The following is an article I wrote for the April 2023 TriCities PRSA newsletter.
By Mary Ellen Miller, APR
It’s spring and for many students nearing graduation, it is time to find a job. And it’s not just college grads planning changes as the flowers start to bloom. According to Zippia, 65% of people currently employed are looking for a new job. While it’s easy to chat with your friends about your job search, you may want to think instead about your network of acquaintances.
In a landmark study, sociologist Mark Granovetter found that people were 58% more likely to get a new job through “weak ties” than “strong ties.” In other words, your friends may not be aware of jobs that your acquaintances may know about. According to LinkedIn, 85% of all jobs are filled by networking. Here is a local story that illustrates the power of networking.
Just recently, a talented, soon-to-be-college graduate, with whom I am acquainted, reached out to me on LinkedIn and asked if I knew of any job openings in his chosen field (graphic design). I, in turn, reached out to two people who work in the field. Both were eager to speak with the young designer and one knew of a local job opening. Bam! He had used the power of “weak ties” and “networking” to learn of a job opening. (I’m waiting to hear if he got the job!) As one of my favorite authors, sociologist Malcolm Gladwell says, “Acquaintances, in sort, represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are.” Our TriCities PRSA chapter presented a workshop for college students with tips to help job seekers. My part was “Interview before the Interview.” We will talk about that next time!