Advertising
Advertising

5 Things to Consider Before You Go Back to Your Old Job

5 Things to Consider Before You Go Back to Your Old Job

    At my old PR agency, Edelman, we used to have a so-called “Comeback Club.” The club was reserved for those who left the company in good standing and returned a few years later. Edelman was a great place to work, so the Comeback Club was popular.

    Advertising

    I myself was a member. After working there for two years, I left Edelman New York in 2000 to work at Computer Associates in eastern Long Island. When my husband and I moved to Chicago in 2004, I went back to my roots as a digital PR strategist in the Edelman office there. It was the right decision, and I stayed with the firm another four years before going out on my own full time in 2008.

    A question many employees have faced is: “should I go back to my old job?”  Maybe the new job wasn’t as wonderful as you thought it would be and you are now able to see your old situation more clearly. Maybe you have gained some experience that has opened up a new opportunity with people you trust. Maybe your personal circumstances have changed.

    Advertising

    When deciding whether you should go back to your old job, consider the following five questions before making your move.

    1. What Led You to Leave in the First Place?

    It is really important to assess whether the reasons for your departure still exist. For example, if you clashed with your manager, will you be working with that person again? If the organization’s culture was toxic, are you better prepared to cope this time around? You must assume that nothing (and no one) has changed before you go back to your old job.

    Advertising

    2. Did You Leave All of Your Bridges Intact? 

    Take honest stock of how your departure was received. Was your behavior universally professional? Did you go above and beyond to leave your job in good hands, and was this noticed and appreciated?  Before you go back to your old job, you want to be absolutely certain that there are no lingering hard feelings.

    3. With Whom Will You Be Working?

    As a former employee, you have the benefit of knowing the organization better than any brand new recruit, and you must harness this insider intelligence. Is the department you’ll be working with productive, efficient, and interpersonally mature? Ask yourself if your new manager is someone with a strong reputation, and if your team members are people with whom you can easily collaborate.

    Advertising

    4. Will You Have to Start Over?

    Presumably, you had to work a while at this organization to earn respect and increasing levels of responsibility. You’ve also gained more experience since you last worked there. Will your new position reflect these developments, or will all of your previous accomplishments be for naught? No matter how desperate you may be feeling, don’t take a job that’s a step backward.

    5. Will the Work Be Meaningful?

    In making the decision to take any new job, you should reflect on what the work will be like day-to-day.  Will it be a challenge you can sink your teeth into?  Will you have the opportunity to make a real difference in the organization?  If your progress was hampered by red tape or endless consensus building kept you from getting anything done before, it may well again.

    Many of us leave organizations because we later realize the old but true cliché – the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Sometimes, it takes a change in situation to realize just how great we had it. However, it’s important to objectively evaluate what we’re getting ourselves back into and not rush into a boomerang.

    (Photo credit: Businessman sitting on an armchair via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    How to Cope with Rejection at Work Do You Unnecessarily Point Out Flaws? 5 Keys to Building Networks Over Time Is Flex-tirement the New Retirement? Does the Y Chromosome Inspire Confidence?

    Trending in Work

    1 13 Characteristics of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs 2 5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All 3 10 Simple Habits Every Effective Manager Needs to Learn 4 10 Ways To Help Your Employees Have A Healthy Work-Life Balance 5 Top 10 Workplace Safety Tips Every Employee Should Know

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on March 29, 2021

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

    What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

    The Dream Type Of Manager

    My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

    I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

    My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

    Advertising

    “Okay…”

    That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

    I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

    The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

    The Bully

    My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

    However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

    Advertising

    The Invisible Boss

    This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

    It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

    The Micro Manager

    The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

    Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

    The Over Promoted Boss

    The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

    Advertising

    You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

    The Credit Stealer

    The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

    Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

    3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

    Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

    1. Keep evidence

    Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

    Advertising

    Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

    Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

    2. Hold regular meetings

    Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

    3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

    Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

    However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

    Good luck!

    Read Next