Professional success is a simple formula: your potential x your network. Networking is a powerful multiplier which enables you to realize your full potential. We compiled 5 networking strategies for PhDs.
Studies in the Academy of Management Journal show that successful industry professionals spend 70% more time networking than their less successful counterparts. As reported by NPR, 80% of jobs are never published or advertised. This means the only way to access the majority of available industry positions is through networking.
Here 5 strategies to effectively utilize this multiplier:
1. Leverage online tools
This sounds cliche, but it is still not fully explored and understood. LinkedIn is the most obvious tool to connect with other professionals. However, there are several other platforms that: 1. Advertise networking events (e.g. Eventbritte), 2. Join international professional groups in social events (e.g. Internations) and 3. Promote industry events. For complete guide of networking, visit our guide: The Ultimate Guide to Secure a Job Offer and to Negotiate your Salary.
2. Overcome the fear of being rejected
Very often bright scientist are socially awkward and struggle in striking the first contact. Many of them also lack self-awareness to recognize this weakness. You need to get comfortable hearing “no”, over and over and over again. This will help you to build a thick skin and confidence. Successful professionals spend 70% more time compared to others in networking as per study by the Academy of Management Journal. The top 10% networkers developed a mindset that the rejection do not scare them anymore.
3. Develop a reciprocity mindset
Networking is about building relationship and relationship is about taking and giving. Focus on giving first. Listen to your target contact and try to understand his interest. If he/she is a industry contact that you aim to get a referral for a particular position, try to understand his interest first. Is his interest in getting closer to the academic world? Maybe to get closer to Professor X and start lecturing within his PharmD program? If yes, what can you do to link this bridge and help as well?
4. Keep a Simple and Consistent Communication
Once you start developing relationships make sure you track them using e.g.tracking spreadsheet with relevant information as name, contact, corporation, last time you contacted and next planned date to contact again. Use several mechanisms to keep you under the radar, share a relevant article, an industry insight, provide some value. Use the networking letter templates to guide you in the first contact. If it develops at more personal level, invite for a coffee and to catch up. Keep it simple but consistent and regular. Set goals and communication strategy. Do not approach your contact only at the time you need them.
5. Network with Headhunters
Use LinkedIn to primary find headhunters. Access their websites and send you resume. Schedule calls with them. Headhunters are job search multipliers. They are hungry to get the right person the right job. That is how they earn money: for every successful placement they receive a commission based on percentage of your yearly salary.
Once you secured a job interview via networking, make sure you are prepared for the interviews. Use out free online courses to better understand how interviews in pharma companies work Online course: Interview for Pharma Jobs.