I know that I will change careers many times in my life just as you will. One major thing that has changed for me & you is that my next job will not be determined by the health care that I can receive. You can now follow your dreams with out the extra concerns!
I have continued to follow my interests in other ways besides my career. You should do the same to keep narrowing down on your talents and spreading the word about what you can offer as a gerontologist.
A few ways I network:
I wrote my thesis on an interest of mine (that made it a lot more fun to complete)
Check it out on a website that I like to chat and see what is new in the field
Creating Aging Friendly Communities .
I also write anything I can related to aging in place, universal design, livable communities, interior design, architecture, products and of course relate it to gerontology. You have to put effort into networking and that does not stop because you have a job.
Another way I have tapped into my interest is through a blog called Homebody.
It is a blog that shows people how they can have stylish and functional homes. You really need to check it out.
Here is a brief report I co authored:
Scripps Gerontology Center Brief Report
Livable Communities: Helping Older Ohians Live Independent and Fulfilling Lives
Below is an article in the local paper about my thesis project
I am also a member of Linkedin. This web based networking is like the career related facebook where you post your resume and interests.
At this time I can not afford to attend conferences with out the student rate so
I am always looking for new ways to network. If you have any ideas please let me know!
Note: Always be true to yourself and treat people the way you want to be treated
Send a thank you note (not an email or text but a hard copy card)to each person that has helped you along your journey and your kindness will be repaid in untold ways in the future.