Should You Be Networking With Past Employers?

Maintaining a strong network of contacts is crucial for career success. Whether you're job searching or trying to climb the ladder, having connections is key. But when it comes to networking, is it appropriate to reach out to former employers? Or is it frowned upon? Here’s what our approved career experts had to say:


Evaluate Your Relationship

"If you mean companies that previous bosses now work for, I guess that depends on how healthy your relationship with that boss was," says Kristin Johnson of ProfessionDirection.com. Johnson says if it was difficult, you might want to start by making amends with that specific person to avoid the possibility that they would make an effort to malign you there. "You may want to prioritize your list so you work with your best prospects and most positive relationships first," she says.

Look At Your Options

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran of NextChapterNewLife.com says going back to an old employer is always an option to consider. "You know the company and they know you," she says. "Assuming it was a mutually positive experience on both accounts, you absolutely should consider a previous employer as part of your target company list."

Maintain Your Network

"It’s always a good idea to maintain the network you built at past employers," says Bud Bilanich, author of Climbing The Corporate Ladder. "These people can help you with job leads and can act as references for you when you are applying at a new company." Bilanich says it’s especially important to stay in touch with this network if you are planning to reapply to one of these companies. The bigger your network, the easier it will be for you to find a job. "Your network is your key to career success," he says. "When you are looking for a job, and after you’ve landed one." Now you know if you should be networking with past employers.

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