Do you leave your co-workers behind?

Every day I am reminded of the power of relationships, and today’s reminder was quite enjoyable!

How do you keep in touch with your colleagues? When you leave a job, do you leave your co-worker friends behind as well? Have you considered the impact that NOT keeping in touch with your colleagues has on your career?

Today I had lunch and re-connected with someone I first met almost six years ago. WOW, time flies! In the consulting world, we measure time in terms of projects, not years. So, as we talked about ourselves, it was effortless to describe what had happened (“oh, yes, that was when I was in Florida working on the RFP…”) and what we’re doing now. I knew about some work opportunities that might interest him, so I told him about those opportunities. It’s possible that our connection over lunch may lead to a new career direction for him or other people in his circle.

That’s the beauty of reaching out and re-connecting. Your circles intersect and bring new people to you.

After I returned from lunch, I exchanged instant messages with another colleague from yet another consulting company. He was glad to hear from me, and it was good to know where he’s working and what he’s doing.

Connecting with both individuals offered me an immediate benefit. I see my accomplishments through their eyes, and their positive comments reinforce my belief in myself. I loved talking about and mentioning my upcoming book tour (more later as I confirm details).

There’s another, longer-term benefit as well. I recognize the value of what they are doing and how they might open doors of opportunity for me in the future. Just as I helped someone today, I know that they or someone they know may help me in the future.

And, that’s why I ask: how do you keep in touch with your colleagues and former co-workers? If you haven’t kept in touch, pick up the phone or send an email today. Let me know what happens.

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