In this day and age, social media is used for many purposes, and as we mature into our adult lives, it’s essential in our professional careers as well. Social media like LinkedIn and Facebook are some of the major networks used to maintain professional contacts, even people they’ve only met once.
If a professional opts to abstain from social network, he’s denying himself the opportunity to gain more exposure and maintain relationships. If a person wishes to have a long term successful career, social media is a mandatory component that will both kick start and assist him in many ways.
To be a successful professional, one must constantly follow up and maintain a healthy relationship with their contacts, both weak and strong ties. People in your inner circle, friends and family categorize into strong ties and that group tends to be small. The bigger social circle belongs to the weak ties – acquaintances we would say hi to on the streets, people we know on the surface, but not really close with. Both strong and weak ties play a significant role in our career, be it getting interviews or finding a new job. However, “In his oft-cited 1974 study “Getting a Job,” sociologist Mark Granovetter arrived at a startling conclusion — weak ties are almost always more valuable to us than strong ties. Most people, Granoetter discovered, find new jobs, or for that matter new information or new sparks of insight not from those we are close to, but rather from those we are acquainted with — those who are currently leading different lives than we are.” (Rick Smith) This indicates the importance of our professional contact relationships and the benefits of staying in touch with them. As we don’t know the details of our acquaintances’ lives, they often offer a new perspective, and sometimes a rare opportunity in obtaining a new job or experience.
Before social media, it was extremely hard to keep up with our professional contacts as our world was much smaller. The chances of meeting someone you met at a social gathering who doesn’t live near you is a very low percentage. Through the explosion of social media, windows of opportunities opened for maintaining such relationships. We can exponentially expand our network of weak ties, increasing our exposure throughout the globe and the number of opportunities available to us.
Featured Image courtesy of Shields