Once you accept a job offer or begin graduate school and settle into your new opportunity, it’s important to continue nurturing the relationships that helped you get there. Maintaining relationships can be difficult, but it’s important to not just use faculty and former supervisors for their recommendations. Here are some tips on how to manage these relationships and keep them an active part of your network:
When something good happens at your previous work place or your former faculty member wins an award for research send a personal note to congratulate them. This will let your contacts know that you’re still thinking of them and care about their success. Don’t wait for something big to trigger your communication though, check in every few months to inquire about how they are doing and share some updates of your own.
If you’ve moved out of town, take the time to see these contacts whenever you’re visiting. Even if you can only pop in for a minute to say hello, or have lunch together and catch up. If you’re in town, reach out to connect every once in a while for coffee. These contacts can become close personal mentors and guides if you build the relationship.
You probably know your former work place intimately so if you meet people that are seeking positions and would be a good fit, connect them with the organization.
During school and work you invest a lot of time, energy, and passion into the institution/workplace and that doesn’t end when you leave. Use these tips to maintain your relationship with the organization and specific contacts for life.