Reena Patel, CSP education advisor for the North West reveals how she learned the value of nurturing professional relationships.
In the early stages of my career I would tell myself: “I hate networking”. I would often avoid networking opportunities. It felt very daunting to enter a room full of people I did not know and strike up a conversation when everybody else seemed to know one another.
More recently, I have recognised the value of networking; it has led to new friendships, opportunities and professional growth. Whilst professional relationships cannot be nurtured solely through social media, it is a platform that will enable you to widen your professional network. The pandemic has highlighted the opportunity for greater on-line interaction, which will enable professional networking to be more accessible and inclusive. Consider following people and key organisations on social media to see what their views are, just engaging gets you noticed, and you don’t know where it might lead.
Networking does require you to be pro-active and step out of your comfort zone. In my experience, physiotherapists are very generous with their time and are often more than happy to be contacted about their work.
- recognise that professional networking is a skill
- be brave – don’t be afraid to reach out
- it does not have to be a ‘big ask’: a short phone call or brief tweet could lead to a life-changing meeting
- CSP professional and diversity networks are a great starting place for you to begin on this journey
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