Have you ever thought about keeping in touch with your old co-workers? Do you notice that other people are doing that? And you’re not sure why? In this article, I’ll cover a few reasons why it’s a good idea.
So, you’ve worked with someone for a while. At some point, they will leave the company to get another job. Or, you’ll leave the company to get a different job.
Whether you leave or they leave, you may still want to keep in touch with the person that you used to work with. If you’re the one leaving, then there is probably quite a few people you can keep in touch with.
But why would you do this? There are a few reasons that I’d like to cover where it’s good to keep in touch with your old co-workers.
Stay Up To Date On The Industry
When you’ve worked at a place for a while, you and your co-workers get to know the industry pretty well. When I say “industry”, I’m referring to two industries.
First of all, there’s the software industry. As you’ve been working as a software developer or in a role related to software (business analyst, software tester, and so on), then you and your co-workers would belong to that industry. It has it’s own news, trends and information.
The second industry is the one for the projects you work on. This may not be that apparent to you, as it depends on the work that you do and how much exposure you have to the actual business.
For example, you may be a software developer working on a banking system. You would be involved in two industries – the software development industry, and the banking industry.
Why is this relevant?
Well, a good reason to catch up with old co-workers is to keep up to date on these industries. They may have moved to a different employer in the same industry, or a different industry, but there would still be news there.
You can share stories, industry news, and things that are happening in the world that you both work in.
Just last night I caught up with an old co-worker that I worked with about five years ago in the utilities industry (gas and electricity). We chatted for about ten minutes about the work there, what was happening, and what has changed. The industry information may not be that relevant to you, but if you’re interested in it, it’s a good reason to catch up with old co-workers.
Improve Your Job Searching Chances In The Future
One of the most important and mutually beneficial reasons to catch up with old co-workers is to keep your job searching options open.
If you’ve worked with someone in the past, and continue to catch up with them, it can be a benefit to both of you for any future job searching opportunities that you need.
This is because referring someone that you know to a job opening that you know is a great way for someone to get a job. A personal referral from someone you’ve worked with can go a long way to getting an interview at a company, or getting a job.
I know a few people who catch up with their old co-workers, and when they have been ready or thinking about making the move to another job, they speak to the people they used to work with to see if they know of any opportunities. It’s much easier ot get a job through someone that you know, instead of submitting your resume to a job board.
It may seem like this is a selfish reason to catch up with someone. However, it benefits both of you. You are both keeping your options open in case you need it in the future.
Help Solve More Problems
One of the aims of networking, and the benefit of knowing a lot of people, is that you can help solve more problems. Many people say this is the goal of professional networking.
The more people that you know, the better you’ll be able to solve other people’s problems. Getting to know the people in your network, which includes previous co-workers, will help you understand what they know and what they can do.
If anyone you know comes up with a problem that they need help with, you can connect the two people together.
Some examples are:
- Someone you know is looking for a job, and you may know some recruiters looking for their skills
- Someone you know needs their house painted, and you know a painter
- Someone you know needs to sell their house, and you know some real estate agents
The list goes on. Connecting people you know who have problems with those who can fix them is very handy.
Keeping in touch with your old co-workers helps achieve this.
Maintain a Friendship
The final reason I’ll suggest for keeping in touch with your old co-workers is to maintain the level of friendship that you had at work.
You may have worked with someone for a long time, and over that time, have developed a friendship. When you leave the company, or when they leave the company, you may want to keep that up.
It can be hard, as there is one less thing that you have in common, but you can still give it a try if you’re both interested.
This can happen if you’ve been at a place for a long time, or even if you’ve only been there for a little while.
I know plenty of people who are friends outside of work, and who stay friends even after they leave a role. It may apply to you, depending on how well you know the person who’s leaving, or the group of people that you’re leaving.
So, in summary, it’s a good idea to keep in touch with your old co-workers for future job opportunities, to help more people, to stay up to date on the industry, and to maintain a level of friendship.
What do you think? Do you like catching up with people you’ve worked with? Is there anyone you need to see that you’ve forgotten about? Share your answers in the section below.