Job Seekers: Should You Stay In Touch with Your Former Employers?

networking-1For some, looking back at former employers’ is kind of like thinking back to a relationship with an old flame – “it was good while it lasted.”

However, moving on with your career does not have to mean completely letting go of the relationship with your former boss or employer. In fact, there are a lot of really great reasons why you may want to consider keeping in touch with your former employers. Take a look below:

When to Stay In Touch

Former employers make great mentors. Mentoring someone can be a lifelong process and by no means should it stop simply because you and your mentor no longer work together. If you truly value the advice and wisdom your manager has given you during your stay with the company, then there is no reason that cannot be a lasting relationship. Be upfront and let them know how much you’ve valued the time they’ve spent teaching you. And if they truly want you to succeed, beyond their own company, then chances are they’ll be more than happy to keep in touch with you long after you have left.

Potential for re-hire. We’ve talked about this in detail before but it bears mentioning again. Keeping in touch with your former employer can give you the opportunity to get rehired again, and this can have a lot of benefits. First, you have already established a good relationship with your employer. Second, you know your way around the company. Having another opportunity can potentially help you expand your career and move up quickly in the company.

Great references. Staying in touch with your former employer can also provide you with some great references as you move forward. Keep them in the loop as you expand your career so when it is time for you to apply for a new job, they’ll be able to back you up and give you a great reference.

Great networking. Former employers can also be a big part of your network. Since you’ve already established a good relationship with them, there is a good chance that when a friend of theirs is asking for new hires, you’ll be one of the first people that comes to mind.

When to Not Stay In Touch

Of course, there are also plenty of reasons why you may not want to keep in touch with a former employer. If you really did have a hard time working for them towards the end, then the chances of you forming a good relationship with them after you leave is pretty unlikely.

That being said, there is always the opportunity to mend those kinds of relationships and if the opportunity presents itself, it is something you should definitely consider. As always, though, weigh out the pros and cons and be sure to feel out how you think your employer will respond. No one ever wants to feel like they are being used.

All in all, we think keeping in contact with your former employer is a great idea. What do you think? Have you ever tried keeping in touch with a former employer? How did it work out? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

photo credit: Networking_at_GDC_Europe_1000px (7) via photopin (license)

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