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My now ex-manager was unexpectedly fired this week and he was not given an opportunity to address anyone or even send out a farewell email.

I'd like to reach out via LinkedIn to express my gratitude for all he has done for me as a mentor and manager (I would not have this job without him, actually my position wouldn't have even existed without him), wish him the best on his next venture as he deserves to work for a better company anyhow, and solidify him as a reference for future opportunities.

How long is it appropriate to wait before sending him a message on LinkedIn?

It is my understanding he did not leave on the best of terms so I feel waiting a bit is appropriate but not sure how long, or maybe not waiting is best as it might lift his spirits to receive a thoughtful message after a rough week.

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    Those types of messages are well received at any time. You manager could probably use it right now. – Mister Positive Sep 7 '17 at 17:49
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    The actual question is very sweet, but the title alone made me imagine a totally different scenario! – Matt Krause Sep 7 '17 at 21:11
  • @MattKrause Edited. Please feel free to further edit if you think it needs better clarifying. – cheshire Sep 7 '17 at 21:34
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    Let him know this week would be good. The firsts few days are the hardest, and a kind word before the weekend would be appreciated. – Xenson Sep 7 '17 at 21:45
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    Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I'm having a difficult time understanding what argument there is for waiting. Regardless of the circumstances of his departure, that sort of communication is never considered off-putting in my opinion. Unless somehow it's very poorly written and comes across as more of a humble-bragging letter of apology than a sincere letter of gratitude, the only sensible conclusion is to reach out to him as soon as possible. – Patrick Roberts Sep 8 '17 at 20:04
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How long is it appropriate to wait before sending him a message on LinkedIn?

Whenever you feel like it. As you said, he probably left and burned some bridges; your thank you message will surely lift his mood, so maybe it is better if you write to him as soon as you can.

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    couldn't agree more don't let workplace issues like this dictate when you contact him if he meant something to you then contact them whenever you want. – Zissouu Sep 7 '17 at 18:13
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    In addition, as well as writing to him, you can write a recommendation for him. "Bill was an excellent manager who always encouraged the team to achieve their best" - or whatever you feel appropriate. (Remember when writing a recommendation, you are trying to sell him to a new manager - not a new potential employee, so no "never pushed us at all".) – Martin Bonner supports Monica Sep 8 '17 at 14:09
  • Good suggestion @MartinBonner , user Erik seems to suggest the same thing in a comment in the other answer. But yes, recommending him will surely help the ex manager land a new job plus also conveying the OPs gratitude towards him. – DarkCygnus Sep 8 '17 at 14:13
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As soon as possible.

Convey your message and your feelings, now while you feel it—don't wait and don't be shy. It will support him best now, as well as strengthen your relationship.

Perhaps it's better not to ask about references now, but it would definitely be worth expressing your gratitude to him and telling him that he had been an important part of your life. These facts are true, and will help in future if you wish to ask him to be a reference for a future job.

Dear X,

I am sorry that you have left, especially without the opportunity to say farewell.

I would like to express my gratitude for the time we worked together; you have been an important influence both as a manager and as a mentor to me.

You deserve to work for a better company, and I am sure you will find one. I wish you all the best on your next venture.

Thanks again for all you have done for me. Will keep in touch.

Best regards,
Y

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    "You deserve to work for a better company" - This assumes the OP considers the current company as not so good. Besides, saying that could backfire on the OP and compromise his current job. – DarkCygnus Sep 7 '17 at 23:35
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    @GrayCygnus In the question, the OP wrote “… wish him the best on his next venture as he deserves to work for a better company anyhow…” – ShreevatsaR Sep 8 '17 at 3:41
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    @ShreevatsaR True, but still could back fire or have unwanted consequences by saying that in a message. Something not recommended for the OP to say (even in a private message). – DarkCygnus Sep 8 '17 at 3:47
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    Asking him to be a reference might not be the right moment, but offering to be a reference for him might be a nice gesture. – Erik Sep 8 '17 at 7:05
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    Maybe go with something more like "You deserve to work for a company that can appreciate your skills..." – Bradley Uffner Sep 8 '17 at 19:06

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