I recently sat on a panel for undergraduate health promotion students at the University of South Australia to provide some insight into health promotion careers and networking. Previous experience with students shows that it’s best to incorporate sessions on careers as part of lectures, tutorials or workshops to help ensure attendance.

There was also a subtle side message about the ongoing juggle between parenting and work responsibilities as the lecture was scheduled when I was on mum duty. Hence, bubs had to come with!

Baby's first university lecture.

Baby’s first university lecture.

baby's first lecture 2

I love hearing about people’s jobs and careers. It was also a great networking opportunity for panel members with several of us swapping business cards and stories.

Here are the questions and answers I provided on panel:

Provide 2 sentences about what your job is about…

My job is all about helping organisations and health promotion programs develop their social media strategy and provide professional development to their staff to use social media and technology to its full potential. My partner works with me and we also do custom app development.

How did you get your job?

I was working in the SA Public Sector which I loved, however my work unit was cut under the McCann review and there were no other opportunities. Basically, my perfect job didn’t exist so I decided to create it myself.

How does networking work for you?

As I am now a private practitioner, networking has never been more important. Most of my clients are from contacts I have had previously or through word of mouth.

I always try and help people when I can, I send out a free monthly newsletter with advice and information about using social media and technology in health promotion which is a form of networking.

What is your number one tip re networking?

Think about networking online in particular LinkedIn and Twitter which are great platforms for making professional connections. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and presents you in the best possible way.

LinkedIn is a fantastic form of networking. Employers WILL look at your profile. Social media platforms like LinkedIn provide a great opportunity to network if you are introverted. Networking does not mean going to every event and being bubbly and talkative. For me, quality networking is more about providing support, information and advice to advice.

What is your biggest career/jobs tip?

Take every opportunity to develop your skills and experience. A degree alone won’t cut it in a competitive job market.

Do any form of mentoring and work experience you can get your hands on.

Remember your interests and skills will keep changing. A career can last 40-50 years so expect it to change and for you to change.