The surprising person who will get you a new job.

This morning, I tweeted that “If you are up this early, we needed to be connected on LinkedIN.” I’ve done that a few times lately and think that you and I should connect. Here’s my profile. Let’s do it!

Someone responded “I’m old enough to remember when you were supposed to actually know someone before you linked to them in LinkedIn.”

That’s a good point and maybe it was true a few years ago. The problem is that some people still believe that.

The reality, as discussed by many people notably Malcolm Gladwell, is that your next job is likely to come from someone you don’t know well.

We tend to think our closest friends will help us network. We tend to think our best friends and family members are the greatest sources of relational opportunities. They’re not though. Strangers are going to provide you a lot more connections to new jobs than your inner circle. Why?

Because your inner circle tends to travel in the same situations you do. They work similar jobs. They live in your town. They bump into roughly the same opportunities you do.

People on the edges though, people you might only know from the Internet, they tend to see things you don’t. They know companies you don’t. They have conversations and connections you don’t. The wide circle has more connections than the tight.

The reason I wrote 25% of my book Do Over about relationships is that they are the original job hack. You’ll get more jobs via a friendship than any other thing. (You can pick up a copy today for only $11. What are you waiting for?)

I hope you’ll connect as often as you can with as many people as you can on LinkedIN. Again, here’s my info if you want to connect to me.

You just might be surprised by who helps you get your next job.


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Jon Acuff
Jon Acuff

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  1. ^This is how it worked for me, too. Three of my last four job offers came from people I didn’t know.

    And when I quit the last job to start an agency, the same rule applied for landing clients. (Though a sterling reputation with former co-workers is still my biggest referral generator.)

    One benefit I’ve found from connecting with strangers: it’s easier to get a stranger to see you as an expert than it is to get a friend to see you that way. Your friends have seen you screw up. They’ve heard you talk about your fears and misgivings and doubts. But a total stranger hasn’t had to deal with your baggage—which is a win if you have baggage, like the real human do.

    Another benefit of networking with strangers I’ve seen is that you can charge a stranger a what you want, and it’s nothing personal. Your friends want a good deal.

    Thanks, Jon!

  2. I really like this. It’s incredibly true. I think another reason our own friends and family aren’t the best option is because we all tend to devalue those we’re most familiar with. They may be the best person for a job but we all like to think we discovered someone.

    Thanks for writing.

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