You may consider returning to your old job if you recently left your job or have been away for months or years. Perhaps you’ve had second thoughts about the grass being greener in another position, or the reasons you had for leaving in the past have been resolved somehow, or maybe you miss your former co-workers. Whatever the reason, if you want to return to your former job, you need to plan carefully.
Research and Reflect
Before attempting to go back to your old job, you need to consider two things:
- Is it possible to go back?
- Why do I want to go back?
Returning to an old job should be relatively easy if you left your position on good terms, provided the position is available. Reach out to former colleagues you trust to see if it is a good time to return and get any information you can to prepare your approach.
Once you have the information you need, take some time to reflect on why you want to go back and whether you are willing and able to commit to the position long-term. Be honest with yourself and address the issues and motivations that caused you to leave in the first place. Were there problems at work? Was the pay too low? Are the benefits too limited? Weigh all the pros and cons before you decide to move forward.
Do your homework, especially if you’ve been away a while. Is your ex-boss still there, or is there someone new? If your ex-boss is still there, you may start by emailing them and letting them know you made a mistake and would like to come back. Don’t call on the phone as this puts them on the spot; email offers them time to reflect on the possibility and discuss it with others as necessary before replying.
If it’s a new boss, consider getting a recommendation from a former colleague. The new boss will readily see that you have a history with the company, and the recommendation tells them you are still well-regarded by former co-workers.
Update Your Resume, Cover Letter, and Professional Media
Your old job already knows your skills and education, how well you performed, and why you left. They need to see what you’ve learned and achieved since you’ve been gone and how you are a better asset to them than when you left. Highlight your best achievements and newest skills in your resume.
In the cover letter, everything comes together. Be somewhat formal and focus on how you are a more significant asset now than before. Direct their attention to the fact that you worked there before, but don’t dwell on it. Instead, be clear about why you want to come back.
Ensure that your professional sites, such as LinkedIn or your website, are consistent with the information in your CV and cover letters.