going back to previous office


I have a situation where I left my previous smaller office, to go to a larger office with higher pay and benefits/vacay hours. Before I left, my boss was kind enough to tell me that if I didn't like where I was going I can come back and that  was willing to match or compromise on salary.

Half a year in, and I am now highly considering going back for personal reasons. But I was wondering if this is frowned upon and whether or not people have had similar experiences to me and what they have done. Thanks. 

Dec 12, 22 1:06 pm

I'd recommend having a discussion with your previous employer. Be open about your concerns, your reasons, and what you're looking for. Best case scenario, they agree with a lot of it and want you back and are willing to make the changes. Aside from them really disagreeing with you, getting offended, and then bad mouthing you around town ... I'm not sure what the downside would be. If you approach it professionally, and they do as well, I don't see that being an issue.

That being said, I've known a lot of people that have boomeranged back to an office after leaving it. I don't think it's that frowned upon ... at least not that I've seen. Perhaps a few people question if it's the right move, but that's about as far as I've seen it go.

Dec 12, 22 2:00 pm  · 
1  · 

The boomerang thing is considered by many to be a best practice for filling open positions.  Capable people who left on good terms are generally welcome back to places these days. 

Bosses and co-workers who may feel you were somehow disloyal are evidencing dumb emotions like pettiness, jealousy, etc. or frustrated that they have to now find a replacement for you.

Dec 12, 22 2:24 pm  · 
2  · 

I’ve done it and seen it done many times.  Usually a win win.  The firm gets a known commodity and the employee gets something too.

Dec 12, 22 7:28 pm  · 

And the firm you are returning to gets your knowledge of a different place's standards, process, policies, and procedures, which can be the biggest benefit of all.

Dec 12, 22 8:52 pm  · 
1  · 

Can be good, if they left on good terms. But I would need to really understand the problem in the first place, to try to make sure it didn't get repeated. 

We have hired back a couple of people.  Neither worked out for very long. I have mixed feelings but generally speaking, it's hard to extend that trust once it's been broken.

Dec 12, 22 9:22 pm  · 

Im thinking of doing this - but afraid it will look like a step backward? Current place has gotten too shitty in recent years...

Dec 12, 22 10:34 pm  · 

It's a step backward only if you go back in at the same rank and pay level as when you left.

A firm near me recently re-hired several former staff and gave them big increases in titles and pay. Some of them leapfrogged over the "loyal" people who had never left the firm.

Dec 13, 22 11:35 am  · 
1  · 

Go for it. Speaking from experience, it works out quite well usually.

Dec 13, 22 4:14 am  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

I worked at a residential design/build firm as a drafter/designer for 18 months, quit and work elsewhere for 18 months for significantly higher pay but it was basically living away from home. When I came back I worked at the same company in a variety of roles for 8 years and was eventually offered partnership; though I ended up declining, if there weren't other factors involved it would have worked out well. Your mileage will vary but that was my experience. 

Dec 13, 22 5:11 pm  · 

I've thought about it on a number of occasions... but decided I don't hit the rewind button.

Dec 20, 22 10:28 pm  · 

This is exactly my situation.. I left my previous firm 8 months ago to a smaller firm because I (foolishly) wanted a new challenge.  This new firm I went to was a shitshow where I had to manage bunch of subpar a-holes who did work of half-a-person.  My direct supervisor was also new to the firm (important factor I didn't know before working there) in that he was too bush to protect his own tail rather than giving me support.   This firm had a poor upper management who would force you to take PTO when you don't have 100% billable hours.  They asked me to do it in 4 weeks into my employment when they failed to line up jobs for a new employee..  If you are 4 weeks in, then you don't have that many PTOs accrued... Overall, this place was a disaster for me that I started look for a new job in only 4 months in.  I don't like quitting companies that early and at least stay 2 years minimum, so this was an unusual move.

I collected new offers from several places but my latest experience in a new company painted a poor outlook on going to a new place with lot of unknowns. My baby was born during this stressful time that also influenced me to look for a safer place rather than ones with more money.  I reached out to my old boss and expressed that I wanted to come back.  Having worked there for several years, I knew how things work and my bosses were pretty decent folks so I didn't have issues going back.  Well, I had to swallow my pride, but if you have a new born baby looks up to you, having a safe job is far more important than my little pride.  

I believe my discussion with my old bosses went really well.  We talked about what I have been working on and how I can support the company.  They also knew that my capability and skills line up with several projects that they are currently running and new ones in the pipe line. I was able to negotiate the salary and the title.  

I gave my notice early this month and starting fresh in my old place next month. 

Dec 28, 22 12:43 am  · 
1  · 

"This firm had a poor upper management who would force you to take PTO when you don't have 100% billable hours. They asked me to do it in 4 weeks into my employment when they failed to line up jobs for a new employee.. "

I'd be out the door so fast with that sort of behavior. Kudos to you for seeing it for what it was and getting the frick out. 

Dec 29, 22 12:48 am  · 
1  · 

Thanks.. I just re-started at my old place this week and it's been great. They kept my email inbox, badge, and even the desk, so it almost felt like I never left. They just continued (as opposed to restarting) my time of service there and gave me milestone increase on the PTO along with higher title and pay.

Jan 5, 23 7:01 pm  · 
2  · 

Don't worry what others think as long as you are learning and advancing your skills as a professional.  My career has had so many zig zags it would make your head spin.  Just be honest, trust your gut, and things will work out.  That said, keep a sharp eye for those who kiss up and punch down.  Good luck.

Jan 7, 23 1:57 pm  · 
1  · 

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