HCA-616: Networking and Professional Readiness


This HCA-616: Networking and Professional Readiness course is designed to prepare students to meet the professional standards of practice related to their future discipline within the industry. Students prepare a professional portfolio and resume. Additionally, learners also apply various networking techniques and practical interview skills to ensure professional readiness for their chosen health care careers.

What is networking?

Networking is meeting and connecting with others and is not just done in business and/or face-to-face settings. Typically, networking involves having a “career conversation” with someone for the purpose of exploring careers or job searching to help you answer important career-related questions.

Tips to help you when networking.

Have an elevator pitch.

An elevator speech is a short description of what one does for a living and the benefits the organization/company they work for provide. It is basically a quick commercial about an individual and their business or employer. Depending on your stats, an elevator pitch should include information about your skills, what you have to offer, and what you are looking for in a professional relationship. Most importantly, it is crucial for people new in the professional world to have the elevator speech memorized. This is because it allows them to quickly and easily describe to people what they do.

Ask questions.

When you are networking, it is significant to have prepared useful questions ahead of time. This is helpful because asking a question is a great way to start a conversation.

Remember names.

Remembering the names of people is an important part of networking and yet most probably one of the most difficult. Being able to remember names is crucial because it shows others that the connection being made is valued. It can be tricky to remember the name of connections. However, there are various techniques that can help you to remember. Some of these techniques include asking for the person’s business card and later, writing down some notes about them.

Recognize opportunities.

New connections can be made in any place such as sporting events, school events, and even restaurants. Thus, being able to introduce oneself in any situation is the key to good networking. Most importantly, after you start a conversation it is appropriate to talk about what one does and figure out if the other person can help you in some way. You should keep in mind that even if they can’t help you now, they might know someone who can or may be able to help sometime in the future.

Be open-minded.

You should always remember that success is all about who you know. The more people you know, the more successful you will be. Therefore, it is best to be open-minded and include everyone. Don’t assume that if people are not in a management position that they can’t help you. In addition to not making any assumptions, you should also never ignore someone just because you think they can’t help you achieve your networking goals. This is because meeting new people is never a waste of time, so always make the best of networking opportunities. If you want to succeed in your networking journey, you should ensure that you are being kind and courteous to others.

Bonus points to keep you ahead in your networking journey.

  • Understand that networking is really just a process of meeting people and having conversations.
  • Be directive, but not forceful. This is because you are the one who generated this interaction, you need to be ready to help steer the conversation.
  • Be appreciative, that is, always respect the time and efforts of the people you interact with.
  • Take time to follow up after meeting someone, and this can be in the form of an email, a mailed letter, or even connection requests on LinkedIn.
  • Maintain the relationship.

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