Is it really bad that I've lost touch with everyone who could give me a reference? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 11-25-2008, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to start applying for jobs but the last time I worked was in 2003, and I haven't kept in touch with anyone from that job or any of my previous jobs--that's 3 jobs where I don't talk to anyone anymore. I know I could try calling the old companies to see if they are still there, but even if they are, I would feel so awkward after almost 6 years especially since I wasn't on great friendship terms with anyone...although I did pretty well at the jobs start chit chatting with them only to try to get something from them. At this point though, I don't even have anyone I'd feel comfortable putting down as a personal reference either. I mean, I don't volunteer anywhere or attend a house of worship, and I'm looking for something that starts next summer so before then, I wouldn't even have a chance to join some organization to get a reference. WWYD?

I used to be a shopaholic, now I'm a create-a-colic! (Mother to two boys)
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#2 of 7 Old 11-25-2008, 06:45 PM
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If you don't have professional references, then note that on applications and provide some good personal references -- people that can attest to your character and work ethic.
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#3 of 7 Old 11-25-2008, 08:43 PM
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I would contact your old colleagues/supervisor. What's the worst that could happen? You're already out of contact with them, so it isn't as if you're risking an existing relationship.

Seriously, it is not that uncommon a scenario. Chances are good that if you explain the gap and that they are you last reference, they'll understand.

Best of luck!

almost irrational
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#4 of 7 Old 11-26-2008, 09:11 AM
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i think i'd try and find current ones. 6 years ago is a long time. all they could maybe really say is you worked there and you left on good terms.

have you done ANYTHING in the past few years you can get someone to write a letter for you? My best friend was in this exact situation and had the leader of her "preschool play date group" write a letter that she had organized a float for their group for a town parade.

and if you're thinking of next summer, you still have plenty of time to do some volunteering. there are so many volunteer opportunities out there-find one that interests you and go with it. I've done letters for students whom I've only know for a month or two.
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#5 of 7 Old 11-26-2008, 09:36 AM
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I had to do this, although I think I was only about 3 years out of touch. It was hard but I sucked it up and did it. I didn't pretend I was getting in touch to rekindle friendships or anything. Just said, hey, I know we've been out of touch, I'm ready to get back to work after the baby, would you be willing to be a reference. The response was positive and she gave me a great reference.

But, yeah, it took a lot of self-cheerleading to get there.
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#6 of 7 Old 11-27-2008, 03:35 AM
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I agree I think it's pretty common - I've gotten back in touch with employers from over 6 years ago to get a reference. You don't have to be friends (or even have been friends) to get a professional reference.
And I agree with pp, no need to chitchat or pretend it's about anything else, just be professional and straightforward about it.

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#7 of 7 Old 11-27-2008, 11:30 PM
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Try LinkedIn to find them and reconnect. You could invite them for coffee. You never know what could happen.
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