Returning to a Previous Employer

Every once in a while, you may do something you said you would not do: return to an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, dive in the deep end of a swimming pool, or maybe eat frog legs. But for some, doing something they said they would not do falls into the realm of returning to an employer after leaving many years ago.

If you’ve thought about returning to a former employer, it’s definitely not the end of the world. In fact, it could be the beginning of a new one. So if you’re serious about boomeranging back to a former employer, here are some tips to consider before doing so…

Remember the Contributions You Made

The thought of returning to a company that you once worked for can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. On one end, you may be excited about the prospect of returning to an environment that was once very familiar to you. But on the other end, may be thinking about what employees and managers thought about you leaving the company in the first place. You may also be thinking about how the environment you once knew so well may have changed since you left.

A good way to feel more comfortable about the pursuit of your return is by thinking of the contributions you made while there. If you left the company in good standing then it is likely that the company will be more than willing to welcome a knowledgeable and reliable employee back with open arms – even if you’re now coming into a different position. They will likely have more faith in your abilities than a stranger’s, which actually puts you in a better position than most others up for the same position. So if you’re a little nervous, remind yourself of these contributions to help build your confidence.

Sell Your Knowledge of the Company’s Culture

Another area of comfort that you can carry with you when looking to return to a previous employer is knowledge of the company’s culture, mission, and what it values. This is a big deal since every company can be vastly different – and it takes time to get comfortable in a new one. Because you already understand how the company works, and what is expected of all employees, you have a better shot of sliding past your competition.

As for selling this point to the company, you can do it both in your cover letter and interview. If you are facing a recruiter who has entered the company since you’ve left, selling your knowledge will be especially important. Think about it; unless you were a dynamo, the recruiter will not likely be familiar with what you contributed. But that’s okay; this is where you can explain that catching up will be like riding a bike. Essentially, all you’ll need to do is learn new skills and begin to apply them.

Returning to a former employer can definitely bring with it great rewards. If you decide to return, take it as a positive experience. By rekindling old friendships and building new ones, you can make the return a great experience for everyone involved.