Remember that game, “Hungry Hungry Hippos”? It’s simple – s/he who collects the most marbles, wins. If you want to maximize your career opportunities, you must play this game well. How do you win? You must pocket as many network connections (marbles) as possible. 80% of jobs are found through networking (not online job boards). The more people you connect with, the more people you’ll connect with as networking has a compounding effect. This leads to opportunities.

It’s not just about talking with people- you must connect with them. Be inquisitive, learn about them personally and professionally. Find connection points between the two of you. Once people genuinely like you, they are more apt to help you. And, don’t forget to concisely communicate your brand (or calling card, value proposition, what you’re known for). Once they know your value (turnaround king, patient satisfaction guru, etc.) they can help connect you with organizations who have these needs.

Once you pocket these connections, take care of them. Help them every chance you get- don’t always make it about you. Help them solve problems, introduce them to others, listen, and always follow up.

Be like the hippo – pocket network connections and take care of them!

Author: Greg Nielsen

Since starting his healthcare career in 1997, Greg Nielsen has served as the CEO of hospitals in Ohio, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Greg is known for bringing energy and new life into organizations by inspiring others around a vision and executing strategies to achieve that vision. Greg has a passion for helping individuals and organizations achieve their true potential. He believes this is best accomplished by carefully and intentionally feeding your mind, body and spirit on a daily basis. Greg earned a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and a master’s in healthcare administration degree from the University of Minnesota. Greg is married and has three children. Greg enjoys staying physically active and hunting pheasants with his lab, Ashe, when he’s not working or spending time with his family. When Greg was in transition and working with Wiederhold & Associates, he executed his transition at the highest level and started the journey with the right amount of passion, attitude and confidence. Greg has graciously offered to speak with all our transition clients as they enter this extremely important journey and share his successful experience as encouragement.