You meet lots of people throughout your career. And often, when you switch roles or companies, you lose touch. Then, unexpectedly, you need a favor, but you haven’t talked to this person in years. Uh-oh. Now what? Use these tips to reconnect with professional contacts.
How to Reconnect with Professional Contacts… If You’re Planning Ahead
Maybe you’re thinking about launching a job search? Or maybe you want to do a better job of staying in touch? Either way, you’re hoping to rekindle some old relationships. Start with a list of people with whom you’d like to reconnect. Of course, you can’t reasonably stay in contact with everyone you’ve ever meet, but you can choose key individuals. These may include a past supervisor, a colleague you admired, or a vendor who assisted with a project. Commit to reaching out a few times per year. You could plan a lunch date, congratulate them on a promotion, share an interesting article, or simply check-in. “I was thinking about you. How are you doing?” Although this requires ongoing effort, you’ll build a much stronger network.
How to Reconnect with Professional Contacts… If You Need Help ASAP
You didn’t make keeping in touch a priority, and now you need someone’s help. Are you stuck? Not at all. Even though this scenario is a bit awkward, tackle it by following these five steps.
You probably wish you’d stayed in contact, but you didn’t. So, don’t beat yourself up. What’s done is done. Most people understand life gets busy, and they’ll forgive you too.
Own Your Mistake
When you suddenly reconnect with someone and then ask for a recommendation a day later, they KNOW what happened. Rather than unsuccessfully covering up your mistakes, be honest. “I’ve done a terrible job of keeping in touch. Would you be open to reconnecting? I could use your help.”
Especially if you haven’t spoken to a professional contact in years, take the time to catch up. After all, this person may not remember you well. Meet for coffee, have a phone conversation, or email back and forth. Reviewing what you achieved together puts them in a better position to assist you.
Say Thank You
Ultimately, this person has done you a huge favor. Therefore, make sure to express your appreciation. Follow up with a text, email or, better yet, a handwritten note.
Your professional contact will want to know how things worked out, so keep them updated on any results (both good and bad). Also, despite less than ideal circumstances, someone who came through for you is an invaluable professional contact. In the future, add them to the top of your “People I Need to Stay in Connected With” list.
Are You Hoping to Use the Right Connections to Land a Job?
The professional recruiters at Halpin Staffing Services have direct relationships with hiring managers throughout Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois. And they can use these connections to match you with the right opportunity. Learn more about the advantages of job hunting through Halpin today!