Using your network to get ahead no longer is optional. With a rapidly changing business environment, less understanding of military service by corporate America, and the increasingly transactional nature of employment, each of us needs to take time to build, nurture, and leverage our personal and professional networks. We are luckier than most—there are millions of fellow service members and veterans waiting to help. And, thanks to the Internet, staying connected and in touch never has been easier.
Your "networked" colleagues get more than just annual holiday cards—they likely are the first to know about job openings, know who to call to get something done, and have heard the latest on a variety of topics. They are the ones who get requested "by name" from detailers. They are able to walk into commands and companies and establish personal relationships quickly and with ease. Frankly, they have a leg up on almost everyone else. Sure, it can be overdone—but with a bit of subtlety, a well-manicured network can make all the difference.