Networking is one of the most important aspects of successfully doing science. Here are concrete steps:
- When you do anything, ask yourself if there could be a collaborator that brings in useful skills and improves the project. Contact them. Most will say yes because they like us or the topic.
- The people you know is of crucial importance to your career. Make networking a priority. Yes, it is more important to personally get to know someone good in your field than to see the talk.
- Be prepared. When going to a conference, make a list of the top 10 people you would like to meet. Email them before the conference to try to set up a meeting. Go see their posters. Meet them at talks.
- Be bold. Feel free to ask the interesting people to have lunch/dinner/breakfast/Karaoke. Yes it is fine to sit at the table of the big shots.
- Socialize within the group. In Chicago.