Building relationships is key to making new connections and developing productive opportunities within our specialty, but it requires getting outside our comfort zones. Professional networking any other skill–practice makes perfect.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 41 – No 09 – September 2022
When it comes to building your contacts within emergency medicine, ACEP Scientific Assembly is the Super Bowl. Let’s get you ready for the game.
First, you need to have an idea where you want your career to go. Ask yourself: Will I truly be happy in academics? Will I be happy working in community practice? What is the path within emergency medicine that will bring me the most fulfillment?
When I talk about having these forward-thinking conversations with yourself, I mean it literally. Set a weekly appointment with yourself, and use that time to write down five and ten-year goals. Consider what you need to do to accomplish those goals. Making time to reflect helps you figure out where you want to go next. Once you know your dream career path, you can seek out leaders who are already on that road and make those connections.
You also want to make sure your curriculum vitae (CV) is updated, along with a short personal bio. Use that weekly meeting with yourself to update your materials, and don’t forget to review your social media presence. Do your accounts offer a positive reflection of your personal interests and expertise?
Prior to leaving for ACEP22, create or update your virtual business card (see Figure 1). If you have an iPhone, having a virtual card is just setting up your own contact page with your photo, who you represent, and long-term contact information. (Avoid using temporary school/employer emails that could become obsolete.) Setting up a virtual card on your phone makes it easy to quickly share your basic information with new contacts.
As you’re getting ready for the convention, look through the faculty list. Circle the names of people you already know and need to reconnect with. Circle the names of faculty you would like to meet. Follow this same process for your fellow attendees. Usually, the list of attendees will be in the conference app.
For the people I’m already acquainted with, I reach out via text message or email to let them know I’m going to be at the conference. It’s as simple as, “I can’t wait to see you at ACEP! Let’s grab coffee or a drink so we can catch up.”