Why Developing and Maintaining Rapport Is Vital

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Several indicators are beginning to point to an economy that has a glimmer of hope. The bottom is in sight and normal business activity is starting to resume. The stock market had the best 2 month performance in 35 years, and gas/oil costs to consumers continues to be affordable with supplies seemingly abundant.  That being said,  unemployment is still at record highs and continues to climb (from 8.5 % in March to 8.9% in April – highest levels since 1983 according to the Portland Press Herald.)

Precarious business conditions, like the one we are in, dictate how important it is to develop and nurture past employment relationships. It’s essential to maintain as many lifelines as possible, especially if conditions take a sudden turn for the worst.

My sister Catherine is a New York City Lawyer and, like many of the financial industries on Wall Street, they are seeing their fair share of downsizing.  One of her closest friends recently was affected but, because of her past standing with her previous employer, she was able to land on her feet within 2 days of being layed off.  It was the epitome of a success story.

My sisters’ friend was kind enough to forward me a quick note on what transpired:

“In today’s uncertain job environment, being out of work can be unsettling and even frightening. I recently found myself in such a situation. There was no warning, it came out of the blue. Senior management spoke to my boss and then me and said – ‘hey, nothing wrong with your performance, but we are feeling the pinch of the struggling economy and need to let you go. Last in, first out. We are very sorry.’  I was stunned as I sat trying to comprehend my severance letter. Is this really happening? Where will I find work? As these things go, people love to be the first to spread bad news and word of my firing spread quickly. Within several hours, my previous employer called me and asked if the news was true? I confirmed it, and they then said that a perfect opportunity has just opened up and would I be interested? Can I interview tomorrow? Of course, I could! And I did … and got the job two days later! I’m now two months into my new job and it’s great. I couldn’t be happier! This all came about because I never severed my ties with my former employer. I left on good terms (to go to work for one of their clients) and still maintained my contacts via calls, emails and dropping by to meet with former colleagues. Every industry is small and nurturing relationships is key to succeeding in your present job, BUT can be critical in times like these – where WHO you know will get you the next opportunity. So, don’t burn bridges and keep in touch……you never know how it can pay off. “

One never knows how events or business conditions bring unexpected bad news and layoffs. Change is a part of business and with this your position and responsibilities within any organization may be adversely affected. Maintaining report and contact with past connections will always be a sound decision for a job recommendation or to rejoin the firm as the situation fits.

Have you experienced a job transition that was directly attributed to your strong connections from a past contact? Feel free to comment!

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