Personal Contact Information to Build Your Network

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Sep 30

There you are sitting in your cubicle and your teammate Sally comes over to you and tells you she’s gotten a position with a different company and just gave her two week notice. As most of us are not in the financial industry meltdown mode, this is not an every day event. Of course you wish her well and ask about the new position. You ask what your manager said and talk about the transition. Sally mentions to you how much she is going to miss everyone – you always miss the people more than the work, though you can miss the work as well.

Two weeks later, Sally comes to say goodbye as it is her last day at the company. You wonder where in the world the time went during the two weeks. You shake hands or give her a hug and wish her well. And then she’s gone.

Like most work relationships, once she has left the company, she’s gone for good and you never talk with her again.

That’s a shame.

What’s the one thing each of these two sorry people should have done for each other?

Exchange personal contact information.

Personal e-mail account. Perhaps phone numbers. Facebook addresses. LinkedIn link. Twitter accounts.

In other words, get each other into each other’s network now that the company relationship is broken and you won’t see Sally every day. Keep in touch through e-mail, just to say hello and offer a few quick updates. Stay connected because staying connected in today’s world will help you know what is happening in the workplace.

If there is one thing that you can do to build your network, get the personal contact information of the people who are leaving the company. Or, if you are the one leaving, get all the contact information from the people you worked with at your current company before you leave.

Any other contact information suggestions?

  • When I left a company a year ago, my colleagues and I exchanged personal blog info so that we could all keep up with one another that way. A year later, I’m still in close contact with all of them! It’s an easy way to maintain a friendship and keep current with networking.

  • Judy Jenner says:

    When I left corporate America a little more than a month ago to run my own freelance translation business, I decided to keep my IM account the same as it had been during the 5 years I spent at the online travel site that I worked at. That way, my friends and co-workers wouldn’t even have to write down new contact info — but I did hand out new business cards just in case.

    People still IM me every day, and they say they feel like I am there with them. On my end, I do prefer to be in my home office, but it’s fantastic to keep in touch with my friends. I also keep in touch the old-fashioned way: we meet up for lunch or happy hour.

    Once I set up my translation blog, I sent the URL ( to many of my contacts so they could join the conversation.

  • Scot says:

    @Judy Jenner – Another good suggestion, Judy, thanks. Where I worked, the IM was internal to the company so we couldn’t take it with us. If you can, it is just like being there, so go for it!

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