Whenever you accept an offer of employment and explore a new career opportunity, you leave others behind—specifically, your former co-workers.
When it comes to networking, some people believe the practice primarily pertains to meeting new people. However, that’s not the case. There’s just as much value in continuing to network with former co-workers as there is in networking with people you don’t know in the hopes of building new relationships.
In fact, there are four important reasons why you should stay in touch with former co-workers:
This is the biggest one, and it applies to a few different situations:
- A colleague or your boss moves on to another opportunity and then refers you to the recruiter who helped them obtain that new position.
- You move on to another opportunity, and you refer a former co-worker to your recruiter.
- You leave for another job. Then, a few years later, you find another opportunity worth pursuing, and you decide to use a former co-worker or boss as a reference.
Even though you don’t work together, a former boss could still serve as a great mentor, and the time commitment doesn’t have to be substantial. Let your mentor know how things are going from time to time. This could be a quick phone call or email every month. Or, on the flip side of the coin, YOU could be a mentor for a former co-worker.
#3—Opportunities to build your personal brand
Establishing and maintaining more contacts through your networking efforts will give you more exposure and more opportunities to brand yourself. This includes both social media networking and traditional networking efforts.
#4—Helping you to fill a position
Once again, this applies to more than one situation:
- You move on to a new opportunity, and eventually you get promoted. You might know a former co-worker who is looking for another job, and that person could fill your previous position.
- You move on to a new opportunity, one in a management role. You need to fill an open position on your team, and you remember that one of your former co-workers would be a good candidate.
By networking with new prospects, current colleagues, and former co-workers, you’re building a much broader base from which to launch the next stage of your career.
We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.