Networking Is Net Work
When I coach and mentor folk, one of the primary things we discuss is networking. I want to make sure that they're doing it. Unfortunately, in most cases they're not. And for those who are, they're not doing very much of it or very well with it.
I'm not going to beat the point of networking like a dead horse. There's tons of great stuff you can read about it (see links below to get started).
All I'll say is this: To network is to work your net.
That is, you've got to be willing to cast your net and then do the work to bring in your "catch". Cast it far. Cast it wide. Cast it often. And then...
Do it again and again. Put your net to work. Keep your net working.
Here's a quick list of some good info about networking.