Loose connections: getting help from friends of friends

samfloy~13 April 2019 /Advice

This week I’ve spent a decent chunk of time (re) connecting with people who might know someone to take over my job at the end of the month.

At a minimum, it’s been nice to pick up conversations sometimes with people I’ve not spoken to in years, for no reason other than circumstance. It’s also led to some good “leads” from those who do in fact know someone who’d be good for the job.

It reminded me of this idea of the power of loose connections (or “weak ties”): the people you know, but don’t see all the time.

It’s one of the recommendations in a book called The Defining Decade, by Meg Jay.

She notes how most jobs come through these weak ties, and so early in one’s career, it is useful to do things that help you cultivate a broad network of people.

Her point is that this shouldn’t be seen as mercenary networking (of course there should be genuine connection) nor is it nepotism to get a job through a friend of a friend (you still have to prove yourself and having social capital is a valuable asset), instead it’s an objective finding she’s sharing with the world after years of research.

Personally, I still get a bit apprehensive about reaching out to loose connections, which is odd because (when done properly) I’m always flattered when the reverse happens.

Therefore I’ll go on record as saying that if there’s a connection I can make for you (or a friend) please don’t hesitate to ask.


In other news…

Relating to the pic of the week, have you ever bought just two items at the supermarket checkout and then felt a wave “what on earth must the cashier be thinking?”

For me, this came at university when I was picking up some communal items for the house. I didn’t really think much of it until I got the checkout and all I’d laid down was: butter and toilet paper.

(Even if they’re made up) I’d be interested to hear your strange/ embarrassing combos..!


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