1. Should I and how long should I wait before contacting a former boss & his boss for staying in touch (networking)?

2. Should I network with my old boss even though I don't respect his leadership skills?

Background on Point 1:

I resigned my position effective Jan 2 of this year. I gave them 3 weeks notice. (I asked for more time from my new job but my new company refused) .  To my face, we left on good terms.

The issue is that I have spoken with some friends who let me know that my departure left a hole in the company that caused my old boss and some of my former peers some pain in terms of long hours, problems finding a replacement, and likely customer disruption.

For networking purposes I would like to stay in touch with some of the management team. I am concerned that  if I reach out to them too soon it may ruin the potential for a long-term relationship since they now have a bad taste in their mouths from my departure.

The flip side is that if I wait too long to reach out to them, it may ruin the chances for a prosperous, on-going relationship. The MT podcast suggested the frequency should be no longer than 3-4 months between "touches".

Should I and how long should I wait before contacting former associates for networking purposes?

Background on Point 2:

One of the main reasons why I left the last company is that I did not like the leadership skills of my old boss. He was a good tactician but a poor manager. According to the networking advice from MT, I should build my network indiscriminately. The old boss certainly has connections and would be a good addition to my network (I am just starting).

Does the fact that I do not respect his management skills and professionalism mean I should exclude him from my network?


jrosenau's picture

I have a similar situation.  I'm interested to hear what the community has to say.


dmiddleb's picture
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My thoughts:


Point 1: How long to wait.

I am using the assumption that you expressed an interest to stay in touch during your final days. If that's the case, I would see no reason to wait. A short note with your new contact information that restates your desire to keep them in your network should be fine.  Ctrl+Shift K, Ctrl G to set your recurring task and move one.


Point 2: Networking with people you don't like.

Building a network indiscriminately means not discriminating based on rank, social status, race, etc.  It does not mean that you should network with people you don’t like or respect.  Maintaining a network is difficult enough without needing to pretend to like someone.


I hope this helps.


Dax Middlebrooks

DiSC: 7611


keaide's picture

Dax makes a good point: express the interest to stay in touch and provide your contact info. Then contact them. Once, twice maybe three times. If you don't get a reply, then its their fault, not yours. They missed the chance to add you to their network. You did what you could. Nothing to regret. Time wise, I would not wait longer than 1 month.

Don't you respect your former boss as a person or "just" his leadership style? Maybe he's OK as a person but just in the wrong (?) job. But if you really feel you could not be sincere in your communication and relationship and would have to really "fake it", then you hold consider to refrain from spending your time and efforts on him. Life is also about what not to do. Just as Mark & Mike say, it's about giving, giving giving. If you hate the guy then it's difficult to do that sincerely without the greed jumping out of your eyes...

terrih's picture

I don't think you should let that, in and of itself, cause you to delay. It would be more cause for concern if you DIDN'T leave a hole. :-D

People move on. Adjustments have to be made. Only the most shallow and peevish would hold it against you.