Awaken Dormant Ties to Revive Your Job Search
My good friend Thom Singer recently recorded a video, Awaken Dormant Ties (the future of business relationships) where he stated that:
There is so much value in reaching out to people with who you used to be connected and rebuilding those relationships.
The term format dormant ties come from a paper published by Rutgers University professor Daniel Levin in 2011. Dr. Levin’s research showed that it is much easier to reconnect and awaken dormant ties or relationships than it is to create new relationships.
During the pandemic, I have reconnected with so many people from my past by simply picking up the phone and calling them. My first question is “how are you doing?”.
This is not about asking someone for a job or a connection. This is truly reaching out to people you have not talked to in years and reconnecting and rekindling the relationship.
Your thoughts are that these people will think it is strange and awkward that you’re calling.
No, they won’t!
Your Reputation is Frozen in Time
I wrote the post, How People Think of You May Be Frozen in Time, where I discussed a concept that I learned about from Carol Fishman Cohen, co-founder of iRelaunch. Past relationships remember us how we were and not how we are today.
I want you to sit back and think about this. If someone sent you an email or even called you and said, “I was thinking of you today and wanted to know how you are doing,” would you say, “wow that person must be looking for something from me?”
I do not think so. I think you would probably be excited to hear from someone.
We have been isolated and socially distanced for a long time during this pandemic. Now is the time to awaken dormant ties.
Strategy to Awaken Dormant Ties
Thom suggests a really easy way to get started.
Go to LinkedIn and pull up your list of contacts. Pick a letter and Thom suggests “M”. You can then go through your list of contacts that begin with M and select 5-10 people that you will reach out to. These should be people that you had a real relationship with at one time.
You could send them an email or pick up the phone and call them. If you call them you will likely get their voicemail but leave them a message saying, “I thought of you today and was wondering how you are doing.”
Of those 5-10 people maybe a few will respond. What? Yes, not everyone is going to respond, and do not dwell on those that do not respond. Some may respond and say, ‘thank you for thinking of me’ but with no action on their part. Again, just move on to the next person.
However, those that do respond, schedule a phone or Zoom call, or if they are local find a time for a coffee or beer meeting.
The next day, pick another letter and do the same thing. After 26 days you may have reconnected with 50-100 people.
Revive Your Job Search
If you are part of the group that the Bureau of Labor Statistics labels “long term unemployed” this is a great way to revive your job search. Reaching out to people who are excited to hear from you is great for your morale.
When you connect with these dormant ties, this is not about asking for help finding a job. It is all about reconnecting and reestablishing relationships.
Once you have reestablished the relationship that is when you pull out the tried and true asking for AIR, or asking for advice, insights, and recommendations. I have been quoted many times that when you ask for advice from a connection, you will rarely be turned down. The advice you get might be something you already know or something that is not practical. You will likely need to have a lot of these AIR conversations to make real progress.
Being Humble and Vulnerable
I wrote about another idea from Thom in my post, 7 Best Practices that Empower Your Career and Business. One of my favorites is “Talk with One Smart Person Every Day”.
Thom’s speaking business completely collapsed back in March of 2020 when the meeting industry completely shut down. What Thom did was to reach out to “one smart person every day” and say, “here is my situation, what do you think I should do?”
That is being humble and, more importantly, vulnerable. For most of us who have had successful careers until this pandemic slapped a lot of older workers in the face, it has been a pretty humbling experience. What many of us need is reconnecting relationships with people who can pick us up and move us along.
I think you will find that taking this strategy will get you reinvigorated and wanting to have real conversations with real people.
Now is the time to reach out and awaken dormant ties, and be humble and vulnerable.
Are you willing to take action?