The most important connections in your network may not be the ones you think.
Economist and author Tim Harford has observed how professional connections can help with job searches, and it turns out that “the most irreplaceable social connections, paradoxically, are often rather weak or distant ones.”
Harford reviewed a study of networking and employment, which found that “key contacts who helped jobseekers find jobs were typically distant rather than close friends — old college contacts, perhaps, or former colleagues.”
Can you think of a time that a weak or distant connection helped you land a better job? If you don’t have a story like that, you probably know someone who does.
Charlie Henneman, CFA, head of educational events and programs at CFA Institute, wrote about the time that a well-placed sticky note changed the trajectory of his career. As he put it, “Who you meet, who you connect with, and who you build relationships with will define your professional journey.”
Executive coach Robert Hellmann has also stressed the importance of developing your professional network to find better job opportunities. During his presentation at the 70th CFA Institute Annual Conference in Philadelphia, he noted that even a rejection letter can move you closer to a new job, as long as you seize the chance to enlarge your professional network.
“Just because you didn’t get the offer, that doesn’t mean you never talk to them again,” Hellmann said. He recommended adding new people to your network during your job search, and giving them friendly updates as it continues.
People who recognize the value of professional connections should always be alert for chances to make more of them. One professional event that can expand your network is the 71st CFA Institute Annual Conference, which will take place on 13–16 May 2018 in Hong Kong.
Not only will you be able to hear from an array of insightful speakers, including Ma Jun, Kathy M. Matsui, and Jason Hsu, but you will also be spending four days at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre discussing their insights with other attendees.
All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.
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