How To Reach Out To An Old Coworker – A Complete Guide

Written By Aleena

If you want to learn how to reach out to an old coworker, you can do a few things to make sure the conversation goes smoothly.

An old coworker can be an excellent resource for networking, advice, or even catching up on old times.

However, it can be tough to know how to start the conversation without seeming awkward.

6 Steps To Reach Out To An Old Coworker

Here are a few steps on how to reach out to an old coworker:

1. Friendly Greeting:

Start by sending a friendly email or LinkedIn message. Or you can call them, whatever suits you both.

Mention something you have in common. It doesn’t have to be anything significant, but starting on a positive note will help break the ice. 

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You could mention a shared interest, a past project you worked on together. Or even something as simple as where you used to get coffee in the morning.

2. Schedule A Meetup:

After exchanging a few pleasantries, it’s time to schedule a meetup.

If you live in the same city, we suggest meeting for coffee or lunch.

Set up a video call using Skype or Google Hangouts if you’re further apart.

A meetup is to catch up and get to know each other again. There’s no need to prepare anything too formal.

3. State The Purpose Of Reaching Out To Them:

Towards the end of the conversation, mention why you’re reaching out to them.

Are you looking for advice on your career? Trying to find a new job?

Or are you just curious about what they’re up to these days? Let your purpose be a non-pushy one.

4. Ask About Their Life & Offer Help:

Once you’re catching up, ask about their life and career since you last saw them.

Find out what they’re up to and see if there’s anything you can do to help them in their current role. 

If they’re looking for a new opportunity, offer to help with their job search.

You can introduce them to people in your network and help them update their resumes. Or give them advice on the best way to look for jobs.

5. Thank Them & Close:

Thank your old coworker for their time at the end of the meetup. And let them know that you enjoyed catching up with them.

Then, close by saying that you’ll keep in touch and look forward to hearing from them soon.

6. Follow Up:

Finally, don’t forget to follow up after your meeting. Send a quick email or text message thanking them for their time.

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This will help keep the lines of communication open if you ever need to reach out to them again.

Also, it will show that you appreciate their time, which they’ll likely enjoy.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to reach out to an old coworker without any awkwardness.

And you may even find that you still have a lot in common with them.

15 Things To Consider When Reaching Out To An Old Coworker

Here are the things to consider when reaching out to an old coworker:

1. The Purpose Of Reaching Out:

What is your purpose for reaching out to your old coworker?

Are you looking for advice, seeking a new opportunity, or just catching up?

Knowing your purpose will help you determine the best way to reach out and what type of message to send.

2. The Relationship With Your Coworker:

How well did you get along with your coworker when you worked together?

Are you still on good terms, or did you have a falling out?

If you had a good relationship, reaching out will likely be easier. But if you had a bumpy relationship, you’ll need to take a more cautious approach.

You will have to decide if it’s worth reaching out to and if the potential benefits outweigh any risks.

3. The Method Of Contacting Them:

There are a few different ways to reach out to an old coworker.

You can send them a message on social media, email them, or even give them a call.

Choose the method of contact you think will be most comfortable for both of you.

If they are someone you were close with, then a phone call or meeting in person might be best.

But if you didn’t have a close relationship, then a message on social media might be a better option.

4. The Timeframe:

When is the best time to reach out to your old coworker?

significant life event.

You’ll want to consider their schedule and try to contact them when they’re not too busy.

It might be in the evening when they’re relaxing at home or on the weekend when they have more free time.

You should also avoid reaching out to them right after a significant life event. Such as a death in the family or a job loss.

5. The Tone Of The Conversation:

What tone do you want to set for the conversation?

Do you want it to be casual or formal? Should you bring up the past or focus on the present?

You’ll need to decide how you want the conversation to go before reaching out.

6. Correct Contact Information:

Make sure you have the correct contact information. The last thing you want to do is reach out to the wrong person.

Check their LinkedIn profile or other social media platforms

Ensure you have the most up-to-date contact information.

With incorrect information, you run the risk of coming across as unprofessional.

7. Consider How They’ll React:

Next, consider how your old coworker might react to hearing from you. Will they be happy to chat, or are they likely busy?

It’s always best to err on caution and assume they’ll be busy. Thus, don’t take it personally if they don’t have time to talk.

Suppose they do react with friendliness, great! You can move on to the next step.

8. Don’t Be Pushy:

Don’t be pushy about getting together or catching up when reaching out.

Instead, express that you’d like to chat and leave it. They’ll let you know if they’re interested when they have time.


If you are too pushy, you may come across as needy or desperate, likely turning them off.

9. Make It Easy For Them:

Make it easy for your old coworker by suggesting a time and place meet up.

If they’re busy, they can always decline or suggest an alternative time that works better.

However, if you make an effort to accommodate their schedule, they’ll be more likely to want to meet up with you.

10. Keep The Conversation Light:

Keep the conversation light when you do meet up.

Catching up with an old coworker doesn’t have to be a heavy or severe discussion.

Talk about life in general, work, hobbies, or anything else that comes to mind.

Avoid controversial topics or anything that might make them uncomfortable.

Don’t try to catch up on everything that’s happened in the years since you’ve seen each other.

11. Keep It Short:

Don’t overstay your welcome. Keep the conversation short so that you don’t wear out your welcome.

If you can, try to end on a positive note so that they’ll be open to meeting up with you again in the future.

A long, drawn-out conversation can be awkward, so it’s best to keep things short and sweet.

12. Keep It, Professional:

If you were formal with your old coworker before, then you’ll want to keep things professional when you reach out.

That means using their title (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., etc.) and avoiding personal questions.

However, if you have been friends before, even then, stay professional. Since you are meeting after a long time, these manners are suggested.

13. Make It Memorable:

Do not be manipulative or use this opportunity to make your old coworker feel guilty.

The goal is to make the conversation memorable positively so that they’ll want to meet up with you again.

Share something interesting about your life. Or ask them about something they’re passionate about.

14. Exchange Contact Information:

Before you leave, exchange contact information with your old coworker. They might have gotten a new number or vice versa.

This way, you’ll be able to stay in touch more easily in the future.

Keeping the lines of communication open will help maintain your relationship. It could even lead to further opportunities down the road.

15. Don’t Be Nervous:

Remember, there’s no need to be nervous when reaching out to an old coworker.


Some people might be apprehensive about getting back in touch, but there’s no need.

It is just like talking to any other acquaintance. Just take it slow, be casual, and keep the conversation light.

If you follow the tips above, you’ll be sure to have a successful conversation. So go ahead and reach out today!

Is It Okay To Reach Out To An Old Coworker?

Well, the answer to this question depends on the situation.

If you left your job on good terms and have kept in touch with your former colleagues, reaching out should be no problem.

However, it might be best to steer clear if you left your job on bad terms. Or if you haven’t talked to anyone from your old company in years.

The same goes for if you had a falling out with a particular coworker.

If there’s bad blood between you, it might be best to leave things in the past.


Reaching out to an old coworker can be a great way to network and catch up on old times.

You can start by texting or calling them to set up a time to meet. State the purpose of the meeting up front, such as catching up or networking.

Keep the conversation light and avoid controversial topics.

Make sure you have the correct contact information. Then decide on the tone of the conversation.

And finally, be prepared for how they might react when they hear from you.

Last Updated on 3 hours by Shahzaib Arshad


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