No one makes it on their own. Whether you’re a carpenter or a CEO, you likely got where you are because of connections, and if career experts tend to harp on the word “networking,” it’s only because it’s so important. In an interview with Black Enterprise, “master networker,” college lecturer, author, and entrepreneur Sabrina Kizzie offers tips on the four people you should always stay in touch with. These are folks you’ve met and worked with along the way, and next time you’re up for a new job or promotion, they might give you the endorsement that makes all the difference.

Professors and Teachers — Kizzie is herself a professor — she lectures at Baruch College — and she says she loves to hear about former students landing new jobs, securing internships, or accomplishing big things in their fields. “Professors expect requests for recommendations, so it helps if you were a memorable student and sought to build a relationship of genuine interest with professors,” she writes.

Former Bosses — Just because you leave a job, it doesn’t mean you jettison everything you learned while working for the company. Drop your ex-boss a line every now and again and let him or her know you appreciate all their help and guidance.

Mentors — Former bosses are liable to become mentors, and as Kizzie knows from personal experience, these dispensers of sage-like wisdom can be real boons to your career. A mentor she once worked with at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center helped her get a gig at the New York City mayor’s office. “Moral: It’s always good to remain connected with someone who was able to help in your career development,” she writes. “It does wonders.”

Volunteer Leaders — These people have seen you give of yourself and work for free for the greater good. Who better to have in your corner?

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