. All of those skill sets are valuable in most industries.

Whatever your interest, find one that allows you to spend time doing work you love.  Once you have identified the organization, contact them and ask them for information on getting involved. Once you start helping, you will meet other like minded individuals. Some of them may even be in the industry you are interested in transitioning to. This is a good way to make a genuine and meaningful connection while doing something that you can support. This is just one way to get out there, meet people, and maybe spread your wings.

Now that you have a solid tip, get out there! Need help finding a nonprofit? Do a simple search in Google with: Nonprofits near me. Or you can also check out: They have a Health & Medicine category!

Hope you found this post helpful and that you can start to build some meaningful business relationships! Again, this is just one of many ways to get out there!

Dr. Raya