Burnt Your Bridges? How to Get Your Old Job Back

There are plenty of reasons to leave a job, but what do you do if you later decide that you want to work for the same employer again? Perhaps your ‘new job’ wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, or maybe a great opportunity has suddenly come up at somewhere you used to work. Can you really go back? It seems you can, provided you have a plan and didn’t totally burn your bridges as you left your last job with them.

  • Can You Go Back?

If you were fired for gross misconduct then, let’s face it, your chances of going back are pretty slim. However, if when you left, people were begging you to stay, then you may stand a good chance of going back to your former employer. If you can, try to reach out to a few trusted former colleagues and see what they think about your chances of being accepted back.

  • Are You Sure?

Before you make your move to go back to your former employer take a moment to really think things through. Are you sure that this is the right move for you? Think about your reasons for leaving the last time – you don’t want to end up back in the same position again. If it was the work culture that made you leave last time, do you know if it will be different with your new job? Perhaps you could speak with a few former workmates to see how things have changed (or not).

  • Reaching Out

If it has not been very long since you left, you might want to try contacting your old boss and asking if you can come in and discuss the chances of you going back. You can admit that you made a mistake and see if there is a chance that you could come back. Of course, if it has been some time since you left, you may just have to take the regular application route. Still, even then, some pre-emptive contact may inform them to look out for your application!

  • Your Application

Of course, you have been at the company before, so they may already have a good idea of what you did for them and why you left. If there is a new manager, they may ask why you left last time, so be prepared, but you shouldn’t need to be overly elaborate in discussing what you did for them last time out. Focus on what you have learnt since leaving, showing how much more employable you are now, while also reminding them of a few key achievements from your last period of employment. Your covering letter should also focus on your development since leaving and why you are now an even more valuable asset. Don’t repeat content from your C.V. but instead direct their attention towards it. If you decide to note your reason for leaving last time, also state why you want to come back. As always, get someone to check over your application for spelling errors, but also ask them what they think about the tone of your application. Is it appropriate?

  • Ready For Interview?

Make sure you prepare for the interview as you would any other job. You may have a decent understanding of how the employer works, but there may have been some changes, so do your research. Check out their website and use any insider contacts you may still have too.

You might also like:

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