Recently I read a mystery novel set in Denver, Colorado; my current home. In the book, there is a main character that is attempting to solve a mystery. She's new to it, but you can already see this will be her new added vocation; p.s. I spoke to the author and there will be a new installment in January 2023. However, when reading the book there is a small subsequent character, a young boy named Eddie. He doesn't have a lot of lines and he seems to just be "a boy", but somehow as you read you are wanting glimpses of him and hoping the best for him. This is how networking works, or should work.
You will meet people, subsequent characters in your quest to reach your career goals. They won't be in a high position or even have a title. Their appearance and presentation of themselves maybe far less than those you usually meet. However, there is something about the encounter that lingers with you. Something that says to you "keep in touch", so you do. Never understanding or even thinking that this person, small and lack luster in skills, may be just the piece your career journey needs to keep going; YES YOU MUST Read the Book.
People view networking as a "give and get" relationship, but there is so much more to it. A true networking relationship is a connection. A connection that will stay with you along your career journey and sometimes beyond. It will facilitate a place to have a conversation without envy or competition. It can assist in mapping out your next steps without fear or worry about what it may take from them. This is where you root for "Eddie". You want so much for this person, not because it will get anything for you but just because it was an easy place to be as you travel towards your goals.