TJ6: Designing an Impactful Career Through Strategic Networking 049

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About Networking and Relationships

This sixth solo episode of the Transition Journey (TJ) series has as a goal for you to have a guide to the relationships, networking, and communities you’re cultivating and why these are important to your career and life direction, and to be able to start building these relationships with the intention that best lines with your career and life. These practices have helped guests and they may be helpful to you.

At the heart of career growth lies the ability to nurture connections through networking with those who have already carved a path similar to the one you aspire to walk. We talk about the importance of aligning with two distinct groups: seasoned professionals who have successfully transitioned into the desired roles, and peers who are embarking on a similar journey. Tanner’s own experiences demonstrate how these connections have opened doors to valuable insights and opportunities that otherwise may have remained inaccessible.

We also share actionable steps you can take to insert yourself into networking groups that resonate with your career aspirations. We focus on cold messaging as a tool for career advancement, underscoring that taking such bold initiatives often yields unexpected and rewarding outcomes. And at the end, we have a call to action for rehab private practice owners. Tanner announces an upcoming initiative that seeks to leverage the collective strength of intentional networking. The goal is to form a supportive networking group that helps each other with common business challenges, offering a space for mutual support and accountability.

The podcast ultimately serves as an essential guide for rehab professionals who are intent on designing their careers with purpose and precision. It lays out a roadmap for cultivating professional networking groups and embedding oneself within a community that supports career advancement. Are you ready to enhance your career through strategic networking and supportive relationships? With practical advice and an invitation to join Tanner’s networking group, the episode is a must-listen for those ready to elevate their career transition to new heights.

Resources Networking and Relationships


Intro 00:01

Welcome to the Rehab Rebels podcast. Are you a rehab professional ready to transition to an alternative career? Hear inspiring stories from others just like you and learn the best ways to bridge your career gap. This podcast has you covered. Now here’s your host, doctor of physical therapy and podcaster, Tanner Welsh. 

Tanner Welsch 00:21

Welcome back to another Rehab Rebels episode. This is the final episode, part six of the Transition Journey mini-series, where we’re exploring cultivating healthy relationships and networks. If you haven’t yet listened to the previous episodes, go back to Transition Journey 1 episode which is episode 40, and go through them in order. They’ll build on each other and it’ll make more sense. So I’m gonna be honest with you. I’ve been dragging my feet on this episode. This is the last episode, but it actually is one of the more important ones. The reason why I’ve been dragging my feet is I am working on a project that I’ve been thinking about for a long time and wanted to finalize some things with that before doing this episode, and the project is for rehab private practice owners. So if you’re a rehab private practice owner, be sure to listen clear to the end and I’ll talk more about what that project is that I am working on. The last episode, we talked about nurturing the relationship with yourself, but with this episode, we’re talking about nurturing relationships with others. So the goal is for you to have a guide to the relationships, networks and communities you’re cultivating and why these are important to your career and life direction, and to be able to start building these relationships with the intention that best lines with your career and life. These practices have helped guests and they may be helpful to you. So in this episode I’m going to outline the different group types and sharing some examples, provide links and the show notes to groups that may be of interest to you and share some stories of my experiences with networking and group formation. And I think, a quote that’s great for this episode. I think we’ve all heard it at least once in our lives. It’s been said over and over again, but you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. So with that, let’s get into this. 


The groups that are aligning with where you are and where you want to go. There’s really two main groups and there’s a little bit of a third subgroup, but the first two groups are we’ll start with. The first one is a group of people who have made the transition to where you want to go. They’re already there and you want to get there. Some examples of that we can look at the non-traditional sense. You can look at a data analyst, a project manager, occupational therapist, a product manager, speech path, for example, utilization review, health tech, med tech, business designer any and all that. They are in those occupations that you want to get to. Some other examples private practice, owner groups, speech path, cash-based practices, concierge practices, etc. They are already where you want to go. 


And the second group is of people who are in the same transition phase as you, so they aren’t quite there in the same place as the first group members are. They are in the same place that you are. You’re wanting to get there and you’re in this transition phase, or maybe even this pre-transition phase, and these are people that are in your tribe. They want to transition to the same or similar field as you and you can think of them as a sparring partner or partners who you can learn from them and they can learn from you. You’re all sharing your knowledge and experiences to get where you want to go, and both of these groups are valuable. I think both are important to getting where you want to go. 


It definitely helps and can be actually harder to get into some of the first groups because if you’re not there or you haven’t actually crossed over, they may be difficult to enter, depending on where you’re finding these groups at. However, it’s a lot easier to get into groups that are in the same life phase or career phase as you and it’s also easier to start these groups. So maybe you’re having trouble finding people who are in the same phase as you and as the same transition journey as you. Well, it’s easy to reach out to people who may be in the same phase and are in the same phase and create your own groups on the side. If you guys are willing to meet once a week or once every two weeks and get together and share what you found and what’s worked, and what hasn’t worked, that’s really your best bet. Some of these other groups may require checklists or requirements for you to join them, but if you go out and you can discover people who are in similar group phases as you and reach out to them and create those groups, there’s a lot of value to that. 


