Your Weakest Link

Why the Weakest Link in Your Network Matters for Your Career Success

Usually, the weakest link on a team is let go.   However, your weak links on professional platforms like LinkedIn – and in your life – can be surprisingly beneficial for your career success. You will be amazed at what may happen if you engage your weak connections more skillfully.

How Do You Define a ‘Weak’ Connection?

It’s understandable that there is little focus on what are considered ‘weak’ connections. After all, because you may not know those connections well (or at all), there would seem to be very little to gain, whether on professional platforms like LinkedIn or in life.

The reality is that there may be quite a lot to gain from weak connections. First, let’s define a ‘weak link’ in the context of this social media platform.

A weak link in LinkedIn is when two persons of a profession sit in the same general circle but have little or no prior relationship. Because there’s no engagement between them, it would seem that neither party can benefit, thus being a ‘weak link.’  It also can be someone you had connected with but with whom you have not had recent conversations.

However, there’s more to gain than you might think.

Why Are Weak Links important in Your Network?

Here are three leading reasons your career can benefit from a weak link.

  1. Regain industry perspective and understand the bigger picture.

One of the most significant issues with focusing on your strong connections is that your industry view tends to get narrowed to what occurs between yourself and the other professionals in your inner circle. That may curtail your ability to see the bigger picture when interacting with other professionals.

It’s always good to keep on top of your industry developments by incorporating conversation with your weaker links who are more likely to share a different perspective. Staying within your strong bubble could hinder your career success rather than drive it, due to your limited perspective.

  1. Weak contacts can broaden your career opportunities.

Following the point mentioned above, weak contacts are just as likely as strong connections to share different career opportunities. Suppose you have a strong professional relationship with a LinkedIn contact. In that case, the other party likely wants to maintain the status quo to continue benefiting from the current network.

That, in turn, can limit your opportunities for progressing in your career. Maintaining and connecting with weaker links, on the other hand, may show you other happenings in your field along with a chance to discover new opportunities.

  1. Keep up with changes within your industry.

Retaining a network comprised solely of solid contacts can also make you unaware of industry changes. Suppose you’re already benefiting from the strength of your relationships. In that case, you may question the need to know what’s going on elsewhere.

However, the pace of business means things in your profession can change instantly. The ability to adapt and innovate is imperative for career success. Focusing on only strong links may limit your ability to see industry changes and trends – and opportunities.

Weak Links Matter Just as Much as Strong Ones

Building a balance of strong and weak links is essential for career success. You’ll be able to reap the rewards of solid relationships while at the same time staying on top of professional developments with weak ones.  Weak links may lead to developing a new strong link and provide you with different opportunities and new perspectives.

Both strong and weak links can be leveraged to create a competitive professional profile and to help you become a more insightful and well-connected industry leader.