I talk to my students, virtual interns, and colleagues nearly every day about how important it is to network, schmooze, and have booze (or other suitable beverages such as coffee or a soda) with colleagues, potential employers, or key connectors. A recent article in Business Week also stressed the importance of making connections:
“A large body of research shows that half or more of all jobs come through informal channels–connections to friends, families, and colleagues, according to Limited Network Connections and the Distribution of Wages, a study by economists Kenneth J. Arrow of Stanford and Ron Borzekowski of the Federal Reserve. What matters is a recommendation and personal assessment. Valuable recommendations come from what Stanford University sociologist Mark Granovetter calls “the strength of weak ties.” Acquaintances (weak ties) have networks that go beyond a job seeker’s immediate circle (strong ties). Yet the acquaintances know the applicant well enough to vouch for their character.”
Get out there, people! A $2.00 coffee or a walk through the park with a potential suitor can net quite a bit of long-term results. Even better, reaching out to others on LinkedIn and sites like it can bring about similar results.