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67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of the weak link is explained, January 26, 2012
This review is from: The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career (Hardcover)
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Hoffman is the cofounder of LinkedIn, the online community of professionals and in this book there is some excellent advice for the modern professional. Some of it, such as the reality that there is no such thing as lifetime employment anymore, is well-known but still bears repeating. The best item of advice and one that I have never heard elsewhere, is the value of the weak link.
The authors split the connections that a person has into strong and weak links. A strong link is a person that you know very well and they know you and your skill set very well. People in this category also tend to have a skill set similar to yours. A weak link is someone that fits into the category of acquaintance, a person that knows of you and something about what you can do, but they do not have detailed knowledge and generally have skill sets distinct from yours.
Weak links are considered extremely valuable because they dramatically extend your reach into unfamiliar areas, which is essential in the modern world where your employable skill sets must be changed or improved on a regular basis. Furthermore, many new job descriptions are a synthesis of categories formerly considered distinct. They can provide the powerful peek into an area that you otherwise would not consider.
It is natural that there are many references to the LinkedIn model but they are well-embedded in the sense that they do not detract or overshadow the advice. The authors also are very positive in their discussions of the free-lance or itinerant worker. As a member of that category of workers that has encountered skepticism from people unfamiliar with such a work pattern, I appreciated the defense of that group of workers. Although we don't have a full-time job with one company, our continued ability to earn a living is more secure than many with full-time jobs.
The future is approaching even faster now than ever before and the image of the former present receding in the mirror just as fast. New jobs are created and vanish at a rapid rate and the modern professional must be adaptable to the new circumstances. It is a scary and exciting environment and this book can help you survive and thrive in it.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 30, 2012 7:26:51 AM PST
T Rex says:
Charles makes an excellent point about the power of our weak links. I have heard others put it this way. Within the sphere of links that you know, you are comfortable with that knowledge. Where as in the way people grow, are in the areas that you do not know and are not comfortable. Therefore your weak links, or the links that do not yet exist, have the potential to be proportionately of higher value and more significant impact on your life. Taking a weak link and migrating it to a more power relationship in which meaningful knowledge can sometimes be transformational. It is new relationships that make you think a new, offer new knowledge and ways to apply it.

Posted on Feb 13, 2012 2:11:57 PM PST
"A weak link is someone that fits into the category of acquaintance, a person that knows of you and something about what you can do, but they do not have detailed knowledge and generally have skill sets distinct from yours."
Interesting!

A helpful review!

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 11:28:27 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 23, 2013 2:55:52 AM PDT]
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Charles Ashbacher
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Marion, Iowa United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 234