It's like camping..
It's hard to blaze a trail without a guide. How do you know how to move in your career if you've never done it before? My mom used to make me visit the local Jewish Home for The Aging when I was little. I got sick more on those days than any other time in my life. I didn't like the smell, the close-talking, the involuntary spitting (I would leave and look like I ran through a drizzle). The funny part was that when I listened, I learned. I learned more from those visits than I did in years of business school. When I embarked on my career; I was hungry for the stories and guidance like I got from my childhood visits.
I started calling industry pros and asking them if I could take them for a cup of coffee because I was doing a report on "Captains of Industry". I made this up but who could turn down a kid doing a school project? Many. But, I met with four different guys that were at the top of their game. These were guys that smelled like money and had a certain "I don't swear the small stuff" air about them. They handled their business. Each meeting became more interesting as I would detail obstacles at work versus my goals. These were my guys, my mentors and they guided me through the workplace wilderness. I never asked them for a job, a lead or anything but a small piece of their time (which was worth $$$). All of my mentors offered me gigs and all kinds of great advice over the years. Most of them are retired and we still meet. I find their take on life more fascinating now that they have settled down. They made the trail very clear for me and really set up my career.
This is one of the most valuable pieces of advice I have to offer. Try it, extend yourself a bit. At the very least you'll have some kick ass references to put on your resume.