The problem with taking a new job is that no matter how diligent you are about researching the company, asking thoughtful interview questions, and getting a sense of the job and the corporate culture you’re entering, you can still find yourself stuck in a bad fit. In this case, is it ever worth it to try to go back to your old job?
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Sometimes, yes. And returning to the job you left can turn out just fine.
“Bouncing back to a former employer after quitting isn’t the resume killer it once was,” writes Sue Shellenbarger at The Wall Street Journal. “People who have done it say it is often worth the humiliation of having to admit a mistake and beg former colleagues to take you back. Returning employees usually end up appreciating their jobs more. And their careers can emerge unscathed, if they give sound reasons for flip-flopping — and stay put for a while in their second stint.”
If you do decide to do a “career U-turn,” there are several things you can do to make it a success:
1. Emphasize the positives of your old job, not the negatives of your new one.
Do you miss the culture of your old employer, the specifics of your job, your colleagues? Be sure to mention that when you explore the possibility of returning to the company. It will reassure your former employer that you’re not likely to make another change anytime soon.
2. Stay a while the second time around.
Needless to say, if you do jump ship shortly after taking your old job back, you’ll burn that bridge entirely. Before you go back, make sure you’re willing to invest some time in this stint. It’s better for your resume, as well as your relationship with your once and future boss.
3. Find new ways to expand your resume.
Pick up new skills, volunteer for group projects, and just generally look for opportunities to use your fresh perspective to benefit both the company and your CV. Just because you’re returning to your old job, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to grow.
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