Updated: Sep 6
Do you miss your old job so much that you want to get it back? Maybe you’ve recently joined a new company where things aren’t living up to your expectations. Maybe you’ve been gone for years, but you still have happy memories of your former coworkers and achievements.
If you can avoid a few pitfalls, asking for your old job back could be a smart move. Consider these tips that can help you get rehired.
Laying the Groundwork:
1. Consider your options. Examine your reasons for wanting to go back to your old workplace. Do you really want your old job back or are you looking for an easy alternative so you can avoid a stressful job search?
2. Exit gracefully. Resigning without creating any hard feelings is good for your career in many ways. In addition to helping you secure positive references, you’re more likely to be considered for reemployment.
3. Stay in touch. Your former boss and coworkers can be important elements in your professional network wherever your career leads you. Invite them out to lunch occasionally or join the alumni network if the company has one.
4. Consult colleagues. Contacts inside a company can be especially helpful when you’re looking for inside information on whether it’s a good time to seek a position. Test the waters by asking someone you trust what they think about your prospects for being rehired.
5. Research the company. Even though you used to work there, you may not be up to date with the latest news. Study the website and social media pages. Read industry magazines and the business section of your local newspaper to spot any relevant stories.
6. Design a back up plan. Having additional options lined up will give you more confidence and security. Pursue other leads so you’ll have as many choices as possible.
Approaching Your Former Employer:
1. Contact your ex-supervisor. Depending on your relationship and the conditions under which you departed, your former boss may be the most logical starting point. Send them a letter or an email to let them know you’ll be in touch to discuss any hiring opportunities.
2. Check your eligibility. Ensure you comply with any policies the company may have about ex-employees. For example, there might be some waiting period before you’re eligible to submit a job application.
3. Explain yourself. Employers will naturally want to know the reasons for why you left, and why you want your old job back. Be sure to focus on why it would be beneficial for them to hire you again.
4. Be flexible. What happens if you discover that your old position has been filled? Take a look at other openings that might match your background and aspirations.
5. Swallow your pride. Your former employer may welcome you back with open arms or you may need to overcome some reservations. If you made an error that you now regret, a little humility could make the reconciliation smoother.
6. Prepare to interview. You may need to complete an interview just like any other candidate. Conduct yourself professionally, especially if you’re talking with your old work buddies or staff members that you used to supervise.
7. Make a commitment. Think ahead to be sure that you’re willing to stay on staff for at least a year if your employer gives you a second chance. Demonstrating such responsibility will help protect your professional reputation and relationships.
Your career path can take many directions, including asking for your old job back. Weigh the decision carefully to see if you and your former employer could have a bright future together.