Wait, You Went Back to Work for Your Old Company?!?

Photo by Daria Pimkina on Unsplash

“Wait, what?!? Why would you ever go back to work for your old company? Aren’t you the Queen of Quit?”

Sure I am. And if you’ve ever read my other blog posts or my book, you’ll know I’ve quit plenty of prior jobs, including from my previous/current company, for various reasons. I haven’t stopped being the Queen of Quit.

But then remember that I always caution you to resign with professionalism and tact when leaving a job, just in case you DO ever want to go back. That’s how I quit last time, giving approximately two MONTHS of notice and full cooperation to hire and train my replacement. It was not confrontational at all. 

“But, Alicia, isn’t it awkward to be back? Wasn’t there a reason you quit last time?”

No, it’s not awkward; I was welcomed back warmly and immediately felt like part of the team again, even though most of the cast had changed. Of course, there was a reason I quit previously; I would never leave a job for no reason. But my reasons were primarily personal and were not my employer’s fault; we just had health challenges at home that needed my full attention, and I didn’t feel like I could juggle the two in good conscious to either my family or my employer. Resigning felt like the best solution for all.

“So, how did it happen that you ended up going back to the same employer?”

I had a social coffee date with my old boss to catch up about a month ago. I had no intention of asking for a job; I just wanted to see how she was doing. After our conversation, I thought about some of the staffing changes she told me she was making at the company. After a week or so, I reached out and offered to help fill in the short-term gaps until she had hired her permanent staff. Instead, she offered me a completely different role, part-time (which I requested), mostly working from home (which I also requested) at my requested wage, and I happily accepted. She was comfortable offering me the role because of our relationship and my past performance in a different position with the organization. She understood my reasons for needing to take a break from work the past couple of years.

So what are the takeaways from this blog post?

  1. If you resign with professionalism, you don’t slam shut the door to return to an organization.
  2. Sometimes it’s easier to smooth job gaps through a known relationship than justify it to a strange organization with whom you haven’t yet established trust.
  3. If you’re contemplating a job offer, remember to negotiate everything: wage/salary rate, working conditions, working hours, etc.
  4. Organizations change, too. If it’s been a while since you worked somewhere, assume that conditions differ from when you left. If you previously had a bad boss, co-worker, or role, it could all be totally different if you return. Give it a chance.