And then the third subgroup is for those wanting to work for someone else, and that is searching for companies you want to work for and then finding employees that work there and sending them cold emails inquiring about what they do, even going as far as how you can maybe even help them, which involves you being creative and creating a role for you at the business that doesn’t exist, but you’re creative and you present how this role may benefit the company. So that’s the third option. If you’re looking to work in a non-traditional or work for a non-traditional business rather, and connecting and networking with employees there and some of my I’ve done some research on, experiment with this is actually typing in whatever it is you’re wanting to do and then putting your profession after that so project manager, occupational therapist and it’ll show a list on Google and oftentimes there’s actually LinkedIn accounts on there of a former PT or maybe even a current PT who is a project manager. And there’s a great way to reach out to people and communicate and network and talk to them and even see the companies that they are working for and if that would be a good fit for you. Or you can do a data analyst, physical therapist or utilization review, speech path, whatever Just experimenting and seeing what pops up on that first page or first couple pages of Google and seeing if there’s either companies that you’re looking for or people that are in those roles already. 


And the best thing to do is just reach out to them, share your interests, talk with them about their roles. 


Doing these cold messages and emails are definitely vital for gathering information and networking, and I think, too, is it’s really important to be clear on what you’re looking for and what your role is and your interests are. 


Otherwise, it’s pretty easy to become overwhelmed and waste a lot of time applying to jobs, or maybe there are so many groups out there of what you’re wanting to do, really, trying to find those that best align with you, the ones that you resonate with most, and just being selective with those groups and intentional, so your time’s not wasted and you already got a little bit of a feel and or vibe with that group and the intention of what you’re wanting to get out of it and where you’re going forwards with the group. 


Another question you might be asking is well, where can you find these groups? And there are many places to find them. You can find them on social media pages, email lists, LinkedIn groups, job sites, job boards, and pretty much any aspect of the internet you can look into and search for these groups, and we’ll give some more examples here in a little bit and even provide some links to groups that are already established would be easy for you to click on in the show notes. So be sure to go to the show notes to have the links to these groups. 


So yeah, and like I said, experimenting with Google searches and seeing not just the companies that pop up but the people that popped up and reach out to them directly. A lot of people are actually pretty open to talking and what’s the worst thing that can happen, right? If they’re not, they just won’t send you an email back or a message back. So what do you got to lose? So let’s talk a little bit about some of my personal stories here. The first one that I think is awesome that I want to lead with is my connection with Meredith Caston. She is the nonclinical PT owner. Actually, it took me one and a half to two years to actually connect with Meredith and I think I initially reached out before it actually created the podcast and then I ended up reaching out, you know, maybe two or three other times after it started and just started so a couple years ago and we finally connected was a bit intimidating but a great experience. She turned out to be just a really down-to-earth, genuine person, and so is her husband, Nick, and they run. They run the nonclinical PD together and it’s pretty awesome. So really, from those cold messages, if I wouldn’t have done it, there’s no way I would have A) established a relationship with Meredith and B) really learned about her, where she’s at and her having an opportunity to learn about me as well and have that initial connection, and she has provided some good other connections and networks to actually connect with and those have been beneficial and helpful too. So you never really know where a cold call or a cold message is going to go and, like I said, the worst that can happen is it doesn’t go anywhere. Best case scenario, there’s something that mutually comes out of the message and I’ll give you another example, and that is the mastermind that I’m in that have been in since March. April 2020 was in a group course through Pat Flynn called Smart from scratch, and in one of the I think it might have been in his circle group or one of his online Facebook groups. Somebody sent him a message just out in the middle thing was a Facebook post and just asked if anybody be interested in and being in a group basically to work through this course together, and I was sure you know there was ended up being about three or four of us and, long story short, all of us about one are still together and the group’s still going on and it’s just really provided a lot of value, and I didn’t even send that cold message out to everybody, but I did act on it and it’s proven to be very beneficial. I think it just goes to show that you never know what’s gonna come from these and what’s the worst that can happen. So here’s another example that I wanted to share with you guys, and this reflects back on some of the prior Episodes of the transition journey mini-series and reflecting on where you are, how you want to spend your time, who you want to spend your time with. But the question that you can ask is well, what about the groups? Am I currently in or how are they currently serving me? Is my time best used in those groups? 


