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Is It Ever Ok To Go Back To An Old Job?

By Nicki Wilson, Genie Recruitment

Navigating through the twists and turns of the career journey will have many different roads and one road could always take you back to where you came from and that is ok. We see it often when sifting through resumes daily!

Ambition is a funny thing that can often take you to new heights, but it can also take you into unchartered waters. A lot of people get sold a dream of progression, more salary or even freedom being your own boss. To only find that it was not what they actually expected at all. In the road of discovery, it is so important to always demonstrate professionalism, maturity, and a great work ethic even toward the end of your time with a company. Being helpful after you have resigned, tying up loose ends and leaving a good lasting impression could definitely put you on the front foot when it comes to leaving the door open in the future. Even if your previous colleagues move to a different company they may be inclined to recommend you too.

Businesses evolve, teams change, organizational structures adapt and what may have not suited you at one stage may definitely look to suit you now in your career aspirations even if it is a few years down the line.

The benefits for an employer to take a previous employee back is high because firstly you know the business, products, or service already, you know the history and the culture. It is proven that if someone comes back they are likely now more loyal to the company and may stay for years to come. Plus, hiring is an expensive task when it comes to recruitment and time utilized in the process. Having someone return to a business would eradicate the need of a length and pricy recruitment process.

How to position a return?

It’s important to ask yourself why you want to rejoin because it is likely you will be questioned around this; no employer wants to take a risk of having someone come back to only leave again!

So, look deep within…

  • What aligns you to this business, and the role in question?

  • What made you leave?

  • What has changed to make you want to come back?

  • What are the positives of this business and what great thing have they done during the tenure you have not been there?

  • What are the positives of a return for you and the employer?

  • What have you learned from joining a different business / flying solo?

  • How does your aspirations align to the aspirations of the company going forward?

Asking these questions to yourself and preparing a plan of how you would answer these during an interview would really help form a great interview response as however friendly you are with the interviewer they will want to know the motivations.

…and if they don’t want you back, learn from the mistakes you may have made with this process and always appreciate working for a great business/employer.


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