Can You Go Home Again?

Hey, here’s an idea: This isn’t kausfiles or Andrew Sullivan’s site, so I’m going to venture into the humble, peaceful world that I like to call work.

Specifically, the question today is whether you should accept an offer to return to a job you’d once held and where you had done extraordinary work.

Steve Spurrier, familiar to many sports fans as that guy with the bitter beer face and the visor cap leading the University of Florida Gators to many successful seasons in the 1990s, rejected an offer to return to his old job yesterday. Spurrier, for the uninitiated, had left the U. of F., where he was a legend, to try his hand at professional football. What had been genius in college led to mediocrity in the NFL and Spurrier was fired last year after two seasons as the head coach of the Washington Redskins.

Ironically, Spurrier was replaced in Washington by Joe Gibbs, who had become legendary as the Redskins coach in the 1980s and early 1990s and returned to his old job after a decade-long absence. Now Gibbs is struggling and the team is worse than it was under Spurrier. He’s had to face numerous catcalls about whether he can do the job he once did so admirably.

So if your old boss comes crawling back to you asking you to return to a job you once held and where you were a star, do you do it? How do you decide?