Top 5 Networking strategies in the clinical Research Industry

According to the Association of Clinical Research Professionals webinars on career development, networking, research, and strategic tenacity were identified as the three key elements professionals need to thrive in the clinical research field. No matter your background, there is a place for you in the clinical research industry and as a professional, you can quickly advance as either a physician or any other health care profession by strategically building and maintaining a network of like-minded colleagues and peers.

In addition to what you do, whom do you know? The people in your circle have a great impact on your career and can help new doors in the field of clinical research.

According to Kenneth B. Christopher, MD, who is an assistant program director of the internal medicine Residency Training Program at the Brigham Women’s Hospital, he notes that 99 percent of the people who have published clinical research didn’t do the research by themselves but had to rely on others for research.

Networking will need you to go out of your comfort zones and put your neck out there to know people who can be helpful in your career. This might not be the time to not talk to strangers.

To optimize your networking efforts and reach career goals, you can start with;

Knowing Your Audience

Once you are in a conference, see the room. And know who is who, identify the person you want to meet, and look around for a person to introduce you to that person. In a networking environment, there are three groups of people; the Hubs, the Gatekeepers, and the Pulse Takers. The hubs are those individuals who are connected to the many influencers and can easily pass information to their groups.

The gatekeepers are those individuals at the intersections of the different areas of expertise who can help you access the people you want to meet. Think of the personal assistant to a famous researcher. Once you have known whom you want to meet, pursue the gatekeepers to assist you to meet the person you want to know.

Pulse takers on the other hand are usually influencers within networks who can also be very important if you get to know them. The social butterflies who know everyone.

Strike a conversation

When networking, take your time to offer adequate information to the people you are speaking with so that they can assess if you have what they need. Actually, start by listening first to the people you are interacting with and let them tell you what they are working on and trying to achieve in the research field, once you have deep dive them and made them feel understood, you can then pitch your ideas and show them how you can be of great help or how you can collaborate and empower each other.

In Dale Carnegie’s book on how to win friends and influence people, he advises that to sell best, it would be great if you listen first to the other person’s interests, desires, ambitions, and goals and once you have clearly understood these, so can you propose your offer and explain how your offer will add value to the other person and help them reach their objective.

It is how you build trust.

When many people communicate, they make it all about themselves and rarely take time to get into the mind of the other person. Avoid that mistake in networking.

Handle the Transitions Perfectly

When you are moving from one contact to the next, you want to do it gracefully. You don’t want an awkward ending to conversations and you don’t want to end conversations too early. Use eye contact as you exit a conversation and a warm body language. Make the person you are in communication with feel like they genuinely connected with you. You can even pat them on the shoulder as a sign of approval.  You only achieve this delicate balance by practicing conversations with many people.

Use Social Media to Network

You can easily join groups of professionals in the clinical research world through platforms like LinkedIn and share what you are working on with them. Don’t post opinions or politics, instead share the latest research you are conducting with them.

Use Online Platforms

Apart from social media, clinical researchers can use Zoom meetings, and Google meetings to engage with other researchers around the world. Once you have joined organizations like the Association of clinical research professionals, you can set up webinars and share knowledge and resources. You can also set up informational interviews with professionals you have found on online platforms like LinkedIn or even industry events.

This is a way of finding out if what they are working on can be something interesting to you. Remember that in networking, you ought to be more interested in listening to what the other person is doing as opposed to what you are doing and try to align your goals together.

To new connections!

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