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December 22, 2022
By: Rachel McCrickard, LMFT
Networking is an essential element to achieving success in any professional field. As a newly licensed therapist, networking can help you make vital connections and cultivate a collection of professional contacts that will stand you in good stead in your career.
As you grow and change your interests as a therapist, it is also vital to update your network from time to time. Expanding your network can create a variety of opportunities such as:
Social networking events may seem daunting, but they can be very beneficial to you and the people you make connections with.
This is the biggest boon of networking for any professional. Making connections with other mental health professionals can help you grow your clientele. If other therapists know about you and your particular areas of experience and expertise, they can refer clients that come to them seeking assistance with issues that fit your area of expertise. Working together to grow your base and reach the people who can benefit from your specific skill set.
Making connections with other mental health professionals could mean being asked to join a research team on a study that aligns with your field of expertise. Or a connection could lead you to join a group practice with like-minded counselors. Perhaps you need advice on a significant career change you want to make. Reaching out to a professional who has already worked through something similar could be a great help.
Networking allows you to help others. You could share advice and skills with counselors who are experiencing something you have already navigated. In addition, if a potential client approaches you with an issue you don’t usually deal with, you could refer them to a colleague better equipped to address that particular concern.
Thanks to the advance of technology and the not-so-gentle shove of the global pandemic, ways of remote networking have grown significantly. From social networking platforms to online job fairs, there are many different ways for you to expand your professional network. The great thing about remote networking is that you are not limited by distance and time. You can connect with people anywhere in the world at any time of the day that suits you.
Slack is an incredibly valuable tool for individuals working remotely. Slack connects people from different professional fields and parts of the world to network and share ideas. There are several free professional Slack communities you can join to e-meet new people. Look for communities of individuals interested in similar topics to share work opportunities. You can also benefit from Slack communities by finding job postings on the job board. One Slack group for mental health professionals in the tech space includes www.therapistsintech.com.
Meetup is an online platform where individuals can connect over similar interests, such as art, books, hiking, or cooking. The original objective of this online tool was for people to share their hobbies, but it has grown to include many different interests and intentions. Join Meetup to find groups of local professionals and likeminded individuals. Once you have joined a group, you can connect with other members in the group and attend online and offline events. Take this group for licensed therapists in private practice in Philadelphia for example or this group for mental health professionals in Seattle.
When you are short on time or working remotely, in-person networking events may no longer be a feasible option for you. Look to industry-specific webinars and online networking events instead. Via the Slack communities you have joined and various other channels like Eventbrite, you can find out about and sign up to attend free professional webinars.
You don’t have to stick to webinars that are strictly for therapists, you could also explore other topics and meet people you may connect with in other ways. One of the best ways to get new clients is by word of mouth. You never know when someone you connect with might need a therapist or recommend you to a friend.
Zoom webinars have a ‘breakout room’ function that allows smaller groups of people to break away from the primary audience. You can use these breakout rooms for networking and making meaningful connections with peers and other professionals.
Networking is essential for freelancers and individuals who work remotely. Joining virtual webinars and online job fairs is a fantastic way to connect with people and get your name and skills out in the world.
To cement yourself in people’s minds and get the most from these virtual events, take initiative to introduce yourself and contribute meaningfully.
Reddit is a social news website for users to share and view links or text posts. Research influential leaders in the mental health world to see what events they are going to, people they are following, and topics they are discussing. To network with like-minded professionals, join a micro-community (AKA a subreddit) based on a specific subject you are interested in.
LinkedIn is a popular platform for connecting people for job searches and resume inquiries. To build your network, join groups of people in a related work field with similar passions and interests.
Facebook isn’t just for keeping up to date with far-flung friends. Join industry-specific Facebook groups for therapists in your area or specializing in your field of interest.
Using LinkedIn or Facebook, you can connect with graduates from your school or university. A shared history and fondness for the school’s teams and traditions may serve as a great starting point for forging new professional relationships. When you look for jobs on LinkedIn, you will notice that the site indicates that “# people from your school work here”. You can reach out to these people and politely ask for an inbound referral.
As a licensed mental health professional, you can feel isolated at times. When working on a particularly difficult case, you could benefit from input from therapists who have dealt with a similar issue. The Motivo Community is a community for therapists to connect and learn from each other. Reach out to other therapists for advice, watch informative panel discussions or join some of the Zoom-basedevents.
In the same way, pre-licensed therapists can use online resources for virtual clinical supervision, and practicing therapists can use similar resources to grow in their field and connect with other mental health professionals. Click here to join the Motivo Community and benefit from connections with like-minded therapists.
We’ll be with you every step of the way.