If there is ANY chance that you might intentionally, or unintentionally be on the job market in the next year (and even if you think not), do yourself a big favour and invest some time developing and updating your professional and personal reference list.
You have heard that business is about people and relationships. This is doubly important when it comes to your references. Sure, you can email a boss from 7 years ago out of the blue and he/she might help you out, but wouldn’t it have been better to have maintained that relationship over time? Would the results be a bit better perhaps?
- Retrieve your reference list. If you don’t have one, open a new document and start creating it.
- Touch base with your references.
- Contact people who you think you would like to ask to be a reference.
- Show some interest in their life. The simple act of touching base, or pinging your references can go along way. “How are things? Can I help?”
- Update their current contact info while you are it.
This is not only a smart move in terms of being prepared, but it will also highlight potential gaps in your reference list in advance of the critical moment.
Watch this space for news on my upcoming solution. I will teach you the art of managing and leveraging your references. Coming in September.