Can You Really Go Back To Your Old Job?

 In Career Tips, Company Culture/People At Work

Can You Really Go Back To Your Old Job?There may have been a day that when you left a previous job you thought you’d never return.  You may have left for all kinds of good reasons, but now those good reasons seem to have dwindled in their importance.  Today, you’ve discovered they have an opening you’re qualified for; and you’re giving it serious thought.  Can you return?  Is it a good idea?

When traversing the rocky landscape of job search, sometimes any opportunity seems like a good one.  The deal is you don’t want to take a job or even pursue a job out of desperation.  That is a recipe for problems down the road.  Of course, going back to your old stomping grounds isn’t necessarily an act of desperation but it could be.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of this decision:

PRO’s of going back:

  • You know what you’re getting in to.  Seriously, one of the biggest issues we have in job search is truly sizing up a place of business and manager.  Even if the players have changed to some degree, the culture and general priorities will be very similar.  You also have “insider” information you can tap into.
  • They know what they’re getting in to.  Because you had a track record at that company, they have access to more information about what you bring to the party – both good & bad.  They also know you can come up to speed quickly, which is always a plus.
  • You can come back in a different role.  Because you left and amassed experience somewhere else, your brand has changed.  That allows you to come back in a new role or minimally upgrading your brand internally.  This can be an advantage to position you for growth or to take a growth role.
  • This could be comforting.  As with all job changes, you go through a period of discomfort because you are adjusting to new things.  You might skip this all together or it could be a very short compared to other places.
  • Job connections.  Because you most likely still know people at your old business, you may discover the whole job search process will go faster.  People like to hire referrals – they make better employees.


CON’s of going back

  • There was a reason you left.  Even if you left because you were heavily recruited, there was a lack of “something” to keep you there.  You need to do some serious thinking about what it was that was missing.
  • Some things are probably the same.  This can be good or bad depending on what you are looking at.  Rarely do people or companies change much.  You should count on the things that bugged you to still bug you.
  • Will this benefit your career?  Hopefully, your job movement has involved some type of growth.  You need to look at whether or not going back to your old job/company is in your best long-term career interest.  If you are desperate for a job, it most likely won’t help you long term and usually desperation jobs are bad choices.  Think before you act.

There are many feelings you can have when thinking about retracing your job steps.  As with all job movements, you need to keep your career goals in focus so your decision is one that supports those goals.


For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook:  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from and


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