why would my former boss invite me to lunch?

A reader writes:

Why would my former boss invite me to lunch?  Haven’t seen or heard from him in over a year.  My position was eliminated due to budget cuts.

There are all kinds of possible reasons your boss might invite you to lunch:

1. He simply wants to catch up. Did the two of you have a good relationship, and was he a generally social guy? If so, this is possible.

2. He has a job opening or knows of an opening somewhere else that he thinks you might be interested in, and he wants to feel you out about it.

3. He wants something for himself — he’s interested in a job that you somehow have a connection to, or wants advice on something you’re an expert in, or who knows what.

But you won’t know which of these it is until you go. Unless you really hate the guy, there’s no reason not to go and catch up and find out what’s up. And if nothing else, it’s worth maintaining the connection for its own sake; they tend to be useful in all kinds of ways you might not anticipate (to say nothing of references, etc.).

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