We are all human, and life tends to get in the way of our own ambitions. It never hurts to make new friends and keep the old ones. You are striving for success and in doing so, you need to tackle all areas. Some may consider this backtracking, but unknown to you, some of your friends from school or old job, may be in a better place and may have met new contacts along the way, just like you. Even if you are gearing up for a job search, this is another approach of getting back in touch with you professional network. You’ll want to get in touch with your key contacts to let them know you’re looking. Reaching out to old contacts after a long time can be awkward. There’s a chance that they might not remember you very well. And when you’re quick to tap an old contact for resources after letting the relationship go cold for a long time, you may come off as self-serving. Try to remember this, it will benefit you and your website or product you’re trying to prepare. Get personal in your search, doing so will naturally lead back to a conversation about what you’re doing professionally. It’s okay to be on the job hunt or to need information, but it’s best to approach any reconnection without the goal of getting something like a job referral from other people. So, drop the agenda for the first few interactions and focus on getting to know them again. If you’re in a time crunch for a new website or trying to make a deadline for your own goals, start small with a 15-minute phone call or, if the relationship was warm enough before it went cold perhaps a video chat through Skype. The easiest way to get over the awkwardness of reconnecting is to do it often. It’s best to make a habit of reaching back out regularly, say with one person per week or per month. A research trick you will come to find is to use social media to stay on top of what old colleagues or friends are doing or achieving, but then use a more personal medium like email, text message or phone call to say congratulations or offer help. You will have rebuilt a part of your network and provided enough value to it, to where you may not even have to ask for help when the time comes.
All this is great but remember also that not everyone will be helpful, don’t assume someone will be interested. Show them the correct way to professionalism, you would show anyone. If this is someone who has the potential to really contribute to your success, make sure to bring your A-Game. In conclusion, take your old friend contacts personal when engaging. Work your way back into their bubble once again. Think about what you going to say and how you will say it. Stay on top of they are doing and you will have no doubt, you have left your old contact with a deeper impression than before.