“Is it too late to reach out?”

I’ve been hearing this question a lot lately. It comes in lots of different flavors. Is it too late to reach out after an interview? Is it too late to reach out to a speaker I heard a year ago? Is it too late to reconnect with that co-worker from three jobs ago?

Are you worried that too much time has passed since you last connected with a former colleague and now you’ve lost the chance to re-engage? And you’re kicking yourself because you feel like you missed a chance? 

Let’s just stop there. There are very, very few times when you could persuade me it’s too late to reach out to someone who:

  • You worked with in a previous life
  • You learned from
  • You admire
  • You had a good exchange with

But, I hear you saying… what if I’m asking for a favor, or an introduction, or I’m hoping they might help me in my job search? It feels weird to reach out after a long time when I’m asking for something.

Yes. It does feel weird to you. But that doesn’t mean it will be received that way.

Most of us are thrilled to hear from old friends and co-workers. As a regular public speaker, I love hearing from people who reach out to let me know my words had an influence on them – no matter from how long ago. Honestly, it’s a welcome, positive experience that helps break up the routine of my work day.

My dear friend John Kane once said to me, “Sarah, people want to help. Let them. Do it for them. It feels good.”

And, there is no one out there who has achieved any degree of success who did it alone. Give them a chance to pay it forward.


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