Should I Network? 3 Reasons Why You Absolutely Must!

Say the word “networking” to anyone, and watch their eyes roll into the back of their heads. It’s the thing we all know is important, but secretly don’t feel is for us.

Unfortunately, the misconception that networking is only necessary when you need something (a new job, client, etc.), is completely wrong.

Networking is about relationships and is imperative for success, both personally and professionally. This is even more true for health care workers as the industry, and patient needs, continue to evolve at lightning speed.

Here are three reasons why breaking out of your comfort zone and networking is an absolute must.

  1. It’s good for your career. Connecting with other smart and influential people, makes you smarter and more influential. Simply put, knowledge is power, and sharing information, whether it’s clinical, administrative, or otherwise, can help you build a better career. Disruptive technologies, the opioid crisis and changes to the ACA, and a critical shortage of primary care physicians are all reasons to stay ahead of the information curve and get more involved. Doing so also creates a synergy that can be felt across an entire organization.
  2. It’s good for the organization. Synergy is the “stuff” of highly successful, agile teams, and a term used a lot in military special operations circles these days – which can be surprising when you consider how large, bureaucratic, and hierarchal the military is. The same can be said of most hospitals, where authority comes from the top down, and departments behave more like a small tribe, rather than part of a synchronized organization acting as one. That all changes when employees are actively networking and collaborating with each other. Disconnected silos become small world networks with lots of “links”, and places where employees can unite around a shared purpose like patient satisfaction. When done right, organizations with a culture that encourages networking, are able to more effectively adapt to changes in the marketplace, in real-time.
  3. It’s good for your health. If you’re in your mid-20’s then this may not be as much a concern to you right now, but there’s a ton of research that shows social circles actually contract as we get older, and that our social relationships have lasting effects on our health. Having deep and meaning connections impact us behaviorally, psychosocially, and physiologically. A 20 year Dutch study showed that respondents aged 54 to 85, with rich networks of social relationships, experienced reduced social isolation and a reduction in mortality risk. The jury is still out, but research on size and multiplicity, suggest a greater health benefit can be had with personal networks that are large, and have a lot of overlap (work friends, who are friend friends, and also neighbors for instance). Social media doesn’t count, so get out there and meet some people!

Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear about your experiences with networking in the comments below. Be sure to also follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more good stuff.

About Hoag

Hoag Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in Orange County in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2022 best hospital rankings. Since 1952, Hoag has served the local communities and continues its mission to provide the highest quality health care services through the core strategies of quality and service, people, physician partnerships, strategic growth, financial stewardship, community benefit and philanthropy.

Hoag is a nonprofit regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California, consisting of two acute-care hospitals, 13 urgent care centers, nine health centers and a network of more than 1,700 physicians, 100 allied health members, 7,000 employees and 2,000 volunteers. More than 30,000 inpatients and 450,000 outpatients choose Hoag each year.