Want to build a strong and valuable professional network? Focus on building your ‘weak ties’. The weak ties are people on the periphery of your life – acquaintances; ex-colleagues you’ve lost touch with; people you met at industry events with whom you exchanged business cards but then never got around to re-connecting. Research has shown that cultivating your weak ties can bring new opportunities and career advancement. That’s because they have access to networks, insights and information you wouldn’t normally have access to. Your ‘strong ties’ are people you meet and interact with often. While these are comforting, you rarely get exposed to new perspectives or opinions.
The pandemic is a great time to re-connect with people you once knew. I send 3 emails each week to people I had met a long time ago. I’m amazed at how many incredibly insightful and fulfilling conversations that has led to.
As they say, your network is your ‘net worth’.