Maybe it’s the shared “fighting for a cause” environment, but employees that move on from associations tend to feel like alumni. This isn’t unique to the association world, but I have noticed it seems to be more common than in other industries. In general, these professionals tend to stay strong supporters of the organizations with which they’ve worked.
This is a good thing. Using the university analogy again, staying involved with past association employers can be a bit like participating in an alumni network. You have an automatic bond with a group of people in your industry, which of course, can only help you throughout your career. And, though this may be the last thing on your mind right now, I’ve also known of many who ended up back at a previous employer. Whatever your reasons, it can only be in your best interest to maintain connections with past colleagues. A few simple ways to do this include:
1) Joining a LinkedIn group for alumni of your association: If there isn’t one already, consider creating the group yourself. It’s one of the easiest ways to connect or re-connect with alumni.
2) Having lunch with former co-workers: Or coffee. It doesn’t really matter. What’s important is staying in touch with people you already had a rapport with when working together. This one is especially easy – basically, you’ll be visiting with people you already know and like!
3) Speaking positively about your past employer: A loyal attitude will reflect well on you, and the people you worked with will be more likely to lend their support.