I talk to my students, virtual interns, and colleagues nearly every day about how important it is to network, schmooze, and have booze (or other suitable beverages such as coffee or a soda) with colleagues, potential employers, or key connectors. A recent article in Business Week also stressed the importance of making connections:
"A large body of research shows that half or more of all jobs come through informal channels--connections to friends, families, and colleagues, according to Limited Network Connections and the Distribution of Wages, a study by economists Kenneth J. Arrow of Stanford and Ron Borzekowski of the Federal Reserve. What matters is a recommendation and personal assessment. Valuable recommendations come from what Stanford University sociologist Mark Granovetter calls "the strength of weak ties." Acquaintances (weak ties) have networks that go beyond a job seeker's immediate circle (strong ties). Yet the acquaintances know the applicant well enough to vouch for their character."
Get out there, people! A $2.00 coffee or a walk through the park with a potential suitor can net quite a bit of long-term results. Even better, reaching out to others on LinkedIn and sites like it can bring about similar results.