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Maintaining Connections With Former Colleagues

Joanna Clare

Throughout our working life, colleagues come and go. Some will stay for long periods of time and others only for a fleeting few weeks or months. Although some colleagues are easily forgotten for one reason or another, others will leave a lifelong impression upon us and are definitely not readily erased from our memories.

Due to the fact that we tend to spend more time at work than anywhere else, we are therefore, for the most part,in the company with colleagues and from this invariably firm friendships can form based on trust, respect, compatibility and of course companionship.

Once a colleague moves on to pastures new, it can be difficult for us to adjust to working without them as they have been a source of familiarity, especially if a bond has been formed over time.

Despite the many ways of keeping in touch with colleagues wherever they may be, we can often put it on hold, wait for the other person or think to ourselves that we may have left it a tad too long.

There are several social media platforms, emails, texts and good old fashioned speaking on the phone or even letters and cards (everyone loves receiving them!) but with so many distractions and life becoming increasingly hectic, it can be difficult to stay properly connected and it’s all too easy to drift apart.

Yet, friends are important and nothing beats meeting up in person and despite promises staying in touch on a regular basis, it can often become a regret of a promise that wasn't kept rather than something to look forward to.

There is a popular saying that originates from a poem that begins with the line, ‘There’s no friend like the old friend…’ and there is certainly much to be said for that simple statement.

Enjoying a wider social network with people of different personalities from contrasting backgrounds has been scientifically proven to enrich and even prolong our lives and keep us more healthy.

If you and a former colleague have drifted apart and you find yourself missing their camaraderie, they may very well be feeling the same way as you do. Where true friendship exists, time and distance are unimportant. Whatever form of communication you choose for reconnecting, let your former colleague know that you are thinking of them and you would love to hear how they are. Offer the option of meeting up for lunch or for the day or if that proves somewhat difficult, an annual get together would be something to really look forward to especially if you are able to invite any other former colleagues.

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