Optometry school can be very demanding. Optometry students are constantly bombarded with tests that evaluate your skills and knowledge. With the myriad of challenging tasks continuously looming above their head, it may not occur to them to dwell in the game of networking as well.
Networking is one of the crucial aspects of life that one needs to take charge of. It is networking that could take you from point A immediately to point D. The real reason why you do not find job advertisements for meatier jobs is that they are often filled through references.
As soon as a job vacancy becomes available someone would suggest their friend for the job, who probably ends up getting hired. So where did these two friends meet? There are chances that these two friends met in a random social setting but there is also a high chance that these friends met through the power of online networking.
But that is not only what networking is restricted to; you don’t necessarily meet with people to make friends with them. When you network you let the other person know your skills, capabilities, and availability, and they, in turn, would refer you to a job that is well suited for you.
So how do you network?
Linkedin is one of the primary and easiest ways of networking available. This is a networking application that allows you to build your entire profile online with the most minute of details. You will network by sending connection requests to people who are in the same field as you or who are HR recruiters. You can either chat with them or they might go through your profile, which is by now acting as your CV.
LinkedIn allows you to post articles, blogs, statuses, and videos, so basically whatever you post will give an impression of yourself to those visiting your profile. You can even get headhunted via LinkedIn by recruiting agencies.
Use Internships to your advantage
During 4th year you should be going to every local optometry event with your OD colleagues. Ask them to introduce you to other ODs in the area. Many may know of an OD looking to retire or hire a new graduate. Even if a job does not present itself, it might be a great way to find a mentor in optometry.
Take advantage of clubs on campus
Many optometry schools have professional clubs who invite speakers from the industry to share insights on practice management or certain career paths. Many corporate opticals will sponsor dinner events for optometry students. Many will go for the free dinner yet valuable connections can be made for a future job opportunity if they have your contact info and have met you at one of these events.