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How to reconnect with former colleagues

By Jana Angeles

Reconnecting with former colleagues can get tough, especially if you’ve been busy settling in your new job, or simply haven’t had the time due to catch up due to major events happening in your life (ie, buying property, getting married or having a baby). 

With all due respect, most of us are on different schedules. It may be difficult to coordinate a dinner or lunch with your former colleagues, but it’s still possible to reconnect through other mediums like social media or email. 

While you may feel somewhat disconnected from your former colleagues, you can still do your best to not be a stranger in their books. 

Staying in touch with your former colleagues is not only beneficial to see how everyone is tracking, but it’s also a good time to catch up on what’s happening with your old workplace. 

While reconnecting with your ex-colleagues may seem like you’re prying, it’s a great opportunity to tap into them as a professional network and see if they know any available job opportunities, or they may simply be a great mentor for guidance and support when it comes to your own professional development.

Staying in touch with your former colleagues is also an opportunity to remember the great memories you’ve shared at work and a chance to see where everyone’s at in both their personal and professional lives.

While there is no perfect way on how to keep in touch, below are some suggested ways that can help you reconnect again with your former colleagues.

How to reconnect with old colleagues

  1. Send them an email.
  2. Catch up for lunch or dinner.
  3. Reach out via social media.
  4. Coordinate a meet up at an industry event.

1. Send them an email.

sending an email concept

A simple email can make a difference. While the gesture may seem small, you can say a lot in one. If you know your former colleagues’ emails, sending them a quick email on how they are and what you’re doing now can help them be in the loop. 

Not only is email an effective form of communication, it also means that they can reply at a time that suits them and avoids the pressure of phone calls where an immediate response is required.

There may be instances where your former colleagues may take a while to respond back, so try and not take it personally if you don’t hear back from them immediately. They could be busy and caught up with other things, or your email may have been lost in the pipeline. It doesn’t hurt to send them a follow-up to encourage a response.

2. Catch up for lunch or dinner.

colleagues having lunch together

It can be difficult trying to coordinate a lunch or dinner catch up, especially if you have children that need to be looked after, or have scheduled personal training sessions after work to help with your well-being and overall health.

Rounding up some of your near and dear former colleagues can be an effective way to reconnect. Not only is it an easier way to get in touch, but you get to see some familiar faces again. 

Starting a new job can be difficult at first, especially when you’re in the process of learning new concepts and procedures. Reconnecting with your former peers can help you feel at ease, especially when going through a stressful transition of switching jobs. Plus, unlike emails, you will have the opportunity to reconnect with more than one colleague.

3. Reach out via social media.

social media concept

Keeping in touch via your social media platforms is an effective way to keep in touch with your former colleagues. With access to Messenger on Facebook to being a network connection on LinkedIn, social media opens up great avenues of conversation as opposed to emails.

If you already have your colleagues on some of the social media platforms you’re already using, striking up a conversation can help you reconnect at a quicker rate. It can also help you take the initiative of even asking them to catch up over coffee, so you can move on to having a face-to-face conversation.

While social media may feel less authentic in comparison to other forms of communication, it does, however, allow us to stay connected with people. So, even if you’ve had your former colleagues on your Facebook list for a while, it still helps to know that you can get in touch with them at any time. 

4. Coordinate a meet up at an industry event.

two wine glasses at bar venue

Assuming that you’re in the same industry, you may need to go on a business trip for an exclusive industry event. Your role may require you to be well-connected with people, especially when it comes to creative fields like the music industry.

Sometimes an industry event is a blessing in disguise as it can help you meet up with your former colleagues and catch up there instead. It helps because you’re in the same vicinity and could easily coordinate a quick meet up either before or after the event. 

Not only that, you could be potentially introduced to some of their new professional connections, which can help expand your network pool.

Looking to connect with more people? 

If you simply want to expand your professional network, study a course with Upskilled. While the courses are delivered online, you can still connect with a dedicated trainer and other students who are studying the same course as you.

Upskilled students have exclusive access to industry-specific groups on Facebook, so you can connect with like-minded people pursuing the same passion as you and support each other throughout the challenges of your course. 

So what are you waiting for? Start your course search and unlock your networking potential today. 
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