Before I left work, my ex boss invited me eat dinner with him. I will be leaving the country soon, and I am planning to invite him to dinner as a gesture of thanks and to say goodbye. However, he is much older than I am and is of higher position. Would it considered rude or unprofessional to invite him to dinner?

  • There's already an accepted answer, but I would just like to point out the fact that you stated to be leaving the country soon. This is a perfectly fine incentive to invite him to dinner (or accept his invite?). Age and position do not really matter (in my opinion) as long as you had a healthy relationship during your period at the firm. Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


Dinner I usually reserve for people in my life whose company I enjoy. Dinner for people who I've already parted ways with is usually a pain. It's good that you're aware he is in a higher position and that this is relevant, and you are right. You are probably just not worth his time anymore and that is okay.

You may suggest you would be available for a coffee or drink (both of these are lower obligation, culturally speaking). Be prepared to be turned down, and, serious question: would this be enjoyable to you in the first place anyway? Do not use up time just in an attempt to show gratitude.

Lastly, if you do want to express gratitude, it would be appropriate to write a thank you note for his work mentoring you (like, a few sentences tops). Email is fine. A card or letter would be a bit dramatic.

Adjust any of this advice as needed to your local culture and working relationship. (But you wanted general advice and this is it).


No it wouldn't be considered rude or unprofessional at all. It seems like a very nice gesture.

It's a terrific way to say "thanks" if you really mean it.

  • And, since yoiu are leaving the country, no one can read an ulterior motive into it
    – Mawg
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 15:27
  • @Mawg unless the boss gets food poisoning! lmao
    – Xavier J
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 16:16
  • Then he had better get to the airport quickly, and on to the new country
    – Mawg
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 16:35

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