Now more than ever, networking is key to getting ahead, especially for women in health IT. Whether through co-workers and relationships, or via social media, face-to-face events and other virtual connections, you are building relationships that can help you succeed, support your work and transform health.
A colleague or mentor may be able to recommend you for career advancement. Perhaps a contact has a lead that may help you close a deal. A key contact may be able to share a best practice that could improve workflow at your organization. Your network surrounds you – it’s up to you to cultivate relationships that can move your career forward.
“The power of networking can't be overstated and it shouldn't be underestimated. It is one of the most valuable skills you can possess. Like any skill, it needs to be used on a consistent basis so as not to get rusty. It's certainly been instrumental in my professional growth within the world of health IT. And the best part of it is, not only does networking help you during times of career transition, but it can also lead to some really wonderful, lasting friendships.”
– Jenn Dennard, founder, HealthITChicks; part of the HIMSS Women in Health IT initiative
“Networking is an art of consent and consistent maintenance to connect within/out of one’s tribe. Everyone’s process is different to connect and network. The process for myself started with continuing my education and going from being a novice in health tech, not knowing where to start, to building a following through my daily research shared on my personal website. Networking on social media via Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram: I found my tribe. I have been consistently writing blog posts, curating content and attending Tweet chats. After building a following, I then turned online acquaintances into face-to-face connections at HIMSS local and national events. As a woman in tech, you have to be consistent with the process of building genuine online and offline connections. The world is large but the health technology community is rather compact and bridging global connections are so important to meet, mentor and source supporters to climb the ladder. Women can support others; and men are needed as well if you want to build a diverse networking group. HIMSS is global and the sky is the limit to connect on the local, national and international level. The art of building a network takes time, patience and planning. No one wants to listen to you when you have a limited number of social media followers. The hardest is getting to your first 2,000 followers, hence building your network within the HIMSS community is a great place to start. Subscribing to the official HIMSS Twitter account, following the ‘registration hashtags’ and the people that follow those is a logical first step.”
– Danielle Siarri, MSN, RN, nursing informatics specialist, lead publisher at InnoNurse.info; part of the HIMSS Social Media Ambassador initiative
"Healthcare IT needs better communication and networking has allowed me to connect with like-minded experts to improve patient care. I have been amazed at the ability to find experts through networking on social media to solve healthcare problems. Several months ago I had a question about social determinants of health for veterans in rural areas. I didn't know who was an expert in the space so I asked on Twitter. Within an hour I was connected with a leader at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, learning about what they cared about. Getting better information to the right people faster should be facilitated by healthcare technology. The stronger our network, the easier it is to get things done and improve healthcare."
– Janae Sharp, founder, Sharp Index; part of the HIMSS Social Media Ambassador initiative
As the saying goes … "It’s not what you know, but rather who you know,” so get out there and network!
Women in Health IT Roundtable
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