Lost Your Job? Turn to Those You Kind of Know

Acquaintances can be road to success in tough times
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 9, 2009 11:40 AM CDT
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at his office in Palo Alto, Calif. Zuckerberg is hoping to avoid a backlash as the popular online hangout prepares to impose its new look on its 100 million users.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
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(Newser) – In the professional world, it’s all about who you sort of know, especially when times are hard, Gregory Rodriguez writes in the Los Angeles Times. Job losses may make people withdraw from their friends, but during a recession, acquaintances are the ones who count, often helping pave the way to a paycheck. Just look at LinkedIn and Facebook, which have surged while the economy tanks.

"Weak ties are your windows to the world," said a noted sociologist who found in a 1973 study that most people who got jobs via contacts saw those contacts only "rarely" or "occasionally." "When you're looking for new ideas and new connections, you don't get them from family or close friends.” In other words, Rodriguez writes, perhaps we all "should start buttering up old acquaintances and get with the social networking."