How to Strengthen Weak Ties and Expand Your Network

Every day we continuously build our strong ties. We talk to our boss, we grab coffee with a coworker sitting next to us, we go jogging with a close friend. These habits and rituals can be comforting, but they can also be restrictive if they only expose us to limited ideas and ways of thinking. When we limit ourselves to interacting only with our strong ties, we prevent ourselves from the benefits of weak ties. Weak ties is a sociology term referring to surface-level relationships or acquaintances. These are individuals we might see on Facebook, but never really talk to or get to know. They are the people in our office who work on a different account or the person you sit next to at your volunteer meeting but never actually engage with. When we intentionally build connections with weak ties, we expose ourselves to new things, different ways of thinking, and have the opportunity to create a more dynamic and creative life. Once you graduate college, your access to new people and new experiences can seem limited. That’s why it’s essential to work on getting to know new people, try new things and broaden your worldview. Here’s how to strengthen weak ties and expand your network.

How to Strengthen Weak Ties and Expand Your Network

How to Strengthen Weak Ties and Expand Your Network

Look for Weak Ties You’re Interested In:

A weak tie can be anyone you don’t know well. Thanks to the Internet, you can now find almost every detail about a person. Look at your friends of friends, relatives, or those (sometimes random) recommendations on your social networks. You can also try kicking it old school and talking to the girl sitting by you at the coffee shop reading an interesting novel. Each of these people have the potential to add value to your network and enhance your life.

Put Your Interests Out There:

Someone might have a great person for you to connect with, but they have no idea that you have anything in common. Make sure your strong ties know your interests and the kind of people you’d like to meet. If you’re looking for a new hiking buddy or you need to meet someone who knows a few things about WordPress, let the people in your life know. It’s amazing how many people will want to help you find a connection!

Find a Reason to Connect:

You don’t always need an excuse to host a party, but strengthening your weak ties and building your network is a really great one. Plan a event, and be strategic about the individuals you invite. You want to invite guests who will enjoy each other, and maybe even expand their own networks. A good house party or happy hour is a great first step in building a great relationship.

Be a Connecter:

Networking karma is a real thing. The more people you connect, the more people who are willing to connect you. If you do a great job finding connections for your friend, they will likely return the favor and make some introductions for you!

Kate Gremillion is the founder of Mavenly + Co, a community of young women having honest conversations about college, career and life and helping them create a lifestyle by their own design.

14 Responses to How to Strengthen Weak Ties and Expand Your Network

  1. This is a great post! I definitely find myself reaching out more to people I don’t know thanks to social media platforms. It’s so easy to find people and what there interests are, which makes it easier for you to feel more comfortable reaching out. And you never know if someone can become a mentor or a friend — if you don’t connect.

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

  2. Such great tips! All of these really get you out of your comfort zone which NEED to happen to be successful! Great post Xoxo Mindy

  3. Shanes says:

    Such great advice! Networking is so vital in the business world. It’s who you know after all 🙂

  4. Ruya says:

    Love the last tip cause it’s so true! This makes me want to start networking again.

    -Ruya
    sweetshortandstylish.com

  5. Sami Mast says:

    I love all these tips, I definitely need to work on my networking skills!

    xo
    Sami
    http://www.theclassicbrunette.com

  6. This advice all makes so much sense. I feel like there are so many ways to network, but I think I need to be doing more.

  7. Felice Raina says:

    This is so true. It’s so important to put ourselves out there to connect with new people with the same interests and likes. It’s also important to connect with people who may our opposites to expand our interests. It’s definitely an important tool you can use when networking

  8. Morgan says:

    I’m a natural introvert so I appreciate these tips!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  9. Sara Kate says:

    Finding a reason to connect really is the best. Once you get past that, you are set!

    xo,
    Sara Kate Styling

  10. Sockwun says:

    This is a great post with great advice! It’s definitely a struggle to strike up conversation, but it’s never a bad thing to expand your network. Thank you for sharing!

    Sockwun | ExtraExtravagant.com

  11. Great tips! I always love reading more about networking. xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

  12. Cat says:

    Networking, the key to success these days. My favorite piece of advice you gave was to be a connector! I find that more often than not, good karma comes my way after helping a friend find a new opportunity.

  13. Chronicling Home says:

    You always have the best posts for professional life! I love this one! Putting it in my work folder now!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  14. Tiffani says:

    I love these tips! I’ve really been trying to work on connecting with people who I am not close with. I really am going to work on my weak ties this week!

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