How to Return to a Former Employer

By Career Savvy

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Be it a new role in the same company or an old role you used to carry out, there are lots of benefits to returning to an old employer – on both sides. For the employer, you will need less training than a new employee and have experience in the right area. For you, there’s the knowledge of returning to familiar ground, as well as having a head start within the role. Whatever your reasons for returning are, it’s beneficial to approach the situation tentatively to ensure you can make the move back a successful one.

Keep in Touch

Before you start, get in touch with former colleagues to gradually get yourself back into the loop. It’s easy to do this via LinkedIn, but if you have personal connections within the company then it should be easy for you reach out to them via other means. You should be trying to find out what has changed since you left and how the company is performing now. This will help you establish exactly how you might be able to slot yourself back in, and help you approach your application in the best way.  You may find that the team you previously worked with has drastically changed and there are few familiar faces. Conversely, it may be similar to how it as first time around. Knowing people already is a good way to get a shoe-in at any company, so reaching out to them is a good place to begin.

Do Research

It’s important you establish whether now is a good time for you to attempt to rejoin the company. Do some background work in to where the company is and what its current needs are. Will there be a need for your skills? Are they currently hiring? Is the sector as a whole doing well? Put out the feelers to ensure you would be welcomed back by talking to former colleagues that you had a good relationship with. If they are in need of certain particular skills, present yourself with being able to provide these – don’t necessarily let yourself be pigeon-holed into your exact previous position.

Remember Why You Left

The fact you are considering a return likely means that your reason for leaving wasn’t because you had some form of negative experience previously. However, this doesn’t mean that employers won’t be wary that what made you leave the first time could make you leave again. Similarly, for your own sake, make sure the reasons you left no longer remain relevant so history doesn’t repeat itself. Express and emphasise the reasons why you want to come back to persuade your employers that you’re a safe bet. 

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