Over the next few weeks, let’s explore some of the ways you can make the most of your new job…
Before you even start your new job, you need to think about the networking you’ve done and the contacts you’ve made during your search. Hopefully, you’ve kept careful records of who you’ve met along the way, and what advice, leads, introductions, or other assistance they provided. If not, then sit down right now and pull out your calendar, cell phone, phone book, and email history to reproduce the list as best you can.
I’m assuming you’ve also made a point of thanking all of those people as you went along – dropping them thank you notes or emails after your meeting, and keeping them informed as to any positive developments from whatever advice or contacts they provided you.
Now’s the time to let them all know about the results of your search. Don’t leave them wondering what happened to you! Don’t make the mistake of allowing the network you built up lapse into disuse – after all, the insights, perspectives, and resources of your network add to the value you bring to your new employer, and will be critical to your future career development.
Split your list up into at least 3 groups:
- Those who provided such substantial advice, were so helpful, or are such close (or critical) connections that they deserve a personal phone call.
- Those who don’t make it into category 1, but still deserve individual handling. For these you can come up with a relatively standard ‘thanks for your support’ email or letter you will send, individualizing each one where possible. DO NOT SEND AN IMPERSONAL, BLAST EMAIL WITH A DISTRIBUTION LIST!
- Those who it would still be good to keep in your contact list. These you can send a simple email just alerting them you have landed. Even though you aren’t going to personalize these, don’t use a distribution list if at all possible – at least use Word’s mail merge feature to make each one go out individually to that person’s name.
If you don’t have your new business contact information yet, you might also do this in 2 steps (a mini-keep-in-touch campaign!). First, send your notes / make your calls to everyone in groups 1 & 2, letting them know that you value them as a professional contact and that you will forward your new contact information once you start at the new job. Then, after you start, you can send them a second email or letter to let them know the new contact info. If you like, you can hold the #3 list for this second round, when you can include the contact info.
And here’s an article I contributed to that includes a number of nuggets for the new employee: