For me, every great opportunity I have had in my life has been the result of networking. Whether business-oriented, community-oriented, or purely social in nature, the chance to expand my horizons, to try something new, to advance my career, to make new friends, to help others… it all happened due to connections.
When you are presented with opportunities, you must quickly assess their value and, when appropriate, leverage those opportunities to go after what you want.
And, just as you gain access to opportunities through networking, you must also offer opportunities to others. Bring others along with you. Give them a chance, too. When you are providing assistance to others, you will be building social capital that will lead to opportunities for you down the road.
It is networking that connects us all – it is networking that expands our worldview and creates opportunities for us all. You may not win every opportunity that you go after; the timing may be off; you will surely face competition… but as you seek out connections, expect to gain access to opportunities you may never have expected.