Friday, March 23, 2012

Returning To A Former Employer

When it comes to getting a new job in the nonprofit sector, you need to consider all options.  That includes going back to an organization you had left.  Who says you can't go back?

Not all reasons for leaving a former employer are negative.  A lot of people leave their old jobs on amicable terms.  If you fall into that category, you should definitely consider giving your old job another shot.

Employers have lots of reasons for wanting to bring back old employees.  There is something to be said for going with a known quantity rather than someone completely unknown.  In addition, there won't be any need to spend money on training.  The familiarity will be good for you as well.  Starting a new job is always a little scary, and those nerves can be reduced by working in a familiar environment.

There are some things you need to know before approaching your old employer.  Just because you left on good terms doesn't mean it will be a slam dunk.  Here are some tips to make the process as smooth as possible:
  • Don't expect to just waltz back in and get the job without any work at all.  You still have to do some networking to have the best chance.  Re-connect with your former co-workers and let them know you are interested in returning.
  • Be prepared to fully explain why you left the organization.  Don't just say you wanted to advance your career.  Focus instead on the valuable career skills and experience you gained while you were away.
  • Don't expect things to be completely the same.  There is going to be some familiarity but that doesn't mean there won't be new rules for you to learn, or new co-workers to meet.
  • For all of you that currently are planning to leave your job: Don't burn any bridges!  Even if you never plan to return, your former co-workers and supervisors can be used as references for future positions.  They won't be likely to help you if you leave on bad terms.


  1. This happens. A lot of job seekers look into the possibility of 'second chances' or applying to a former employer.

    That's the reason why it's not a good idea o burn bridges. In whatever situation, it's best to maintain a good network and a good relationship with people because who knows when you're gonna need their help?