Talking to real people is more valuable than surfing the Internet when you are trying to determine a new career direction and actually get a job. If you owned a company who would you rather hire? Somebody who just emailed you from Albania with a rip-roaring resume, or someone close by a friend told you about and you already have reason to trust?
Pragmatic schmoozing is not quite what I am advocating here; making contacts and developing networks without any real concern for the people you are talking to. It is just that communicating with real human beings is better overall than endlessly staring at a computer screen and typing on a keyboard.
One of the best things you can do is to get to know people and be known by other people. Take a genuine interest in the lives of others and expect the same in return. You may be able to help them in one way or another, providing encouragement or support, etc, and they may be able to help you. As an aside, a vision for the development of mutually beneficial relationships is clearly connected to a Christian worldview.
How do you get to know people and who should you get to know? The answer depends on your general area of career interest. It would be a good idea to try to get to know some people who already do what you think you might like to do. I am interested in writing, and there are all sorts of writing conferences out there; conferences where writers and editors and agents and publishing types mix and mingle for the purpose of making contacts, and hopefully, just developing healthy human relationships at the same time.
If is a good idea to be careful, though, when you are talking to people in positions of power. Your intentions could be easily misunderstood. If you are interested in politics it might not be such a good idea to call up Prime Minister Stephen Harper and see if you can take him out to lunch. Talk to someone a little lower in the political realm, as it were, someone who won’t feel inclined to think that you just want something from them.
But having lots of career contacts will not do you any good if you do not have a specific service to offer. So be sure that you are developing your marketable skills while you are building relationships.