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The Importance of Weak Social Ties For Getting Jobs

Summary:
See The Welcome Return of the Run-In: Running into acquaintances used to be a routine annoyance. Now, it’s an unholy rush by Reyhan Harmanci of The NY Times. Chance encounters with people we only know slightly are important both socially and economically. We had fewer of them during the pandemic. Excerpt:"Some well-known research on the people we don’t care about comes from Mark Granovetter, a Stanford sociology professor. In 1973, he wrote about the importance of “weak ties,” looking, at one point, at how people get information about potential new jobs from near-strangers as opposed to close friends.Most, he found, heard about a new job through people they saw occasionally (55.7 percent) or rarely (27.8 percent.) “Chance meetings or mutual friends operated to reactivate such

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See The Welcome Return of the Run-In: Running into acquaintances used to be a routine annoyance. Now, it’s an unholy rush by Reyhan Harmanci of The NY Times. 

Chance encounters with people we only know slightly are important both socially and economically. We had fewer of them during the pandemic. Excerpt:

"Some well-known research on the people we don’t care about comes from Mark Granovetter, a Stanford sociology professor. In 1973, he wrote about the importance of “weak ties,” looking, at one point, at how people get information about potential new jobs from near-strangers as opposed to close friends.

Most, he found, heard about a new job through people they saw occasionally (55.7 percent) or rarely (27.8 percent.) “Chance meetings or mutual friends operated to reactivate such ties,” Professor Granovetter wrote. “It is remarkable that people receive crucial information from people whose existences they have forgotten.”

It was his conclusion that there is a paradox in how we think about the people closest to us, and those we don’t think about at all: Weak ties are “indispensable” in a person’s place in their community while “strong ties, breeding local cohesion, lead to overall fragmentation.”"

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