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Should you accept a LinkedIn invitation from a boss who canned you?

job q and a, job questions and answers, career q and a, career questions and answers,

Job Seeker Q and A
Q. A job seeker asks, "Should I accept a LinkedIn connection request from a boss who eliminated my position years ago? I don't know if he is sincere or just messing with me. He recently lost his job.”

A. My response ... 

Since your ex-boss lost his position, I imagine the invitation request is real and I suggest accepting the request. Why? I have several reasons. I landed a job specifically because I accepted an invitation to connect from an ex-boss who I thought didn't care for me. Turns out she thought highly of me and recommended me for a position which I immediately got because of her recommendation.

Also remember that sometimes directors are forced to cut staff and it wasn't their choice to let you go. But even if the boss was the person who chose to cut your position, he may still want to keep the relationship going because he learned how valuable you really were then or how valuable you can be to him now in his job search.

Most importantly, accepting the invitation can turn a soured relationship into a mutually beneficial one now. Perhaps you can exchange LinkedIn recommendations or the former boss could serve as one of your references.

Readers, what do you think? Should you accept invitations from someone who let you go or who you assume doesn't like you? Share your thoughts here. -- Kathy 


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  1. Here are comments from LinkedIn discussion boards about accepting invitations from a boss who canned you. Anyone else have comments? Kathy

    Alan: Accept it. I am assuming your position was eliminated because of budgetary not personal or performance reasons. You never know what the future brings. I regularly see an ex-coworker who I had issues with when we worked together, but not anymore. I know his strengths. It is valuable information. I see many of the same faces with different business cards, keep your doors open.

    Mark: If the person did not care for you I would assume they would not bother establishing the link. Why would they waste time on a person they thought was worthless? Sure there are a few stalker types out there, but that is not likely. Plus like any other social media site you can always drop the link if things get uncomfortable.

  2. Here are more comments from LinkedIn discussion boards:

    David: Good question. I say, yes. Keep those doors open and bridges connected. In most cases a boss is making a decision they think is the right decision for the company or institution and not a decision personally against you. Now, if that former boss that canned you was nothing but trouble and did not reach out to you to make amends before just blindly sending out a LinkedIn invitation just to pad their numbers then I say "no." If it's positive then go for it. If it gives you a negative feeling then keep it out of your life.

    Susan: The only time I was ever fired, my employer lied about why they fired me, and then forged my signature on a termination document. Anyone who would lie and forge a signature is not someone I would want to be associated with under any circumstances.

    Robert: On a lighter note; the company may have a policy of not allowing people to date those who work for them. If you fire them, they maybe considered fair territory. Okay, lighten up. A little humor never hurts. :)

    Alan: Robert, I knew a lady who thought her doctor might have a thing for her. One day he told her, "I have a strict policy about dating patients." and handed her a slip of paper. It was a referral to another doctor. She married him about a year later.

  3. My responses on LinkedIn to Robert, Susan and David:

    Robert, I imagine anybody who got let go because the boss wanted to date him/her would have a very good reason for telling the amorous person no dice on the date. I think I saw that plot a time or two in old movies though ...

    Susan, I am so sorry to hear how your old employer treated you when they let you go. I wouldn't connect with him/her either! I disconnected with a former boss of mine who ended up being unethical / corrupt and have no regrets about do so.

    David, I think you are right in that it really depends on whether the former boss is trying to connect for mutual benefit or a selfish grab for the employee's connection list.

  4. I think it's definitely worth a shot.


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