Cultivating a large professional network remains a key factor in building a technology career. Your former managers are a key part of this network, especially when you need references before applying for a new tech job. Perhaps one of them might even give you a lead on a great new position?
This same concept applies to former co-workers as well. Ultimately, you need these professional contacts to ensure you stay engaged – and gainfully employed – until your day of retirement. So here are a few tips on reconnecting with your previous bosses and co-workers before your next job search.
If you haven’t talked with a former boss in years, don’t let any awkwardness prevent you from reaching out for a reference. A straightforward tack works best. Simply explain your situation and ask for a reference.
Remember not to include the name of any reference without speaking with them first. It’s unprofessional, and it might lead to them expressing a poor opinion of your work in the past.
If you feel it’s been too long since speaking with your former manager or don’t have their contact information, consider using a mutual connection to serve as a conduit. Once you have an email address or phone number, reach out with confidence. These connections are another good reason to always work on building a strong professional network.
Research the online professional presence (likely their LinkedIn account) of your former boss. If they recently celebrated a meaningful accomplishment – maybe a promotion or a great new gig – use this information as an icebreaker. This provides a positive way to begin a natural conversation before you ask them about being a reference on your current job search.
Even going beyond asking for a reference, redeveloping a meaningful professional relationship with a former boss simply makes sense for getting the most out of your network. Ask them a technical question about an emerging trend in the industry. Perhaps their company already adopted DevOps and your company is considering a similar path?
Also return the favor if asked. After all, maintaining healthy connections with former bosses and co-workers helps keep you engaged throughout your professional life.
If you need advice on taking your IT career to another level, speak with the recruiters at Technology Partners. As one of the top technical staffing agencies in St. Louis, we know the companies looking for talented professionals. Connect with us soon!
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