How To Go Back To A Company Shortly After You Quit


Let’s say you’re at a company for a while — a good one at which you only have a few complaints — but you find another opportunity that looks amazing, better than where you are currently. You leave your current company on good terms and start the new job, but after a short time, you realize that the company you left is much better than what you’re dealing with now. Yep, you want your old job back.

It may seem impossible to do, or you might be thinking that the situation would just be too awkward. However, it can be done with a little tact. Here’s the best way to get back in the saddle at your previous company.

1. Do some soul-searching.

The first step you need to take before doing anything requires asking yourself some serious questions. Why did you leave the job you want to return to? What were some of the issues, and looking back now, do you think they could be solved upon your return? If you think your issues wouldn’t be resolved when you go back, you probably should search for jobs elsewhere.

2. Consider applying to a different department.

Maybe your main issues were with the department you worked in, but you love the company and could see yourself switching departments. If that’s the case, reach out to some former colleagues and inquire about openings. You could make a strong case for returning to the company if you can honestly say that you’ve wanted to make the switch to another department.

Flickr / Wanderlustingk

3. Don’t assume that you’re automatically “in” even if you left on good terms.

The last thing you want to do is assume that you can hit up your old colleague via text to talk about any new opportunities. You have to keep in mind that if you’re applying for a job with a company you’d like to return to, there are other candidates your organization has to consider as well. Play it safe and act as though you’re applying for a position with this company for the first time.

4. Discuss the opportunity in person.

No matter what happens or how well you know a colleague, always discuss a new opportunity in person, and dress well while you’re at it. To reiterate the importance of treating this situation as you would any other interview or application process, your best bet is to act as professional as possible. Ask a department head or colleague for coffee to discuss the role, bring resumes and take notes. This is also a great time for you to explain to the appropriate person why you left in the first place and why you want to return. Chatting in person could clarify your situation a lot better than back-and-forth emails.

5. Set your pride aside.

Like we said, you’ll have some serious explaining to do to whoever you’re speaking with from the company. They’ll have some questions about why you’re interested in coming back after jumping ship, and this is a good opportunity to explain the issues you previously had with the company. Come prepared with a plan to resolve those issues, and above all else, be humble about where you stand. It’s not a great situation to be in, so the key is being grateful that you even have the (potential) chance to come back.

6. Be willing to compromise.

You’re potentially coming back into an environment which you left by choice. You likely shouldn’t expect to bounce back to your exact salary, benefits and job description, especially if you’re not even applying for the same role. You might have to compromise on financial compensation and non-salary benefits for your company to welcome you back.