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    3 tips to use LinkedIn to advance your career

    After many years as the sole optometrist in a busy ophthalmology practice, I found myself feeling isolated. I had excelled in my career managing many complicated ocular disease cases and making a difference in the lives of the patients whom I served; however, I was lacking the collaboration with my peers I had experienced during my residency and years in school. 

    Being active in organized optometry with the local chapter of the American Optometric Association (AOA) seemed like a great place to get back in touch with my peers. For many years, I served on the board building relationships with optometrists in my community. It was great, and these relationships have helped me to build my personal brand, find a new career path, and develop a referral network for my dry eye center. I was still searching for more, searching for those in the field whom shared my passion for ocular surface disease to collaborate with, bounce new ideas off of, research with, and move our profession forward.

    Related: Linking in to optometry


    Moving to LinkedIn

    On the front porch of a good friend’s beach house, I listened as my husband and friend talked about their connections in business they had made with LinkedIn. How had I not had an account? Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram were something I did daily, but it never crossed my mind that an optometrist would benefit from LinkedIn unless she was on the job search. The first thing I did upon return from this vacation was to start a LinkedIn profile. 

    LinkedIn changed my career path. It has introduced me to leaders in our profession who have a passion and want to share it. Through LinkedIn, I have connected to industry leaders, giving me the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge technology before I read it in print. These new relationships allowed me to realize teaching and research are a possibility even in private practice.

    Next: Getting started

    Leslie E O’Dell, OD, FAAO
    Leslie E. O’Dell, OD, FAAO, is the director of Dry Eye Center of PA and Wheatlyn Eye Care in Manchester, PA. Dr. O’Dell lectures ...


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