The Power of a Weak Link in Networking

by Deborah Knox on November 29, 2012

When we hear stories about people finding work, I always want to know “how did you do it?” What happened to create the initial connection that lead to the final stage of finding the “right fit?”  For the right fit is really what employers and employees are mutually seeking, isn’t it?  And we find it when there is alignment in four key areas:

Skills & knowledge (WHAT)

Setting (WHERE)

People/values (WHO)

Meaning/purpose (WHY)

(To identify your key criteria for identifying WHAT you love to do, WHERE you do your best work, WHO you want to serve and WHY you do it,  check out the exercises on my website http://www.lifeworktransitions.com/ for Put Your Spirit to Work Exercises.)

So when a job search seems to have gone on way too long, it can be helpful to generate some new connections assuming that the weakest link could lead somewhere very promising.  The value of the weak tie versus the strong links in your existing network is they require less effort to maintain but can produce surprising results.

Some suggestions:

1/        Go someplace you’ve never been before – do the “artists date” and give yourself the gift of visiting new surroundings. See what you notice and discover. Journal about it after.

2/        Attend a new networking group and learn all you can about that organization before you go. Visit it’s website, identify key players who are in charge, check Linked in and find who you already know. If there are too many “familiars” pick another network.

3/        Seek out a new and different kind of “helper”. If you like to talk things out, consider going to someone for a massage or Reiki session.  Sign up for a new website listing that will provide you new and different connections perhaps even in another industry.

Since the strength of these weak links seems to be in the serendipitous realm, you need to pay attention to what starts to show up as a result. Too often we don’t track the results of our efforts and thus don’t realize how positive they may be.  You may want to follow-up with one or two people. Preferably there are some you connected with more than others. Even if you can’t name what that “something special is” follow your instinct and get to know them a little better.  Of if you found yourself in a really positive environment – check it out again. Ask others what they know about it.   They don’t need to become your next new buddy, but taking the time to go a little deeper may be just what you need to strengthen your overall network!

Good luck reaching out!

 

 

 

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Beth Schecher December 6, 2012 at 5:55 am

Great suggestions Deb. Not the usual. I like your suggestion about going some place you have never been before. Scary for most, but really, what is the worst that can happen? We have all “kissed a lot of frogs” on our journey and discover that “slimy lips” are not the worst think that could happen.
Thanks for your insight!
Beth

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