Even Introverts Can Succeed at Networking

Networking can be hard if a) you are super-busy and b) extremely shy or introverted. But even busy introverts can build up their "know, like and trust" factor.

When asked about my circuitous physician career and how I have made it happen, I can probably best describe my "strategy" as "opportunistic."

What I really mean is that I have always come up short on having a 10-year career plan (it must be the Aquarian in me who rebels against too much structure), and instead have followed my nose and instincts for opportunities that have presented themselves over the years. And no, those opportunities are not just the result of sheer good fortune, although I do feel fortunate.

They have arisen as an outgrowth of my ongoing efforts to build and maintain a network of friends and acquaintances. It helps that I was raised to be sociable and friendly, despite a tendency to shyness inherited from my reclusive engineer dad

it was a cultural expectation to show interest and hospitality.

I recognize how hard networking can be if: a) you are super-busy and b) extremely shy or introverted. But I'm here to argue that your success in your medical practice, your nonclinical business or your physician executive or administrative career is tightly linked to your ability to build up your "know, like and trust" factor.

A recent article on the Harvard Business Review blog, "An Introvert's Guide to Networking" reminded me of the tips I previously put together to help physicians create lasting, valuable networking relationships.

The article author describes her feelings this way:

“While I wanted to attend the party, as an introvert I usually avoided these types of events because they made me uncomfortable. Knowing there would be a lot of senior executives at this party made me even more fearful.”

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