July 1, 2024

Your old friends want to hear from you


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

No, reconnecting is not ‘weird’

I talk to a lot of people who lost their jobs. More than I can count, honestly. It’s a daily occurrence.

The biggest mistake these suddenly-and-unexpectedly-a-job-seeker types made: not staying in touch with their networks. The people they used to work with, go to school with, socialize with, do business with. 

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do for a living, you know people. More than you realize. And a lot of those people who would bend over backwards to help you, if they can. Or rather, if they even knew you needed help.

I even hear this with senior sales types, where maintaining relationships is part of the function. Not the people they currently work with, but the contacts they made two, five, ten years ago. People tend to drift away from each other.

And it’s always the same reason:

“We haven’t talked in forever. It’d be weird if I just reached back out.”

👉But science says the exact opposite. People would actually LOVE to hear from you. Because they have the exact same apprehension.

I read this Guardian article about a study from the University of Pittsburgh: “Old friends more grateful to receive a message than we expect, study finds.

Tldr: They had people write to old friends and contacts they hadn’t been in touch with in a while, and asked both the sender and recipients to rate their levels of appreciation. The recipients, on average, were always happier to receive the note than the sender expected.

Turns out, the unexpected surprise of hearing from a long lost friend or acquaintance is a positive. Think about it. When’s the last time you heard from an old friend out of the blue? Didn’t it make your day?

Most people are bad at staying in touch. It’s normal. But it doesn’t have to be permanent.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

More blogs from James Hornick

See all Talent Insights Blog entries....

Our Latest Featured Episode

Our Shows