I sent an “announcement” (which for me is a newsletter) to my LinkedIn Group about 3rd and 4th degree contacts. The idea is that you MUST network deeper, asking the “who do you know” questions. You can see that article, and the comments, here.
Rita Carey, a professional job search coach, added this in the comments:
I would like to add a second recommendation…stay in touch. If you wish people a Happy Thanksgiving with a little update and express your gratitude for their support, you will accomplish two things: you will demonstrate professionalism and they will remember you and your transition.
I have seen this done so well…not just at Thanksgiving, of course, but that occasional email or phone call that says “I thought about you today”…. that includes an article of mutual interest or a relevant link.
Stay in touch.
You can call that “nurture relationships.”
You can call that “follow up.”
Why do people do a poor job of staying in touch?
There are various reasons.
Some people aren’t good at, or don’t like networking.
Some people get too consumed in work, family, recreation, etc.
It’s hard to see immediate value from taking time to keep in touch.
For the most part, follow-up is hard.
That’s one reason why I created JibberJobber.
What if you could have a system that made it easier? A system that prompted you to follow-up with someone?
I haven’t talked to Rita for 2 months… the way my brain works, she’s out of sight, out of mind. And if/when I do think about her, I feel guilty for letting too much time go by, and I’m not quite sure what I would say to nurture the relationship… so in this state I just let more time go by. And then years have passed, and all my good intentions are meaningless (except maybe the guilt that I feel).
Then, I lose my job, and I know I want to talk to her, but then I question my motives and don’t reach out because hey, what kind of friend am I if I only reach out when I’m in need?
We’re doing a better job helping people, whether they are in a job search, happily employed, or business owners, or the grandma who wants to have great relationships with her grandkids, stay in touch.