It’s inefficient to walk into a cocktail party or an industry event and start mingling with random people. My suggestion? Throw away every business card tucked away in your wallet and work social-media connections instead. You can get in touch with important people who interest you, whether they’re in your industry or not. Retweet messages of theirs, ask them questions, and strike up online relationships. From there, it can be easy to get them to meet you for lunch or coffee—where you’ll connect in a real, personal way that will ultimately help your career.
Penelope Trunk is an entrepreneur, a blogger, and the author of Brazen Careerist ($26, amazon.com).