Acquaintances Over Friends: The Weak Ties Theory


Weak ties are the people you know whom you would not introduce to a group of friends. They are the ones on the outside looking in.

More than likely a weak tie is someone who you will talk to maybe once or twice every few years. They are friendly to you and in return you are friendly to them.

They do not expect anything from you as a professional other than a hardy hello and a “how’s it going?” from time to time. You probably will not find any value in weak ties, however, they will broaden your professional network if you are able to make the time for them.

In a paper written by Mark S. Granovetter, “The Strength Of Weak Ties,” Mark refers to friends as strong ties and acquaintances as weak ties. Your strong ties are the people you will want to carry with you through life, while your weak ties are the people you will want to stay in contact with but expect nothing more.

When ties first form it will be difficult to tell whether the relationship you are about to have is a weak tie or a strong tie. If it is a work-tie relationship more than likely your relationship will stay int he office and rarely will the two of you mingle outside of the business environment.

Sometimes you will need to count on your weak ties for job opportunities. Depending on where they are on the map and what their job title implies, a weak tie will guide you through the necessary steps to apply for a job in a new industry, a new state or a new country.

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