Most people begin thinking about reference letters when the time comes to have them ready to show their future employers. To a establish solid reference, you need to invest your time and energy early in the process. To start things off, as you leave a professional position you should make it a priority to maintain a strong communication channel with potential future references.
Your references will come from a continued and prolonged relationship, in which you should be genuinely interested in the person from which you want a reference. Once you leave a position for a new one, send regular emails to your potential references, first updating them on your situation and then asking about theirs. Make sure you offer solutions to any problems that they are facing and always be there for anything that they may need.
Don’t Show Up Only When You Need Something
Never have your first few initial points of contact with a potential reference mention anything about attaining references or about prospective job positions. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you should contact your potential references when you have nothing on the move professionally. Your only goal should be to maintain a lasting relationship with that person.
People keep to-do lists of structured approaches to completing the daily objectives that they have. Your management of friends and acquaintances should also follow a structured, to-do approach. You need to keep lists and write things down. Keep tabs on the interests of those who can provide value to you in the future. In order to gain value (in this case a reference) from another, you need to provide something of value in return.
The trade of providing value to one another does not need to take place concurrently. However, if you receive something of value from someone of importance, keep tabs on it and ensure that they receive value from you sometime in the near future. The people around you are perhaps the most important thing to focus on in life, overtaking everything else you have in mind. You need to be a dealer of value, and in order to become one, you need to put in the work.
Attaining references is work, and it is a methodical en devour. Start thinking about your potential references the minute begin in your new role at an organisation. The references that you should now be planning are references you will use for the position you scope out after this new one becomes old. It may seem a little early to do so, but you will be glad you did.