Imagine you are at the final stages of interviewing for a great job. The salary, location and job description are all great fits. You are beyond excited.
You get asked for references. You just about pass out. You forgot about this part and have not connected with your references for ages.
Using the guy in the next cubicle three years ago is not going to cut it. Neither will using your neighbour or a family friend.
Employers want to be able to verify that you do what you say you do in a way that is consistent with how you have presented yourself.
They want to talk to three or four people who have worked closely with you recently enough to remember it. At least one of those people should have been your manager.
Cultivating references is almost as important as keeping your eyes open for new opportunities. Think about the people you interact with on a daily basis. Who would be willing and able to vouch for your skills, attitudes and work ethic?
Don’t let this fall by the wayside. Keep your resume and references at the ready because you never know where and when the next opportunity will show up.