Relationships have always been important to me. My natural inclination is to maintain them. It follows that I am still in touch with people from grade school on, professors I had in college and law school, employers, co-workers and friends I have met along the way. I didn’t think of them as my “network” when we were in the school yard or having beers after taking the bar examination. But who can better attest to your character, competence and capabilities than the people who have known you, taught you, worked beside you and employed you?
A few years ago, I hired a young personal trainer who worked at the local YMCA where I am a member. She was an ambitious, gung-ho fitness enthusiast. When she left our branch to take a better job in the organization, I gave her my card and encouraged her to collect contact information from everyone she trained and worked with, and stay in touch. It seemed that she didn’t see the point. From what I understand, she has not maintained any connections she made at the gym. Down the road in a career, you begin to see the point and may regret earlier missed opportunities. The job of maintaining contact information has never been easier than now, with electronic methods such as vCards, Outlook and LinkedIn.
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