written by
Flavian DeLima

Social Networks and Getting Jobs: The Strength of Weak Ties

Career Path 1 min read , September 23, 2020

By Flavian DeLima

The first time I read about the idea of strong and weak ties in the early 2000s, I was perplexed.  Mark Granovetter is a sociologist, who studied how certain types of relationships produce better results while pursuing a goal. He did a study of 15,000 graduates looking for a job. He discovered that “weak ties” or people they didn’t know very well and saw less frequently, were responsible for assisting their job hunting and find a job 84% of the time. Only 16% was attributed to “strong ties” or people they knew very well and saw frequently.

84% of people find a who job hunt go through weak ties or people they rarely speak to

Job hunting
Photographer: Hunters Race | Source: Unsplash

Many people prefer to stay in their comfort zone and stick with close friends and family, who know them inside out. There is joy in seeking out the familiar. There is also joy in discovering and meeting new people who don’t look, think, or act like us, while job hunting.  The next time you intentionally or accidentally meet someone new and different, be open.

— Source: Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers, 2nd edition (1995, originally published 1974) from Mark Granovetter.


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