Never forget the value of colleagues, and friends. Join a professional organization and take advantage of those contacts. This is reinforced by Ravi Raman, writing in The Muse. It's one of his 11 life lessons...
11 Life Lessons Every Professional Should Know (Before It’s Too Late)
10. Build a Broad Network of Friends
Networking events and superficial business deals aren’t all that useful. What’s crucial is building up a strong network of authentic friendships and relationships.
It’s no surprise that the best jobs and careers come not through applications and shuffling around resumes, but through trust between humans and word-of-mouth referrals.
For example, while I worked at my last company for almost 14 years, I had five distinct jobs. Each position change happened because someone was willing to bet that I could do the job better than anyone else. In most cases, I wasn’t the most qualified person (based on my resume), and yet I got the position anyway.
Challenge yourself to forge new bonds. Instead of networking, aspire to connect to people.