How to Go Back to the Company You Left – the Professional Way

As the saying goes, grass is greener on the other side. Have you ever left a job for better pay or a more promising career prospect only to realize things aren’t what you expected? Some departures are well-planned whereas others are decided in the heat of the moment.

Even though the job hopping trend is still relatively new, more people especially the younger generations X and Y seem to find it appealing. They seek for instant gratification from work and hence, go for risker career paths.

But, what if you made the wrong call and wish to find your way back to the company you left? Maybe you came to realization that you actually love your job but not your boss. Before we go straight to the advice, here are some questions you might want to ask yourself first:

Think of your why

Asking yourself “Why” can help to clarify as why you want to return. You might find yourself thinking about: why did I leave in the first place? From there, you can know the motivation behind the decision and do you still feel the same way now? Every decision we make, no matter how big or small it is, are driven by our intention at that time. Therefore, be completely honest with yourself and revisit your thoughts to be one hundred percent sure.

What can you contribute to the company?

As a previous employee of the company, think of what you can bring to the table as a returning employee. Are there any skills or work experiences that might be useful for the company? If there are, how your ex-employer can benefit from it. It’s important to know your strengths as you can use them as bargaining chips and increase your value.

Why should they trust you again?

This question will most likely be brought up during the meeting (if you manage to get one) as trust between employer and employees is important in any workplaces. You will have to try harder to gain back their trust especially you had actually left the company before. Be prepared for your ex-employer to have doubts on your loyalty and think of ways to prove your worth.

Now, you should have a better idea of whether or not you want to go back to the company you left. If the answer is still yes, here are some ways you can consider to increase your chance of getting back your previous job:

1. Contact your former colleagues

The best way to know if there is a vacancy or more importantly, if you’re still welcomed back is to reach out to your former colleagues. It’s very possible that people talked about you since you left, what matters is whether they speak of you positively or negatively. If the company is still struggling to find someone who possess similar capabilities, it’s definitely a green light to proceed with your application. But, if the feedback isn’t exactly optimistic, you should reconsider or start looking for other alternatives.

2. Get ready to explain why

Once you’re certain that there’s a possibility of going back, the next thing to do is to get ready your answers to every possible question you will be asked. Be prepared for a tougher interview since they already know who you are. Questions like: “What makes you decided to come back? What are your specific plans about the position you’re applying for?” are to be expected. Be sure you can answer them well to get a better chance at getting the job back!

Want to get more interview tips? Read: Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

3. Take time to craft an excellent application letter/email

Never use a standard template for your application letter. Especially if you’re trying to make your way back to where you previously left. Your application letter should sum up your reasons, intentions, and visions. You might skip the usual background introduction but make sure to include any new skills that could be valuable for the company.

Don’t underestimate the impact of a good application letter/email can cause. It’s the first layer of screening for any employers and you would want to make a good impression.

4. Condition yourself to accept the outcome whatever it is

The key to this is to be realistic about it. You don’t have to be overly pessimistic but condition yourself to accept any undesired outcomes. Whether you get the job back or not, you have to be mentally strong enough to take it in. Do not forget that this is not much different from applying for a new job, you can’t expect to get the offer for every application.

It’s always good to follow up and find out the reasons why you didn’t make it. From there, continue to improve yourself and do better in the next application. Don’t give up easily!

5. Don’t rely on connections to get in

The key to being professional is, do not rely on personal connections to try to get in. To make things clear, apply as how others (who never worked for the company before) are applying. This is to prevent any unnecessary talks about how you get the job through connections instead of your skills and expertise.

Of course, you can choose to ignore it since you can’t control what others say. But since you can actually do something to avoid being treated unfairly, why not?

6. Is it just about work?

Because if it’s not, feel free to leave the room. The main reason of your application is highly dependent on why you want to be part of the company again. If you don’t have a good reason for that, you are most likely not getting the job back. It shows a complete lack of determination and interest.

Try to be in your employer’s shoes and think from his or her perspective: “Why should we bring you back?”. From there, think of the best possible answer and be honest to yourself. After all, you’ll be the one who has to do the job, not your employer.

To be honest, going back to your previous employer is not at all a bad thing. It’s okay to admit that you made a bad decision, but don’t let pride stop you from rectifying your mistake. If you genuinely think that your previous company fits better in your long term career path, by all means go ahead and apply! There is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, you should be proud of yourself for knowing what you want and what’s best for you career growth.

Find these tips useful? We have more career advice, workplace tips, and job search tips on our blog. Don’t forget to check them out!

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