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Master Your Networking Skills at the Forum

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Bonnie Siegel, Independent Career Consultant

The CHIME CIO 2017 Fall Forum is a premier event for health system CIOs and other leaders to network, learn and expand their connections to other healthcare professionals. If you are seeking a new opportunity, the Fall Forum offers an abundance of key contacts to help you build a bridge to your next career move.  Let me assist you with some key tips on how to get the most out of this superb event.

First impressions

We all know that first impressions are important when you first meet someone. A person’s appearance, attire, posture, and overall look are things we see and judge within seconds of meeting them. Your first encounter with other healthcare professionals attending the Forum may even be at the airport, baggage claim area or ride to the hotel. If you recognize someone, be sure to introduce yourself and offer your business card. Shaking hands and making eye contact go a long way in establishing a connection. During the Forum, there will be an abundance of occasions to project a winning first impression, which could lead to a job offer.

Work the room

The Forum offers many social and food events, so don’t stand alone at the door; that can be a mistake. Move into the room, go to the bar or buffet table, and start socializing. Casually strike up a conversation, and others will appreciate it. Avoid small talk. Instead, ask, “What key projects are you working on?” Or even start with, “Working on anything exciting?” Getting past the initial meeting will allow you to relax and enjoy the rest of the event. Be yourself, laugh, and be positive.

Action steps

Attend the keynote addresses and sign up for many of the abundant track education sessions and Foundation Firm Focus Groups. Sit with people you do not know and engage in conversations and make new friends. Share common projects and future plans and be sure to get business cards. Offer to connect, and in return, they may offer to connect you with someone they know. And finally, leave people with a great impression of you.

Good luck, and enjoy a successful Forum!

Bonnie Siegel is an independent career consultant, with over thirty years’ experience in healthcare information technology as an executive recruiter and HIT market research professional. 

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