‘Physiotherapy is the best career you could ever have – it was certainly the best for me’ – Natalie Beswetherick, the CSP’s director of practice and development, told students in her keynote address about how to network to influence.
Natalie Beswetherick, the CSP’s director of practice and development, speaks to the students. Photo: Daniel O'Brien
Her own networking started early in her career with the peer group she trained with, members of which are now in positions throughout the UK.
‘I had great leaders too and I was the one who didn’t look away when they called for CSP stewards,’ she said.
‘This gave me the best leadership training I could have. I gained skills in influencing, negotiating, organising and an understanding of politics.’
She was ambitious and, by the age of 30, she was a district physio, by 40 a chair of council and by 50, the director of the CSP – the best job she has ever had.
‘The population has its greatest ever need for physiotherapy now and the profession is on the cusp of a breakthrough,’ she added.
‘The profession is going to be an amazing opportunity for you.’
Make your contacts count
She told students that the art of network interaction with others, both locally and internationally, depending on your specialism, relies on social capital.
‘Social capital is the value of a network and relationships and will buy you positive results.
‘It can get you a job, get you stuff for free, offer learning opportunities to your advantage and help identify mentors and coaches.’
One of her major networking tips is not to use this as a ‘take’ situation, but to share and develop social capital and relationships to mutual advantage so that people will trust you. Make your contacts count.
A student rep asked her what is involved in being a steward. She said they are trained to deal with problems and can lead on campaigns.
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