I spend a lot of time on linkedin. My job is all about finding people to introduce them to opportunities that they might not know about and linkedin is a great tool for that.
I always tell people not just to keep their profile up to date but to reach out. When you think of someone from your past, take a few minutes to see if you can find their profile. When you find it, suck in your breath and send a message. I know. It’s hard. What if they don’t respond? What if you find out that they married your best friend from college? Or they got the promotion you were supposed to get?
Put the doubts aside and go for it.
Linkedin is not only for broadening your career horizons but also provides a platform for life enriching experiences. And connecting with your past does that. It gives you the chance to reminisce, talk about where you are now and all that’s happened in between.
I had first hand experience with this yesterday and boy, does it make you feel good. I sent a linkedin message to someone that I had not spoken to in 21 years. She did not respond for a while so I kind of wrote it off. But then last week, there it was: a message saying how great it was to hear from me.
That, in and of itself was grin inspiring. We went on to have a phone conversation and then had lunch yesterday.
The joy of having someone you have not seen for a long, long time waving wildly at you from across the street will carry me through a lot of crappy days.
So, take a moment out of your busy day to reach out. Your inbox will still be there when you are done.