Mark Granovetter, head of sociology at Stanford, discovered that weak-tie acquaintances were often more important than strong-tie friends because weak ties give us access to social networks we don’t otherwise belong to. This research has been discussed over and over again: The Power of Habit, Linked: The New Science of Networks, & The Tipping Point.
The white collar workers in Granovetter's study learned about new job opportunities through acquaintances, rather than close friends. Granovetter showed that weak contacts were twice as effective (28%) as strong contacts (17%) for finding a job. Casual connections were more likely to lead to a job.
This seems counter-intuitive. On the surface it appears close friends would be better. But if you think about it, you interact with close friends on a regular basis. You consume similar media. By the time they have heard about a new opportunity, so have you. It's your weak-tie acquaintances, i.e. rarely used gmail contacts, who can tell you about opportunities you would otherwise never hear about.
While you process this uncommon sense here's something else to consider. We assume society is homogenous because pop culture places so much emphasis on the individual. But it's not! Sociologists have learned that society is made up of groups of people, clusters. Granovetter's research shows these clusters are particularly important in channeling people into the best opportunities the economy has to offer. People trust and trust in people they know.
>75% of high end white collar jobs were found thru personal contacts or acquaintances, not close friends.
(1) Send an email to someone you know (but don’t know very well) and check in.
(2) Use Streak or hubspot, to track who opens your emails.
First, you are overlooking the power of empathy. You bring value to the table because you understand and can share the feelings of those you connect with. Your job benefits other people, but have you lost sight of your human impact? It’s not the typical focal point of your work. There is value in the connection, but here are some ideas.
Do any little thing that benefits them, not you.
Or just send them a link they might find useful.
Still stuck? Okay, send them the link to the post you’re reading right now.
If this has helped you it can probably help them too. 😉
One great idea is Adam Rifkin’s “Five-Minute Favor”: a favor that takes less than five minutes. Imagine taking a couple minutes every day to help someone in a way that's a small commitment to you, but could be of large benefit to someone else. For an examples you can check out my five step decision making process or my Instagram bio.
Assume Wisely provides uncommon sense on how to make better decisions.
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