Not too many people network with their former work associates, and of course the further you go back, the less you tend to touch base with them. Yet consider this: your contacts are always networking, even while gainfully employed, and building their rolodex.
Termination generally isn’t anything against you. It’s nothing personal, rather a decision based on the company’s need to refresh their talent pool, remain on the competitive edge, deal with some economic turmoil, or steer in a new direction.
If you remember this and keep the door open to maintaining contact with your previous bosses and colleagues, they can be a great resource for the rest of your career. How do you know somebody you worked with 7 or 10 years ago isn’t now in a hiring position and looking for someone with your exact skill set?
Use LinkedIn as a key networking resource
The key to this strategy is using LinkedIn to uncover past peers, bosses and employees and reconnecting with them. It is much easier to reconnect than to build a new connection from scratch. These long-time contacts have even more value because there is already an existing bond, trust and respect for you.
Don’t be afraid to open up a dialogue and connect on social media with these prior colleagues. If you’re a career veteran of 20 years and you’ve never used LinkedIn, you could potentially uncover 100 people or more – instantly! These are meaningful connections that should be easy to engage.
The whole trick is to never lose track of people in the first place. Maintain those relationships – even with the boss who has terminated you. Invariably there is no animosity; termination is just a fact of life in business today.