The Value of Your Social Network

Again it’s me, John Hand for today’s blog entry. I’ve been continuing to show KN to customers and a concept I discuss appears to be resonating with people. I think you get hired into a job based upon your skills and experience. But, you get promoted based upon your social network.

I know that there are other factors too, so this is a simplified description, but bear with me and then share your comments if you think I’m brilliant and 100% correct. Okay, okay. I do also appreciate hearing other perspectives too, so comment even if you think I’m 100% incorrect.

In our first KN blog entry we talked about the groundbreaking study that was published in the American Journal of Sociology by Mark Granovetter called The Strength of Weak Ties. He determined that the majority of successful job seekers actually learned about their jobs through acquaintances or “weak ties”, not friends or family. I know that this may further confuse my argument regarding how you get a job, but I know you’re smart enough to take in the complexity while still appreciating the simplified uber point I’m making.

I think that social networking can play an even bigger role when it comes to keeping a good job and getting promoted into an even better position.

As referred to in the article Career Tips, Survivor-Style, William A. Salmon and Rosemary T. Salmon, authors of The Mid-Career Tune-Up: 10 New Habits for Keeping Your Edge in Today's Fast-Paced Workplace, emphasize that the increased competition and greater demands to do more with less require you to use sharp communication skills to establish your reputation as someone who gives and gets information effectively. "The challenge is to figure out how to achieve open, two-way communication as efficiently as possible," they explain.


So I think that each of us possesses two fundamental assets that we bring to work each day; what we know or our expertise and who we know or our social capital. We get hired into a role based on what we know. These are the skills and capabilities that we either learned in school or through job experience. These are the things that we typically put on our resumes. However, we get promoted for the most part by getting things done, and getting things done is directly related to how we interact with others.

How effectively do we work with our contacts and acquaintances to complete projects or form new and exciting opportunities? A person who is more in tune with social connections or “social capital” will have a distinct advantage in being more effective and efficient at making better decisions and getting things done.

Knowledge Network is designed to help you discover your own social capital as well as get a more complete understanding of skills that you have. Then it enables you to publish your profile so that others in the organization may find you as well as give you the opportunity to find others that you may need to connect with to achieve your goals. Because in today’s business it’s all about connections.