Ryan May successfully used online networking to leapfrog his way to a better position.
"I was a communications manager for a defense contractor, but they were relocating so it turned into too much travel. I have two kids and my wife was pregnant," May says.
He looked through his LinkedIn.com contacts to see who he could reach out to about a job despite the troubled economy.
"I contacted my current boss about getting a position at Risdall McKinney Public Relations, and she said, 'Nope. We don't have any positions, but thanks for reaching out,'" he says.
"Then two months later, she shot me an e-mail saying, 'Hey let's have lunch.' So we did, and then had lunch again and then before you know it, I had a new job as vice president of public relations at this agency. It was a nice step up," says May.
The average salary for that position is between $80,000 and $115,000. Getting out and talking to people can really pay off.