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Ingredients for a Powerful Professional Network

In the article “How to build a powerful professional network,” Cornett discusses the key steps and ingredients needed to build a powerful professional network and the benefits that professional relationships can have in one’s life. He begins the piece describing how important relationships are and the power of social networks. This relates to our discussion from class detailing individual power in social networks and balance in different networks.

As we discussed in class, to have power in a social network, one must have strong connections between the other individuals in the networks. Cornett reasons that as society changes, so do the ways of networking. The internet provides a new form of gaining and maintaining connections, which also rids the chance of simply having a network with strangers that one happens to live near or work with. Instead, one can find people on the internet who have similar personalities and values.

Relating to this, Cornett talks about how to maintain these connections and the importance of gaining valuable connections for a powerful network. He discusses five main ingredients to achieve a powerful network: power, alignment, diversity, freshness, and bond. These ingredients relate to the necessary aspects of an individual having power in a social network, as we talked about in class. For the first ingredient, power, one must create a network that does not just include peers, but also important people with leadership in companies and who themselves have strong networks. Second, alignment relates to how the network specifically provides new opportunities. Diversity, the third ingredient, essentially necessitates individuals with different backgrounds, educations, and professions. These three relate to the concept of having power deriving from dependence—people want to have multiple options of important and diverse people they can go to for career advice. The last two ingredients are freshness and bond, which state that people must socialize with their network often such that they are willing to help them out. In a way, each connection in the network must work on satiation so that they have a balanced connection.

Cornett manages to explain a variety of concepts relating to social networks and power networks that we have also discussed in class. It is vital for people to invest in their network and use it, because powerful networks have the ability to reshape one’s life.


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