Laid off last month, former boss now wants my help. Talk some sense into me?

 I was laid off last month from a management-level role that I loved after my company was acquired and my position was eliminated. I was (and still am) rather upset at the way that the layoff was handled, and felt that they sort of pulled the rug out from under me. I’m currently out of work and job hunting.

Sure enough, my former boss has now reached out to ask for some information about projects that I was responsible for at the company. My boss and I got along very well, and she was not who made the decision regarding my termination—that decision came from the new acquiring company’s management, to who my former boss now reports.

My gut reaction is to politely explain to my former boss that the company already passed upon the opportunity to benefit from my experience and institutional knowledge when they laid me off with minimal notice and declined my request to stay on payroll and be available as a resource for a couple months instead of taking severance as a lump sum payment (in other words, not costing the company any more $$).

But as much as I’d love to “stick” it to this place, I don’t want to burn bridges or lose a good reference. I should also note that my former boss has been trying to be helpful in my job search.

What would you do in this situation? Is there a way to turn down my former boss’ request respectfully or would I be cutting my nose off to spite my face?


"Hi [former boss],

I'd be happy to lend my knowledge and experience to help out with what you need. Unfortunately, as you're aware, I'm currently dedicating much of my time to finding a new position elsewhere. Helping with this would reduce my time to find a new position.

If the company would like to set a consultation contract for my assistance, I would be happy to discuss terms and it would allow me to put my immediate focus on helping you out.

Please let me know if you would be interested in setting up a time to talk."

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