When it comes time to sit down and write the holiday newsletter or greeting cards, there’s always those people on your list who you debate sending a card to. Has it been too long since we really got together and talked? Should I contact an old friend, or has too much time passed without us talking? You can even have those same feelings about Facebook — we’re all friends with some of those people from college, high school, or earlier that we haven’t spoken in several years. Sometimes we might just be mildly curious about how they are doing, so those FB updates keep us in the loop.
This holiday season, I’m giving myself a challenge: reach out to all of those old friends who I often wonder about, who I think about and say, “I wonder how they’re doing now.” And I hope some of you Career Girls will join me in that challenge.
I’m not talking about reaching out to people who are out of your life for a good reason. I’m talking about those people that might have slipped through the cracks as your life went through its natural changes. Maybe it’s a good friend from high school or an old college roommate you lost touch with. Maybe it’s a coworker from your first job.
Keeping the door open to these old friends or coworkers can be beneficial personally and professionally. Even if you can’t instantly rekindle an old friendship, you are expanding and further nurturing your network. But be careful — don’t just reach out to old friends to pitch your business or product. People can sense when you aren’t genuine and that will ultimately hurt your network. Only reach out if you are truly interested in catching up and reopening a closed relationship.
Thankfully, Facebook and other social media sites have made it easier for us to reach out to old friends. On the other hand, it’s also made it easier for us to get lazy, read their status updates, and not actually contact them. Make the effort this year to send a holiday message and ask how these old friends are. The holidays really are a great time to do this — it gives you a reason to check and wish them well. And if you’ve noticed big things happening in your friends’ lives (marriage or children), congratulate them. Be excited to hear about what’s going on in their lives, and they’ll be excited to reconnect with you.
So, who is with me on this challenge? Make an effort to reconnect this season — you never know what it might lead to!