The Power of Networking
Is it REALLY necessary to leave employers on good terms and stay in contact with your previous supervisors and colleagues? Undoubtedly yes!
More important than broadening your network (discussed last week), remaining on good terms with those ALREADY in your network is important to your future career success, especially if you continue working in the same industry.
Why? Your co-workers know you and the quality of work that you performed. Presumably they like you as well. So they can be a powerful advocate for you at a new company if they learn of an opening that matches up to your talents/skills.
As such, you should always try to leave a job on good terms. Be sure to provide proper notice and don't leave things left unorganized or undone with your departure. When providing your notice, let your immediate boss know first. If you are asked to do an exit interview, keep your negativity to a minimum and if you must, be sure to use tact and caution when providing constructive criticism.
The days of the traditional letter of recommendation are almost all but over. However, some employers do still request them, so be prepared with at least ask 3 to 5 people in your network. Stay in touch with former co-workers via social media, email, lunches, etc.
Social networking sites have really made keeping in touch and getting recommendations easy for today's job seekers. Simply sharing an article or a job opening you come across can reconnect you with someone from your past that could potentially help you out down the road. You can also follow past employers on Twitter and Retweet things from them on occasion. The key is to remain consistent and maintain a steady relationship so that people remember you and you donÃ?Â¢??t only ask others for help when you need it.
It is also likely that your next employer will research your social media presence, connections and recommendations on LinkedIn and other sites. Throughout your career, ask others that you have good working relationships with to recommend you on LinkedIn. To avoid getting a generic recommendation, be sure to ask them to highlight a few skills or accomplishments. If you ever apply for a job through LinkedIn, the number of recommendations you have is shown on the first summary page the employer sees about you!
In the end, you never know who may help you land your next big gig, so don't go burning any bridges! If you have already worked to build a relationship, there is no need to sever it when your career takes a different turn. Any contact worth keeping will understand and wish you the best in your future success.
POSTED: 7-12-2015 at 2:52 PM (EDT)