Granovetter: The Strength of Weak Ties

orgchartHey, all of you Twenty (20) Somethings. Many of you, especially all of you sociology majors, will likely have more than a glancing familiarity with the paper titled The Strength of Weak Ties written by Mark Granovetter. His survey of job seekers for this study shows that a weak tie in ones social network is still important. In other words, a 2nd or 3rd connection in your network whom you might define as ‘weak’ in everyday terms because you’re not routinely emailing, texting or meeting them for drinks and dinner. What Granovetter discovered, and what you should be aware of, is that these ‘weak’ ties are those that span different social groups, specifically those that you may not be close to, thereby connecting and extending your potential to enter new spheres to meet new opportunities. In other words, don’t under estimate the quality of your network ties and keep building your network.

Group_zipcodesYou know all this already? Then take a 15 minute break from reading and check out Meg Jay’s TED Talk about the real and critical importance of awareness of yourself and your network; to do something in your 20s that will inform you about how you want to lead your life in your 30s and beyond. I see it as a variation of the rallying call to ‘seize the day’. For me, it’s a call to ‘seize the decade’ because, simply put, life is too short.

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