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Find ‘connectors’ to enrich your career

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in Workplace Communication

Research shows that most professionals landed their jobs through a “personal connection.” The twist is that 80% of those hires came through weak connections, or people they barely knew.

Good friends are good for a lot of things, but not jobs, because they know the same folks you do. Connectors know lots of people and function the same way a node does in a computer network, routing reams of new data to the right recipients.

How can you find these connectors?

Trace how you met the 40 people you call your circle of friends. You’ll find the same names popping up over and over.

True connectors aren’t necessarily aggressive networkers. They don’t think of their “people collections” as a business strategy.

The more experienced the connector, the more likely he’ll have the far-flung network that will generate new, rewarding connections. They enjoy tracking down lost connections.

Once you’ve found them, reconnect. Tell them what kinds of work you’re interested in and ask if they know anyone who does that.

— Adapted from “The Connectors,” by Jeff Howe, Wired; and The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, Little, Brown.

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