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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Going back to your former employer

What would you do should you realise that you have moved on to a new employer but after a short while, you note that the promise of greener pastures turns out not to be true? It could be that you joined the employer on the promise of greater responsibility or better salaries but after some time, the new employer fails to deliver on the promise. Would you go back to your former employer if you realize that the ‘greener pastures’ you were running after withered long before you started feasting on them?

This is the dilemma many job seekers often go through. The challenge though is that many would never want to admit to the realization that they felt disillusioned upon jumping ship. Could it have been a case of jumping from the flying pan into the fire? Is it OK to acknowledge that you are not satisfied with the new deal even after throwing bath water on your previous employer?

Job search is one big risk that we are always involved in. We can never tell whether the deal will turn out exactly the way we wanted it. Just like when we are buying clothes, there are instances when we admire a certain piece of dress on display but upon purchase, in the privacy of our bedrooms, we attempt to fit them on and to our disappointment, we realise that we bought an attire that is either too tight or too baggy for our taste. Do we admit that we made a mistake and either take it back for a change (where applicable) or do we squeeze ourselves into the dress since we don’t want to own up to our failure?

It takes a lot of personal courage to admit that we goofed in our job search. The truth is that there are times when we find ourselves making mistakes that make us regret having left certain workplaces or having done away with certain business lines for others that appeared lucrative only to experience internal dissatisfaction along the way.

Most of the times, we never imagine ever considering going back to a previous employer after a failed job transition. We have egos to protect and reputations to guard. For these, we would rather suffocate ourselves with attires that squeeze every bit of life out of us than go back and admit to have made a mistake. But is it bad to admit having goofed? Who doesn’t?

Another reason why many of us would never imagine hitting the track back to our employers to check out whether they could be other opportunities is the way we part with former employers. At the point of parting, most employees speak all manner of ills about the employer and certain employees. They feel like the Israelites liberated from Egypt after years of slavery and swear never ever to get back to slavery. With this attitude, they part ways having deep seated hatred for their former work environment.

As you work through your job search efforts, always remember that even after getting your dream job away from your current employer, it breaks no bone to amicably part ways. Always remember that it just could be that what appeared green could turn out to be dark teal and this could lead to frustration. You may probably have heard of the kids who implored on their father to burn their house when they were leaving for a longterm visit elsewhere. 

As it is likely you may want to consider returning to your former employer, leave at peace and let the former colleagues feel like they would not mind receiving you back should life turn tables on you. 


  1. Indeed if you have to leave, do it amicably. I have seen several people return to their former employers, sometimes the former employers have gone seeking for them in realisation of their good work. Woe unto you if you had burnt the bridges :-(

  2. Good article,
    What if I am offered a lower position than what I was while leaving the organisation?


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