Do it while you’re fresh.
Ask advice willy nilly. Make the relationships before you need them.
Willi was head of HR in a major public sector agency. She had teenage kids and didn’t want to move up in the organization just yet. She spent several years finding and promoting people with potential to places of power.
Then when her kids finished school and she’d sorted out her home life, she moved up. Quickly. Through the organization and then out into other agencies. Willi is now one of the most powerful women in the public sector. And she made all the relationships way before she needed them.