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Here is an interesting article on how professionals who have trouble breaking through a career impasse should focus on diversifying their personal network to include people outside of their profession. The article, "How to break through a career impasse" by Herminia Ibarra describes how many professionals have great and large operational networks that consist of mostly internal contacts. They find "these networks very useful for exchanging job-related information, getting things done within their role as historically defined, and finding good people to staff their teams. But, these kinds of operational networks also keep people stuck where they are: they stop short of preparing people for a different, future role because they do not reach outside the domain the person is trying to grow beyond."
It makes perfect sense really. If your network consists mostly of lawyers and other professionals, and you decide you want to try acting, your network is going to be of little help in identifying opportunities to learn and eventually employment. That is why if you are considering a career move, you may want to consider expanding your network to people who are part of the industry you are considering. This is where social media comes in very handy as it allows you to do that from your own desk.
What are other thoughts on this? How else can you break through a career impasse?
Think you have to combine both your social networking with your in person networking. Its a great way to merge the two and turn in person networks into social networks that expand your social graph and hence your opportunities.