Changing jobs is an exciting process, and you may need to embrace a few new factors; new skills, forging new professional relationships, taking on new responsibilities, and new experiences are all part of the transition. After your manager has established the elements of a recommendation letter, your transition to a new role may feel more official. However, you may still want to maintain your professional relationships with old co-workers after you begin, and there are several ways to do this.

Two Reasons to Maintain Professional Relationships After You Leave

Maintaining professional relationships with co-workers has a myriad of advantages. Relationships are at the centre of our success at work.  Even if you forge new relationships with new co-workers, it makes sense to keep in touch with old ones for two critical reasons:

1.    A former co-worker can provide excellent references

Whether you’re looking for a referral or feedback on your performance for your next professional endeavours, you can get excellent references from previous co-workers with whom you have a good professional relationship.

Co-workers have the best knowledge of your work ethic and commitment, so it’s certainly worth establishing and maintaining good relationships with them if you require a reference.

2.     Co-workers can still support your goals if you rejoin

The unpredictability of career growth can lead to plenty of unexpected situations, such as rejoining previous organizations. In circumstances where you must return to your old place of work, maintaining professional relationships with old co-workers is critical. You won’t have to reforge or improve your relationships if you have remained in contact.

Four Key Ways to Maintain Professional Relationships

Fostering good relationships is, therefore, essential. But how can you maintain these relationships after you change jobs? Let’s consider the four key ways to achieve this.

1.    Connect with co-workers on social media

Today, social media sites are one of the most convenient means to maintain professional relationships with co-workers. LinkedIn is a top recommendation for staying in contact and receiving updates related to your co-worker’s career advancements; its key purpose is to bring co-workers together in an extensive network, so connect with co-workers to stay in touch.

2.    Attend a professional conference with co-workers

You can still attend professional conferences and meetups with former co-workers even after you have transitioned to a new role. To initiate contact, you may consider sharing details about the professional event and meeting with them to discuss work-related topics or career progression.

Suppose you’re unsure whether a former co-worker will attend professional conferences shortly. In that case, you may also check their social media updates, note any conferences they are interested in attending, and reach out to discuss meeting with them there.

3.    Offer praise to former co-workers

Social media offers an excellent way to find out how your former co-workers are progressing in their careers and remain in contact through praise. If you notice that they have received a promotion or a certification in their field of work, praising them is an excellent method to keep in touch or reconnect with previous teammates.

4.    Share work-related articles

If you come across news or articles related to changes in your industry or new trends related to your colleague’s field of expertise, you may share these work-related articles via email with them, mentioning that “these industry trends may interest you.”

The key to sharing work-related articles with ex-colleagues is to get the timing correct. Sending an article every week may seem annoying, whereas sending a yearly email with updates may seem like you’ve forgotten your former teammate exists. Instead, once every quarter is a good guideline for sharing work-related articles via email.

How Can You Choose Which Method to Stay in Contact?

It’s not necessary to use every method listed here to maintain professional relationships with co-workers after changing jobs; the best way to choose the optimum approach to stay in contact with your ex-colleague is to consider the kind of professional relationship you have and would like to have with them. For example, do you consider them a work friend or a mentor? Do you want to stay in touch or attend conferences with this colleague?

Maintaining professional relationships with ex-colleagues can be reciprocally beneficial, whether they were your friend, mentor, manager, or worked in a different department. You should always remember that even if you haven’t spoken to your ex-colleagues for a few years, reaching out via social media and reforging a connection can help. You can then make it a priority to stay in contact and cultivate your relationship by making it a habit to check in with them every quarter.

So, which methods have you tried to maintain professional relationships after moving to a new place of work? Always try to cultivate professional relationships with colleagues and receive mutual professional benefits.