My network is everything to me. The people I have developed strong connections with are more valuable than VIN and Google combined. It has taken years to cultivate and will always be growing and changing; just as I am still growing and changing. My network is definitely not a bunch of clones who think like me, act like me, or that have had the same experiences as me. They are pre-vet students and those who retired after a 4-decade career and also those who have no desire to be in veterinary medicine at all. Some look a bit like me but most don’t.

Whether it’s a “life altering, freak out inducing” huge decision, or it’s something as simple as a question about a new drug that’s just come out. I turn to several in my network. I’ve had the luxury of having decades to build a network. That has been a long time to get to know people and learn to trust people. It’s also been time for those in my network to learn that they can trust me and that I’ll have their back. In that time, they’ve also learned that I don’t often have a good answer for them, but that I probably know someone who does.

If you wish you had a more robust network to interact with, here are some “pro-tips” from years of experience.

1. Networking should be looked at as a chronic condition, not an acute one.

    • Take your time in developing relationships for the long hall. You can’t expect a true connection immediately after an introduction by a friend at a conference.

2. The secret sauce of this whole thing is expanding the networks of those within your network.

    • Introduce your connections to others to add value to those lives involved.

3. Networking will be the most rewarding when the goal is to meet and get to know people with the intended desire to find ways to help others.

    • This shifts the focus from selfishness to generosity. Your reach and your draw will multiple when others sense this.

Do you want to expand your network? Apply for the 2024-2025 Board of Directors term here! Not able to commit to serving on the board? Stay in touch with us and find other ways to get involved!