Had someone told me back when I graduated from college how important it was to keep in touch with my alumni classmates, I might have grimaced. After all, let’s face it, we tend to gravitate socially toward people with common interests and who complement our own personality types.
Never discount those relationships, my new alumni cohorts, a little bit of tending goes a long way. One never knows whose path you might cross along life’s journey or whether that previous association might prove beneficial to your career.
Funny how as a ‘mature’ individual I look back at those classmates and see the value; of course the fact that I’m in the business of building relationships has provided enlightenment to me; albeit too late in some instances. I can’t tell you how many times I have come into contact with former classmates in business dealings, some of whom had to jog my memory.
You see, when I returned to school initially I already had an established social network and was a few years older than most of my classmates. I just wanted to get my education and credentials and be done with it with as little distraction as possible. Get in, get out and here I am world! As a young person the last thing on my mind was nurturing relationships that were fairly new—after all, I had been in high school a lot longer than in college.
Fast forward several decades later and my current position involves building relationships with area employers and guess what I’m discovering? Many of my former class mates have also been working diligently on their career pathways. As a matter of fact, a few are in positions that I’m trying to connect with: Human Resources Managers, business entrepreneurs, community leaders, etc. Granted, in my defense, keeping connected back then wasn’t as easy as today.
There’s no excuse for those of you currently embarking on your career pathway; social media makes staying in touch easy. Take my advice and keep in touch with everyone—take interest in their lives and keep them posted on yours. These relationships will bear fruit when you least expect it. You reap what you sow.
– Kym McCreary-Stewart
Career Consultant Certificate ’09/Writing for Publication ’08