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I was terminated without cause from a job that I didn't really like. I found the workplace to be toxic with internal politics. Nevertheless there were some people, in other departments, that I worked well with and got along with fine.

  • Should I now add them on LinkedIn?
  • Should I ask if I could use them as a reference?
  • I have heard that in this day and age finding a job has more to do with networking than it does with merit. Should I ask my former co-workers if they have any suggestions for potential job openings? Should I tell them I'm no longer working there? What if they ask?

In general, when is the right time to add a colleague on LinkedIn?

3 Answers 3

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Should I now add them on LinkedIn?

Yes. Why not?

Should I ask if I could use them as a reference?

Again, yes. However, if they have not worked with you (directly or indirectly), it might be difficult for them to come up with work-related recommendation. Nevertheless, they can write / provide recommendation based on individual interaction, whatsoever you had.

Should I (ask) my former co-workers if they have any suggestions for potential job openings? Should I tell them I'm no longer working there?

Yes, you can. That's the point of professional networking.

What if they ask?

Very less likely, unless you share that comfort level.

In general when is the right time to add a colleague on LinkedIn?

Basically, when you know them (and most likely, they know you).

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  • I had actually worked with many different people at the company. I was surprised to find how few of them have LinkedIn. Does this say something about the company culture? Do certain industries use LinkedIn much less than others? Nov 1, 2023 at 23:24
  • @PoliteShark "Do certain industries use LinkedIn much less than others?", yes, in General. In my experience, people the STEM use it the most, other industries, not so much. Nov 2, 2023 at 13:04
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Should I now add them on LinkedIn? Should I ask if I could use them as a reference?

You should reach out and ask them if you could use them as a reference, and if it would be okay to add them on LinkedIn.

I have heard that in this day and age finding a job has more to do with networking than it does with merit. Should I ask my former co-workers if they have any suggestions for potential job openings? Should I tell them I'm no longer working there? What if they ask?

You should let your friends know that you are no longer working there. And you should ask for any connections to job openings elsewhere.

Co-workers that were not friends may be unwilling to help.

If asked about your departure, don't bad mouth your former (their current) employer. That's never a good idea.

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No, you should put that job behind you and concentrate on going forwards. You didn't leave on friendly terms, you were terminated. Anyone getting involved with you while still working there that wasn't already would look suspect to others.

The time to do useful networking is while you're working with people on normal and friendly terms.

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    Just because his management had a problem with him doesn't mean that the people he was friendly with would suddenly turn against him.
    – Barmar
    Sep 29, 2023 at 14:17
  • @Barmar people are not reading the question properly. These are people from other departments, who the op interacted with once in a while and didn't have issues with, not friends. They barely knew him, and now he's been sacked he's no longer relevant. OP doesn't want to contact the colleagues he worked with day to day.. Would you be impressed if someone you hardly knew who just got sacked asked you for a reference?
    – Kilisi
    Sep 29, 2023 at 20:40
  • They said they're "some people, in other departments, that I worked well with and got along with fine." So while not really "friends", he was on good terms with them and I wouldn't expect this to change because he was fired.
    – Barmar
    Sep 29, 2023 at 20:46
  • @Barmar being on good terms is normal, not something special. It wouldn't change because they were fired, Firing just makes them irrelevant to my work. I would need help nor hinder them, and would not be interested in getting involved in their drama.
    – Kilisi
    Sep 29, 2023 at 20:46
  • There is nothing ‘suspect’ about adding people you used to work with and got on well with on LinkedIn. And there is nothing to indicate that getting involved with someone who used to work at your company but doesn’t anymore would make you look ‘suspect’ to anyone. There’s also zero indication that anyone would be involved in anyone’s ‘drama’. Telling people you know that you’ve been let go and asking if they know of anyone looking for something relevant has nothing to do with ‘drama’, it’s just normal interpersonal communication. Sep 30, 2023 at 10:25

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