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The power of rekindling old connections: a quick cure for the job-search rut.

Roberto Seif Dec 10

Hi! Have you ever dusted off an old book from your shelf and suddenly realized how amazing it is?

You didn’t think much of it when you first read it many years ago. But today, this book truly resonates. It’s inspiring and full of insights because it meets this moment.

Today I want to talk about a powerful and underrated way to help you unlock new possibilities for your career, enhance your mood, and build your confidence:

Rekindling your old connections.

Let’s dive in! Reconnecting with old acquaintances is an energy reboot.

  • “I don’t have many connections.”

  • “I don’t know who to reach out to.”

  • “I feel weird about contacting someone who doesn’t know me.”

  • “Who’s going to be interested in talking to me?”

I often hear these concerns from successful middle managers who’ve spent most of their careers in one or two jobs. Warranted, they never had to foster professional connections outside their industry. Having to put themselves out there feels like diving back into the dating pool after a 15-year marriage. It can be terrifying.

This drives them to pursue safer, lower-exposure approaches, such as filling out online job applications, emailing headhunters, and tapping into a handful of confidants who run in the same circles.

But staying busy is different from making progress.

Close friends and colleagues don’t have much to offer — other than “maybe you should look into…”.

Headhunters respond with their usual “thanks; I’ll reach out if I come across anything.”

It takes hours to upload a job application and several weeks to hear back.

It’s fucking demoralizing! (pardon my French)

My clients often come to me feeling beaten down and anxious about their career direction. One of the first assignments I give them is to reach out to a handful of old connections they haven’t talked to in a long time — to catch up on life.

This jolts them back to life 100% of the time!

Reconnecting with old acquaintances renews their optimism, reignites their curiosity, and reminds them that their story matters. There’s a sense of newness and rediscovery. It shifts their energy from a state of contraction to a state of expansion.

The gold is inside your dormant circle. 80% of all my career opportunities started with old contacts that I hadn’t talked to in years: 👉College friends and professors I haven’t spoken to in 20+ years. 👉Consultants or vendors I worked with four jobs ago. 👉Former colleagues I briefly interacted with in the past. 👉That guy I had coffee with back when I was job hunting ten years ago. Your old connections can open doors that neither your close contacts nor strangers can’t:

  • They already remember who you are — often more fondly than you think.

  • They move in different circles from yours.

  • They’ve had unique experiences and challenges that shaped their views.

  • They will be pleasantly surprised and curious to hear from you.

  • They’ll gladly make time for you. It’s a break from their usual routine.

  • They are eager to help.

  • They know you enough to feel comfortable introducing you to their connections.

  • They vastly outnumber your closer connections.

Putting it into practice: Any time you feel stuck, uninspired, or beaten down, do this… 1) Open your contact list

2) Look for 3-5 people you haven't talked to in 15+ years -- even if you remember not having much in common back in the day.

3) Send them a quick note to say hi and invite them to catch up on life over zoom (or in person if possible) over the next two weeks.

4) Prepare to be amazed. Use my simple social media-ready template to reach out:

"Hi ______! It's been years. How have you been? You appeared on my LinkedIn feed, prompting me to send you a note to say hi. If you’re up for it. I’d love to catch up on life and hear about the great things you've been up to over the past ____ years. Let me know if you have some time to do a Zoom call in the next couple of days/weeks. "

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