If you are young and in love (with your current employer) it is likely that you perceive some of your co-workers as friends or at least professional colleagues. But all things come to an end, and whether it is you or them that leave first, your relationship will experience some strain once the carpet is pulled out. Here are some ways you can continue to keep those relationships going.
Talk to them about keeping it going
Your co-worker relationship is going to change. The basis for it, the topics you talk about and the schedule, has been altered. First, tell them that you value them, the relationship you have, and ask them if they are willing to put in the time and energy to keep it going.
A great way to stay in touch is to send a note when something good happens. This is great to do with people you want to keep in touch with, but are not checking-in with regularly.
Plan to share a meal every so often. It can be spontaneous or set up. It is a great idea to set up a schedule for yourself, say, once a month or every other month for people you really care about.
For some prior coworkers you can keep tabs by checking-in on them on a quarterly basis. Some are better than others at actually doing this. Set up a recurring reminder on your calendar, and at some point that week drop a check note with some sort of question.
Spontaneous e-mails and call
Hey Joanne – I wanted to call and just say hello. I was thinking of you the other day when I went to the food trucks and wanted to see how your family is doing?
Scan and Connect
Introduce your old network to your new network by connecting and introducing people. A great way to do this is with a brief email to both parties. In the subject say “Jason <meet> Jesse”. In your email provide a one sentence summary of who each person is, and if you are extra attentive, you can hyperlink to LinkedIn. Establish the reason you are making the introduction. It may be personal or hobby based, it may be a value add relationship.
If your company offers exit coaching as a benefit, and you are the recipient, work with your career coach to create a detailed list of colleagues you want to remain close with. They can be helpful when you are looking for a new job.