Holiday Networking Tips For Reconnecting

Holiday Networking Tips For Reconnecting

You don’t need to write dozens of cards by hand. Email messages modeled on the sample pings below … [+] are likely to be all you need to restart a relationship.


Over the holidays, our thoughts can turn to people who have helped us in our education or early careers. We know how important networking is to career success, but it can feel awkward to reach out. The informality of business communications in the U.S. can be especially puzzling to people from more formal cultures. Take a moment in this busy season to learn to reconnect.

In the hustle and bustle of December, few people make time to handwrite traditional greeting cards. Businesses may send good wishes to their list of clients, and it’s nice know they remember their customers. Still, there are individuals and relationships that mean something more personal.

And yet we hesitate to reach out, especially if it’s been a while. How can the holidays help us change that?

“The holidays make it easier to reconnect with past ties,” says Michael Urtuzuástegui Melcher, author of Your Invisible Network: How To Create, Maintain And Leverage The Relationships That Will Transform Your Career (Matt Holt Books, 2023), which was selected by the Financial Times as a recommended read earlier this year. Melcher is an executive coach with 20 years’ experience partnering with some of the world’s top brands, from Goldman Sachs to the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He was happy to provide advice by email, along with an original set of templates for reconnecting, which are in italics below.

Melcher says, “It’s normal to attend events and run into people you haven’t spoken to in forever, and holiday messages exist to reestablish connection with people you don’t often see.”

That’s where “holiday pings,” as Melcher calls them, come in. These are short messages with a main purpose of simply saying hello. Email is fine—and personalization is essential. Melcher provided the following examples by email.

It might be easiest to begin with a family member, or someone who was like family to you.

Dear Tía Carmen,

This morning, I passed a food truck and the smells made me think of the sweet Christmas tamales you made for all us kids every year. It’s very cold here in Boston and the thought of those yummy tamales warmed me up.

Sending you my love this holiday,


Former classmates constitute a network that is a combination of the personal and professional. Reconnecting with a classmate after many years doesn’t have to be hard.

Dear Ranjana,

I can’t believe I haven’t seen you since before the pandemic! Or that it’s been 15 years since we finished business school. I do enjoy seeing the pictures you post online of your kids growing up.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2024,


Reaching out to a former client may seem a little more challenging. Melcher says, “The holiday season also makes it easier to mix the personal with the professional in business relationships. Let that holiday energy help you out!”

Dear Mr. Laurent,

I’m wishing you a great 2024. It was a great pleasure partnering with you on the Alpha transaction two years back. Your team is really wonderful. I still remember our celebration dinner at the restaurant in the Palais Royale.

My best to you and your family,

Paul Durand

“And don’t forget that saying thank you for an invitation to a holiday event can also be a great greeting,” adds Melcher.

Dear Representative Ziegert,

Thank you for inviting me to your office’s holiday party. I was so happy to meet some of the people that I worked with—was it five years ago? The party was amazing. My husband said, “You really know some inspiring people!”

Warm wishes to you and your family,

Julia Wong

Messages like the ones above can warm up your reconnection skills. You are not asking for anything; not even a response. Things can get a little more intimidating if you are reconnecting because you would like to make a request.

In that case, Melcher has important advice: don’t get too involved right away. “If you’re sending a holiday greeting but also want to request a talk, meeting, etc.,” he says, “my recommendation is to signal that you will be doing that in the near future, rather than mixing the message in your first communication.”

Consider this example of how to approach a networking contact, with a view toward an eventual request to meet.

Dear Jacqueline,

I am so impressed with your latest promotion! I hope you’re finding some time for yourself amidst all your other demands.

I will reach out after the new year to see if we can find some time to catch up. In the meantime, happy holidays!


Reconnecting with a senior colleague or mentor requires somewhat more formal language, but the procedure is the same. Send a brief opening message to open the channel of communication, and follow up later.

Dear Sami,

I hope your family and you are doing well this holiday season.

Charles and I moved to Cologne three years ago and things are going well. Work is good and the city is an architectural wonder.

I hope to get your thoughts on a few things in the New Year, as I always value your advice. I’ll reach out in January and perhaps we can get something on the calendar.


The basics of reconnecting are simple, as seen in the templates above. It’s probably easier than you thought. Nevertheless, the thought of taking the first step to rekindle a relationship can feel intimidating.

“People often feel weird reaching out,” writes Melcher in his book. “So I’m going to tell you something straight up and early: your feelings don’t matter. Don’t be in awe of your feelings.” In email correspondence, he added, “Discomfort is part of the process. It means you’re growing.”

And while we may not always get an immediate, reassuring response, Melcher encourages us to take the initiative. We may be surprised to hear back: “I’m glad you reconnected. I was just thinking of you a couple of weeks ago.”

Originally Appeared Here