The best professional opportunities I have had, someone reached out to me precisely when I needed the work. It isn't enough to have a network of contacts. You must be known to be available for work. My second university contract and a recent short-term job came about this way.
I had an awkward period of time, six months that I needed to somehow find work for, despite the fact that most English teaching contracts in Korea are for 12 months. I finished at a long-term position last winter with plans to return to Ireland. However, my husband's contract is up at the end of this summer, so I had this awkward length of time without a full-time job. I planned to live frugally and hopefully pick up a little work here and there. I told friends and acquaintances that I was available for short-term and part-time contracts. I told people in person, but I also put the word out on social media.
I was on my newly-acquired spousal visa for only about a month when I applied for a new E2 for a summer position teaching adults at a local government officials training centre. Tim had worked there in previous years, and when they asked him to teach the course again and recommend some other teachers, he knew I was available and contacted me. We know each other through a mix of personal and professional contacts. Unusually for English teachers in Korea, my family lives here, and Tim had worked at the same place as my mother for several years. The timing of the contract was inconvenient for most teachers of adults, as it overlapped with the end of the university semester, and anyone on a university contract wouldn't be able to take the job. Tim knew that I wasn't on a university contract and had extensive experience teaching adults.
Instead of eating into my savings for a few months I added to them, by making sure that my network of friends, former co-workers, and other professional acquaintances knew I was available for work. There are some short-term contracts going around that companies find difficult to fill, so if you find yourself between positions make sure that you put yourself out there.