Finding a “Wingman” for Your Conference Career Search

The HIMSS 2017 conference is coming up very quickly and it’s a great opportunity for those searching for a new healthcare IT career. With 50,000 or so attendees and 1300 or so exhibitors at the conference, there are lots of opportunities to network and advance your career. In fact, many companies attend HIMSS with the goal of finding great talent they can hire for their organization.

While at the core of any career search is networking, I’ve found having a “wingman” (I couldn’t find a gender neutral version of this, but a wingwoman works just as well and possibly better than a wingman) with you at a conference can really enhance your career search efforts. Job searches are often compared to dating and for good reason. Turns out that the wingman can play a similar role for you in your career search at a conference as a wingman might do in your search for your soulmate.

How does a wingman make a difference at a conference? If you’re searching for a job or looking for a new job, it’s often awkward to share this information with someone you meet. Plus, it can come off as really arrogant for you to describe all your amazing qualities, skills and expertise.

The same is not true for your wingman. When you meet someone new that could have a potential career opportunity for you, your wingman can easily introduce you and all your best attributes without it coming off as arrogant or desperate for a job.

I’ve seen this happen many times when I’ve introduced people that were searching for jobs to potential employers. It’s amazing how quickly it can open the door to a new discussion for that person. Third party recommendations are powerful. That’s what makes a wingman for your career so powerful.

Of course, the key is to have a good person that can properly introduce you. They have to know you well enough to explain why you’re special. Otherwise, the third party recommendation can fall flat. If you’ve been at these events you know what I’m talking about. You know the guy that introduces everyone they know as someone special and extraordinary. This works when each of the introductions you make is sincere and well-considered. However, they fall flat when they lack substance or the person fails half way through since they got a little too flowery.

If you’re going to HIMSS and you’re searching for a job, consider having a wingman or two who can help you in your job search efforts.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.