In Hanseatic times, people called their network “Vrunde” (friends), which included friends, family and even business partners. The “Vrunde” were the circle within which trust prevailed and people helped each other with everything. So people today who want more than the small piece of the pie in their lives and who have an unconventional concept of life would do well not to strive for professional contacts with many people, but rather to build holistic ties to a smaller group of “Vrunden” who can help you get ahead in all areas of life, who you can count on in all situations, productive friendships for whom there is no end of work.
In this respect, there is no contradiction between a relaxed private life with casual friendships and a systematically planned professional network of relationships – both can coexist and exist together. The only important thing is not to forget to enjoy time with your friends – and especially to talk to them about work and professional plans – despite all your professional preoccupations. You should use the potential of your circle of friends for more than just barbecues or organising a move.
Of course, there is such a thing as an “inner circle” of close friends and family members whom you trust blindly and who stand by you unconditionally, while other members of your relationship network are more likely to belong to your extended lobby circle.