Much like a dumper that realizes in a drunken haze that dropping their significant other was a huge mistake, you too have realized that you have made a horrible mistake and now you want to go back. But can you? And maybe you should think about the potential ramifications of returning to your previous employer will have on both your professional and career’s progress. So, let’s take a look at some of the issues you should consider before returning to your last employer.
Why Did You Leave?
I know, this is so obvious it should go without saying but I get paid to commit words to the interwebs, so that’s what I’m doing. Why did you initially leave, was it for a better opportunity, due to family relocation, company culture or personality conflicts? If you did leave because of those factors have they been amended since you left? Is the person that you had friction with still employed there and will you just go back to a negative situation?
Did You Leave on Good Terms?
Another factor you should consider when returning to a previous place of employment is the matter if you left on good terms. If you left flipping tables and in a cloud of expletives, then you might have burned the bridge leading back to your last job. If you left on good terms, without breaking, burning or beating anything, and if you were a valued employee then you might actually be able to return.
Why do you want to go back? Okay, this is painfully obvious, too, but sometimes you really need to sit down and think why you want to go back. Is it because your current situation is infinitely more disruptive to your lifestyle, because of stress, work-life balance or monetary compensation? Are the reasons you want to return because of the people you worked with or what the organization offered (including upwards mobility, a challenging environment or benefits) which are much more concrete than personnel. Finally, how will your life change if you go back- will you be more engaged or productive which leads to higher satisfaction?
Money; everything in this world, unfortunately, is about money. So, will returning to your job be an upwards career move, a sideways career move or a backwards move? You might even start in a lower position than the one you left from until you can regain the trust of administrators and managers. This can be especially challenging if you left your previous place of employment to move upwards, only to be taken back essentially two professional tiers. Will you be able to handle such a backwards move and can your career/resume/bank account afford this?
Snakes And Ladders
In the game snakes and ladders you use ladders to progress upwards (and closer to the goal), while trying to avoid snakes which will make you slide further away from the end point. When returning to a job, you must treat it the same way, as if you took a long slide backwards. You’ll have to approach every relationship, task and responsibility with the vigor of a new employee and not a veteran of the company. Once you reestablish your relationships you can fall back into that warm comfortable niche you carved out previously.
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Do you have any other tips for people that might be thinking about returning to a previous employer? Let us know in the comment section below.