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I have been with my current company for just under a year. In that time I've been able to form a good rapport with my current manager. He just announced he was leaving the company, with no word yet on his replacement.

My situation is this: I'm beginning my own job-search process, and I probably won't have much time to build a relationship with this new manager. In my last 1:1 with my current manager, is it appropriate to ask him about potentially providing me with a reference in the future?

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    If you are currently searching for a job, then that would make sense. The new manager may not even see you perform before the reference check. I would ask. – SaggingRufus Jul 13 '17 at 12:20
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    In Germany you even have a legal claim for a reference if your manager changes. It makes sense because your current managers knowledge of your performance would be lost after he is gone. – André Stannek Jul 13 '17 at 15:26
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My situation is this: I'm beginning my own job-search process, and I probably won't have much time to build a relationship with this new manager. In my last 1:1 with my current manager, is it appropriate to ask him about potentially providing me with a reference in the future?

Yes, it's completely appropriate.

I've done the same when I had a departing manager.

And as a manager, I've always offered to be a future reference for people I worked with as I was leaving.

That said, always contact your references just before you include them in the list you give a potential employer. It's important to give them a heads-up to expect a reference call or email.

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    Good call on the last line. The last thing you want is to give someone's name that you thought was a good reference but they had a different opinion of how your time was. I had a situation like that and asking if I could use them for a reference (the job had been years ago since I worked for him) saved me from a potentially embarrassing situation (and also led me to find out that the person was pretty shady in the end). – Chris E Jul 13 '17 at 12:32
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    @ChristopherEstep Even more than that: you really don't want the first words out of your reference's mouth to be "who?"...or find out that your reference has a different telephone number now. – Der Kommissar Jul 13 '17 at 17:14
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There's nothing inappropriate at all. He may tell you that he doesn't know you that well though, if that's the case.

Like most questions, it's an automatic "no" if you don't ask. In fact, I would recommend it.

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    The ole saying goes "If you don't ask, you won't get". – Mister Positive Jul 13 '17 at 12:28
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Is he your current manager? No, but he was your manager and can answer how good an employee you were. Bonus is that he will not be thinking "he is going to leave our team?" since he himself did it. It is not wise to ask your current manager for a reference unless you have verified that he will not take that personally.

  • +1 for considering how it might be taken as a sign OP is considering leaving. This is the perfect opportunity to ask without raising such suspicions, as there’s a valid reason why OP would want a reference even without imminent plans of leaving. – user149408 Jul 13 '17 at 21:07

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