Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Week's Career Advice - Stay in Touch

If you haven't touched base with your current or ex-colleagues, take this opportunity and reach out to them with a simple email. Services like LinkedIn make it easy to stay in touch with your professional contacts. By this, I don’t mean clients - I mean professional acquaintances in the same field as you (contacting clients should be a regular part of your workflow). Usually acquaintances with whom you've worked for an extended period of time.

An email asking them what they're up to, and in return telling them a thing or two about what you're doing, can go a long way. Staying in touch is the core of networking; and believe me, that works much better than any headhunter or agency could ever do for you.

Personally, I'm very selective about with whom I connect and ultimately add to my LinkedIn contact-list. I have to truly know them. They have to be close-enough colleagues that I feel comfy to reach out to them one day and ask for help, advice, etc.

Go ahead. Send an email or two or more, connect with your colleagues (especially past ones) and stay in touch. Going to lunch might not be a bad idea either. The value of networking in this economy cannot be underestimated. And don't forget to answer the call for advice, a recommendation, etc.

Do you use other services besides LinkedIn? How often do you stay in touch with your network? Let me know in the comments.

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