Job Hunting? Rethink Your Networking Strategy

Job Hunting? Rethink Your Networking Strategy

What if I told you your next dream job opportunity might come during cocktails with an old coworker?

Well order another round, because a new study suggests just that.

Contrary to findings in the 1970s, when a study reported that the majority of job tips came from "weak ties" — a friend of a friend, a neighbor, a dentist, etc. — new data out hints that's no longer the case.

Back then, the thinking was, weak ties who ran in different circles would have unique intel to share. Your strong ties (friends, colleagues, family) likely knew of the same job listings as you did.

But Ilana Gershon, an associate professor of anthropology at Indiana University, reported this week that only 17% of those who said networking worked in their favor said a weak tie got them an in, while 60% credited former coworkers, bosses and clients.

Gershon, who spoke with 380 people switching up gigs, said that in the LinkedIn age, everyone has access to the same job postings. But an employee who knows a position is opening up in their department might reach out to a former colleague to fill the role before it goes public. It also makes sense given people you've worked with can vouch for the skills and experiences you'd bring to the table — an all-important factor to stand out in a saturated applicant pool.

So for those who dread networking, consider this: Your next job could very well come from those you've already worked with, or those in your office right this moment.

See? Your coworkers are way more than just people you share sad desk lunches with. Now might be the time to go for a walk and talk around the block ...

RELATED: Here Are 8 Ways You're Not Using LinkedIn, but Should

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