So I live out here in currently Midwest Kansas and grew up in Midwest Kansas. There’s not a lot to do out here, so often what happens is on the weekends. People end up, you know, drinking and carrying on, and I can remember growing up. There’s often groups of people that would come together on the weekends and Drinking and being having a good time, and you know, just talking. Sometimes there would be things that would come up about, you know, different ideas or potential businesses or services, and Nothing ever actually transpired. Nothing actually went and happened past that initial Discussion. You know it was all really just a bunch of talk and, to be fair, I Grew up with this habit as well and spending my weekends drinking. Back when I was drinking I’m sober now but really, looking back, is man, that time that I spent doing that was just not Super beneficial for me personally. No, no judgment on anybody that does drink or any of that stuff, you know, but for me personally, it’s the best decision that I’ve ever made is being sober. I’ve gained a lot more, I think, just clarity and a little bit more control and just better time spent with my life in general. To get back to the point, there may be some things that are currently going on in your life that may not be serving you the best, and so it’s really trying to get creative and surround yourself with people who either are wanting to make the same transition as you or have already made the same transition as you, and Also how you can benefit them and they can benefit you a mutual shared experience and you guys get each other and you support each other. I, I think that’s really the goal and, like I said at the beginning of this episode is you are the average of the five people you spend the most of your time with, so something to keep in mind. 


So let’s get into the good stuff, the list of possible good communities to join here. A great one that Meredith Castin, with a non Clinical PT, has. There’s a non-clinical networking and jobs for rehab professionals and for clinic owners and business owners. There are several groups that I think would be great to join. One of them score SCORE. Another one is B as in boy and as a Nancy, I as an Irene called the business network international. Another one I just found out about that actually originated in Kansas City is the Well Women Initiative and it’s a group of health and allied health professionals all women and they build their relationship around Providing holistic health care pretty cool. I some other groups you know alternative healthcare groups, cash-based PT OT SLP groups or PT OT SLP entrepreneur groups. So be sure to head over to the show notes page to check out the links for those groups and Golden nugget here that I think is important to mention, that I’ve realized and recognized from a lot of the guests before we get into this project that I’ve been working on and wanting to share with rehab private practice owners is the jobs I have heard alternative career and non-traditional career guests get interviews for and ultimately land jobs for are the ones they made personal connections with by making themselves part of their internal network for these Companies, and they did that through cold emails and cold messages. 


It sounds crazy, it’s intimidating but, like I said, what’s the worst that can happen? And if you’re looking to really make this jump, I would go as far as to say a 99% of this was required for them to actually get an interview and then also land the job. But they wouldn’t have gotten it if they didn’t actually do these cold emails to employees who worked at the company they wanted to be hired at. They’ve even said they send a lot of different resumes and applied a lot of different jobs and they didn’t get him. But the ones that they actually sent these cold emails to and were able to network and make a connection with some of the employees. That’s what actually ultimately landed them the position. So little golden nugget there. That’s what you are looking to do. 


A good resource that I want to mention too to round out this transition journey mini-series is a book, or an audiobook is Called “Designing your life: how to build a well-lived, joyful life” and it’s by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. I thought that was really cool, really experimental and, just from a design perspective, a unique take on how to design your life. Okay. Finally, our call to action for rehab private practice owners. So here’s the scoop I’m looking to put together a group of four to seven like-minded rehab Private practice owners who are looking for support and accountability and leveling up their business, starting the first week of April, okay, and the goal is to assemble a group that gets it and creating a space that Addresses challenges that private practice owners face with their businesses but don’t often have a place to talk about these challenges. Some potential topics that might be discussed are work-life balance you know how do you balance growing the business with family life. Managing employees I’m looking to hire my first employee, but I have never done this before. What recommendations do you have? Marketing you know what are marketing strategies that you have found effective for your business? Streamlining processes you know what are the best payroll apps to make tax deductions and direct deposit for an employee easy? And Any rehab business topic that you would like to ask the group. 


I’ll lead and facilitate the calls and structure them, and here is the general overview of how it’ll work. We’ll meet every week for one hour. We’ll start off with check-in, sharing wins and any specific challenges from the past week. Then the bulk of each call will be 45, 40, 45 minutes dedicated to one member’s hot seat, which will rotate each week, where the member for that week gets to bring a challenge they are currently working on with their business to get feedback and ideas from the group. Then we’ll wrap up by setting intentions and goals for the following week, which we’ll check in at the start of the next call. This group is 100% free to join. 


I’m testing it out as something I might offer as a paid product in the future, but before I do that, I want to offer this as a three-month trial run with a great group the first time around, to learn best how to make it most valuable for them, which will help me understand if this is something that others might be willing to pay for in the future. So if this sounds like something that would be helpful to you or you are interested in, send me a direct message, you can find me on Instagram Rehab Rebels podcast. You can send me a direct message there or you can email me. My email is Tanner at and I would love to talk with you, see if you’re a good fit and, if you are, get you signed up. All right, I hope this episode was helpful and this transition journey mini-series was helpful to you. Thank you for listening and be sure to come back and check out the next episode. Take care. 

Outro 17:56

Thank you for listening to the Rehab Rebels podcast. If this podcast was useful, make sure to hit that subscribe button and leave a review. For more information about transitioning to alternative careers, head to rehab rebels dot org or follow us on Instagram at rehab rebels podcast. We’ll see you next time. 

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