Sounds great. But how do you actually build a network?
Stretch Your Comfort Zone
First, make sure your approach doesn’t feel “artificial,” Misner said. “A lot of people, when they go to some kind of networking environment, they feel like they need a shower afterward and think, ‘Ick, I don’t like that,’” he added. “The best way to become an effective networker is to go to networking events with the idea of being willing to help people, and really believe in that and practice that. I’ve been doing this a long time, and where I see it done wrong is when people use face-to-face networking as a cold-calling opportunity.”
Lisa Ishii, MD, MHS, professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and chief quality officer at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and a member of ENTtoday’s editorial advisory board, said it’s important to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. “It does require someone to stretch beyond their comfort zone,” she added. “But that’s absolutely what they should do. You can travel to national meetings to do that. You can, now … make connections through social media. You can become part of forums with people who are not part of your typical group. There are so many opportunities now.