I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Weak Ties

I heard a term that was new to me while listening to a podcast of the Kim Komando show last night. She was talking about “weak ties” and how beneficial they can be for advancing a career or simply getting a different job. Weak ties are the ties we create on social networking websites, or they are former co-workers who we touch base with once in a blue moon, or just an acquaintance we cross paths with occasionally. The theory says that by letting our weak ties know about our job search, we are more likely to find what we are looking for because we have a lot more weak ties in our lives than strong ones.

I did a little research when I got home and found a great post written by Ryan Healy about the topic on his blog called Employee Evolution. Here’s a little of what he said:

Everyone should embrace new technology and social networks to create as many weak ties as possible. Having a million online acquaintances allows you to embrace the diversity that exists in the world and provides the connections you need to advance anywhere you want in your career. But the way I see it, a thousand weak ties cannot replace the connection that comes from one strong tie.

The comments after his post are enlightening as well. One of the common themes among those who joined in the discussion was that having weak ties is a natural part of life and that they should not be a substitute for strong ties (people we know well). It’s a balancing act, just like everything else in life.

We aren’t supposed to be close to everyone we know. There wouldn't be enough hours in the day. When I get stressed about not being close to a lot of people, I often remember that Jesus hung out with a band of twelve men, and even then he was closer to Peter, James, and John than the others. He did have other friends. Many of them are mentioned by name in the gospels. He even wept when one of them died. Of course, he also had many weak ties as well: people who heard him speak, people he healed, and people he spoke with during his travels. But in his humanity, he was only close-close with a few people.

Seems like a pretty good model to me.


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