Most people begin thinking about reference letters when the time comes to have them ready to show your future employers. To a establish solid reference, you need to invest your time and energy, investing early in the process. When you leave a professional position you must 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 must 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. This may seem Machiavellian in nature but always remember, you will never receive anything in life for free. In order to gain value (in this case a reference) from another, you need to provide something of value right back to them.
You Operate Within a Market
The trade of providing values to one another does not need to take place at the same time, but if you receive something of value from someone of importance, you must keep tabs and ensure that they receive value from you sometime in the near future. This is why you need to keep written records and plan your relationships out like you plan your finances. The people around you are 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 a great dealer you must work at it seriously.
Attaining references is work, and it is a methodical en devour. Start thinking about your references the minute you leave your current position for a new one. The references that you should now be planning are references you will use for the position you scope out after the new one that you just began work in. It may seem a little early to do so, but you will be glad you did.