Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cherish those distant connections

The new book "Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound After Career Disasters," excerpted in the January Harvard Business Review, says something important about personal networks.

The book, by Professors Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of Yale and Andrew Ward of the University of Georgia, cites a Stanford University study finding that far more job-seekers found positions though distant acquaintances (27.8%) than through close contacts (people whom they saw at least twice a week--16.7%). Distant contacts are more likely to know people new to you, and thereby able to create connections that didn't exist already.

Meaning: you should cultivate acquaintances with people you meet who move in different circles. And you should keep in touch, at least once a year, with most everyone you've met (ask Keith Ferrazzi).

A lot of work? Yes. But your next job may depend on it.

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