Have you ever considered returning to an old job or company you loved, but had to leave behind? Word on the street is it’s a career move that’s becoming more and more popular: This September, the Workforce Institute at Kronos and WorkplaceTrends.com released a study revealing that employers and employees are growing more open to the idea of workers returning to previous jobs. And, according to the study, these “boomerang employees” are starting to create some serious competition for job seekers. Of the companies surveyed for the study, 40% said they’ve hired about half of the former employees who have reapplied for jobs at the company. That’s pretty impressive, right?
The study cites knowledge of the company and familiarity as reasons that companies like to rehire boomerang employees, but what are some of the benefits for the returning employee, herself? We talked to Maggie Mistal, certified career consultant and executive coach at MMM Career Consulting (and former boomerang employee!), about why this is a career move we might seriously consider.
So, you left a company you loved to find opportunities for financial and professional growth—and you found it! Now, opportunity has arisen again at your old company. This could result in a major monetary win: After you’ve gone out and earned new job experience, chances are much higher that you’ll be able to negotiate for the position and salary you want at the company you love. “I’ve often seen people leave to get the promotion, the title, or the raise, just because they didn’t have a lot of room to grow where they were,” Mistal said. “If a company loves you and thinks you’re great, and you move and come back and you maintain relationships, you can continue to grow in your career and grow your income without waiting and seeing, waiting and seeing.”
Yes! Returning to a job you loved means reuniting with your old work BFF, which, of course, couldn’t be more exciting. But don’t forget that your old company undoubtedly made a bunch of new hires while you were away—and if the company you love so much approves of the newbies, you’ll likely love them, too. “You have to put time and energy into reacquainting yourself with the processes and the people; I think you need to put in just as much time and energy as you put in the first time around,” Mistal said. When you do, it will be so worth it: Say hello to the best team ever.
[Related: Here’s Why You Need To Get A Work BFF, Stat!]
Sure, you already know your boss loved you enough to bring you back, but she’ll love you even more when it takes almost no time to train you—which it will because, well, you’ve been through training at this company before. Mistal said the knowledge of the company, ability to get up to speed quickly, and the known quality of an employee is invaluable to a manager. “It’s like fitting a piece back in without having to rework it or retrain it or make sure that there’s a fit,” Mistal said. Of course, not being afraid to ask questions is important, too: Your boss knows there’s no way you could possibly have remembered everything.
Let’s face it: You left for a period of time, and both you and the company have grown and learned a thing or two while you were away. Mistal said that acknowledging the changes that have occurred while you were gone—and the fresh perspective you can bring to them—is really important. “It’s important to go in with an open mind and take that same approach when you were brand new,” Mistal said. “It might look the same and feel the same, but there are details, and you really have to know them and learn them.” That’s kind of fun, though, isn’t it?
Just as much as your boss loves knowing what you’ll bring to the table, you’ll love knowing what you’re going to getting from your new (old?) job. There’s no guessing about the company culture or your daily duties: If you were happy at your job before, chances are you’ll be happy there again. “Every time I picture the boomerang, and even how it was for myself, people are so happy,” Mistal said. “It puts a smile on their face because they know what they’re getting.”