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665f31332aae489f72d127da Networking Career Ladder

The ultimate investment: Strategies for investing in yourself and your career

June 4, 2024
Moving your career forward takes some planning on your part. But the people you'll meet and knowledge you'll gain will make it all worthwhile.

During the last few years, we’ve found that networking is the true secret to exponential career growth. Networking allows you to form genuine connections with people from all different avenues of dentistry. It’s in these relationships that we begin to grow. We learn new things, we find mentors, and we become mentors.

So, just start networking! Have conversations with those around you. There are plenty of platforms available to gain knowledge and have conversations. LinkedIn is an excellent professional support platform that allows you to learn and make incredible connections in the industry. Once you make connections, you must foster the relationships, enable them to grow, and give as much as you receive. Amazing things can happen when you surround yourself with like-minded people who want to support you. 

When it comes to networking at events such as conferences, have a strategic plan and a compelling personal pitch. Make the most out of your opportunities

Map out your targets: Before the event, identify and research individuals or companies you want to connect with. Consider professionals who align with your career goals or those whose expertise you admire. By having a clear list of targets, you can make the most of your time at the event and ensure meaningful conversations.

Create your personal pitch: A personal pitch is a concise introduction that highlights who you are, your experience, expertise, and what you hope to accomplish with the connection. 

How to create your pitch

Who you are: Start by introducing yourself and your current role or position.

Your experience: Briefly mention your relevant experience or accomplishments in the dental field.

Your expertise: Highlight your areas of expertise or interests in dentistry, showcasing what sets you apart.

Your goals: Clearly state what you hope to achieve with the connection, whether it's seeking advice, mentorship, collaboration, or career opportunities.

Your next steps: Figure out how you'd like to continue the conversation, whether it's scheduling a follow-up meeting, exchanging contact information, or connecting on LinkedIn.

Practice your pitch: Take some time to rehearse your personal pitch to ensure clarity and confidence. Practice in front of a mirror or with a friend until you feel comfortable with your delivery.

Steps during the event

Engage in conversations: Approach your targeted individuals and initiate conversations using your personal pitch as a conversation starter. Be genuine, attentive, and open to learning from others. Authenticity is key!

Follow up: After the event, don't forget to follow up with the connections you've made. We encourage you to send a personalized message expressing gratitude for the conversation and reiterate your interest in continuing the dialogue.

Ask how you can help them: Be sure to include any specific action items or next steps discussed during your interaction.

By following these actionable steps, you'll be well-equipped to navigate networking events and make meaningful connections that can propel your career forward. We learned the value of these strategies firsthand by attending the 2022 RDH Evolution immediately preceding Under One Roof. These events provided us with invaluable insights and networking opportunities, ultimately shaping our approach to professional growth and development. 

How networking helps you grow in your career

It builds your tribe: Networking allows you to build a tribe of like-minded people in the dental world. It allows you to learn from others' experiences, expertise, and insights. By connecting with people who have achieved success in the industry, you can gain valuable knowledge, advice, and mentorship that can help you develop new skills and grow professionally.

It builds your brand: It enables you to build your brand, who you are, and what you want to share. By actively participating in networking events, conferences, and online communities, you can build a reputation as a knowledgeable and reliable professional. This visibility can lead to promotions, speaking engagements, and leadership roles, ultimately helping you advance in your career.

It offers opportunities: When you build your tribe and brand, you will learn about opportunities you didn't even know were available. The more you network, the more opportunities will open to you. 

We like to tell people that they’ll get 1% better every day because we truly believe it. If you just implement habits that will help you network, amazing things will happen. Small wins over time will equal large gains. It's your turn to leverage these strategies and unlock your highest potential through networking. Your future success awaits. We look forward to watching you shine!

About the Author

Laura Bettencourt, BSDH, RDH

Laura Bettencourt, BSDH, RDH, has more than 15 years of clinical experience. A mother, wife, writer, speaker, RDH, and cofounder of L’Diamante Dental Coaching, she excels in leadership, compliance, hygiene excellence, and periodontal protocols. Laura is dedicated to inspiring growth, empowering clients with confidence and clarity. Committed to education and mentorship, she instills a positive attitude in all aspects of life. Contact her at [email protected].

About the Author

Danielle Avila, BSDH, RDH

Danielle Avila, BSDH, RDH, is a leader who empowers hygienists. With more than 15 years of dental experience, she is a clinical hygienist, writer, and speaker. Her expertise is in team harmony and boosting confidence. As a career coach, Danielle helps hygienists reignite their passion and achieve work-life harmony. She aims for all hygienists to thrive and shine. Contact her at [email protected].