The contract I have with the company I work in is a freelancer's contract. One of my direct bosses gave a two weeks notice to leave the company. I worked with him ever since I joined the company (4 months ago). Can I ask him for a recommendation letter before he leaves? I'm asking about this because he is really happy with the quality of my work and I guess that would make a good recommendation letter for the future.

Do you think I should ask him? If yes, how do you think I should say it?

  • +1: I'm not sure why this question's being downvoted. It's a valid, well-written question that will be helpful to others in similar situations in the future.
    – Kevin
    Dec 10, 2014 at 22:32
  • Thank you all. I asked the boss for the letter before he leaves and I stressed the fact that I'm not leaving. Everything went better than expected and I got the letter :)
    – Freelancer
    Dec 19, 2014 at 13:11

2 Answers 2


Do you have any way to contact him outside of your job?

Asking via phone, personal email, LinkedIn, etc after he's left his current job would be somewhat safer. As long as he's still employed he should still be acting in his (soon to be former) employers interest; which would include tipping them off that they should start preparing for your departure. Depending on paranoia levels this could go far as preemptively releasing you from your contract to avoid the risk that you'd steal their code/data on your way out the door.

  • I never thought that this might be taken as a preparation for me leaving as well. But they don't expect me to keep working as a freelancer for them forever, right?
    – Freelancer
    Dec 10, 2014 at 18:03
  • 2
    there's a difference between knowing you'll probably leave eventually; and thinking you're going to be jumping ship in the near future. Dec 10, 2014 at 19:33
  • IMO this is low risk, as you can make it clear to your direct boss that it's because HE is leaving that you're asking, not because YOU intend to leave. It might be worth running it past HIS boss though, too, and again make it clear that you're not leaving. If you get permission and make it clear to all involved why you're asking now, I can't see any major issue.
    – Jon Story
    Dec 11, 2014 at 13:49
  • Freelancers don't stay forever. They will always be looking for a new job to have something lined up when the previous contract ends; that doesn't mean they won't be happy to stay longer if it is offered. Might be different for a "normal" employee.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 12, 2014 at 9:53

Can I ask him for a recommendation letter before he leaves? Do you think I should ask him? If yes, how do you think I should say it?

It's certainly reasonable for you to ask for a letter of recommendation, comments on your LinkedIn page, or for him to be a reference for you in the future. Personally, I'd tend toward the latter, but if you want a letter now, that's not unreasonable. I've done the same for interns that have worked for me in the past.

You simply find a quiet time and ask "Hey, boss - do you have a few minutes that we can chat?"

Then you just come out and nicely ask if he would write such a letter for you.

If you are friendly with your boss and he's pleased with your work, he'd probably be happy to write the letter. You might have to give him an idea of the format and content you are looking for.

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