I’m writing this blog from the Information Technology Alliance Spring Members Meeting (www.italliance.com) and have just returned from the opening night networking dinner. As I was contemplating the subject for this week’s post, it struck me just how important my network of past contacts is and how fortunate I have been to be able to stay in touch with so many important people from my professional career.
Tonight, I reminisced with former employees and former business partners who remain friends and professional colleagues about our colorful past growing up in the technology and accounting professions. Most of us are now reaching “middle age” – and some have already arrived! – and we remarked at how young we were, how immature our business skills were and how much fun we had. While we were talking and laughing, I became really present to the fact that no one really knows you like the people who were with you “back then” and just how great it is to get back in touch, even if virtually, to catch up. LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) has served as a great tool this past year for staying in touch, especially joining alumni groups and specialty groups like the one the ITA has formed to keep its members – the “old” and the new – together between meetings and over time.
I’ve also been contemplating attending a reunion for one of my past employers this summer. It would be incredible to reunite with all of the talented, fun people I served with through high growth and sometimes harrowing times. Yet, I’ve been on the fence about committing because of the travel involved, and it feels like such a personal indulgence with all the other things on my plate. After tonight’s visit with my long-time colleagues, I realize that reunions help us reconnect with a part of ourselves that becomes lost or buried as time passes and new experiences and people come upon us.
As of now, I’m committing to go to this reunion and I’ll also be more conscious of staying in touch with those who knew me back then. Doing so will help me stay in touch with my true self, too. How are you doing in your efforts to stay in touch? Who should you reach out to in order to reconnect with them – and your true self in the process?