It’s quite hard to stay connected with everyone, especially within broader professional circles. This is something that everyone struggles with. From family situations to crazy schedules to relocations, there are so many factors that can contribute to losing touch with people within your network. What’s more, if someone is doing more than one job, the chances of having a meeting become quite minimal.

This means you are likely going to lose connections that might have been helpful to you in the future. Whereas some people might think reconnecting is a waste of time, this is far from the truth. You never know when you might need their help. After all, it is not what you know, but rather who you know that often matters.

If you have found yourself needing to reconnect with your network, you are in the right place! Without wasting much of your time, here are five ways you can reach out and reconnect to your professional contacts. After reconnecting, make sure you focus more energy on maintaining those connections in the future.

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Twitter And LinkedIn

Thank goodness for social media. Utilizing social media is one of the excellent ways to contact your old friends and colleagues. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional network, so this kind of communication is quite okay. You can send a brief message stating how you know the individual, where you have been and what you have been doing, and reasons why you would like to reconnect with them.

If you choose to use Twitter, first follow them, retweet, or reply to any of their posts to get their attention. From there, you can choose to message them directly. However, even though you are communicating through social media, remember to keep it professional.

Adress The Time That Has Passed

If you are sending them a message, it is imperative to start with “It’s been a while.” Acknowledge the time that has gone by and face the awkwardness head-on. How quickly you can move on with the conversation will depend on the nature of your relationship in the past. To make it easier, you can start with either an event or something that has happened in your life like graduation, marriage, the birth of a child, career change, relocation, and so on. Make sure you ask them questions as well to get the conversation going.

Mention A Mutual Friend

If you have a mutual friend, it makes sense to mention them in your message. Mention how you know this person and ask how close they are. You might also ask your mutual friend to reach out to the person on your behalf with your LinkedIn profile or through an email introduction. People are more likely to be open to you when they know that you have mutual contacts or things in common.

Acknowledge A Milestone

If the person you are contacting achieved any milestone, first acknowledge the achievement as you greet them. Did they win any award? Did they receive any LinkedIn notification? Is it a promotion they recently received? Use this opportunity to congratulate them and reconnect. Recognizing someone’s successes can go a long way in establishing a good repertoire. 

Share Something Of Value

This can be either by connecting them with a potential client or a deal. Alternatively, if you know of any article that would help them in their career, mention that too. This shows that you are not selfish, but instead that you have always had them in mind and want them to succeed in their careers.

Bottom Line

People fall out with colleagues and previous bosses all the time, but what makes a difference is the tone you use to reconnect with them. First, introduce yourself, acknowledge the time that has gone by, and then state what you want-it could either be a reference or just a meetup.