There are now more than one million (say it in a "Dr. Evil" voice) people who are two or fewer steps away from me on LinkedIn. My 125 immediate connections are for the most part people I actually know and have worked with. Some are people I've met once or talked to on the phone. There are a few strangers who invited me to connect and I agreed because we have something in common (industry, geography, etc.). Then there's my husband, my sister, and my cousin.
I know I've blogged about this before, but I couldn't resist reiterating the importance of leveraging online networking tools such as this one. Do it now so that your connections will be in place when you need them down the road. Plus, it's just fun seeing what all your old friends and coworkers are doing.
I can justify spending some work time on LinkedIn because I'm about to publish a book on this very topic. Seven Days to Online Networking is all about using LinkedIn, blogs, webfolios, and other Web 2.0 tools to enhance and advance your career. It's a short and sweet introduction to the topic that will get you up to speed in no time.