Benefits of Returning to a Former Company

Sometimes you leave a job for greener pastures and realize you actually had it pretty good before—and sometimes your former employer comes calling with a new opportunity. Either way, returning to a former job as a "boomerang employee" has definite upsides you should consider in your job hunt.

Benefits of returning

According to a study by Workplace Trends, 15 percent of employees have returned to former employers, and more than half of hiring managers said they give high priority to applicants who are previous employees and left in good standing.

Here are five things you can potentially gain from going back to work with an old employer:

1. A higher salary, even if you are returning to the same position

Going back to your former company does not mean returning to your former salary. Depending on how long you have been gone, you might find yourself in for a significant pay raise, even if you're returning to your previous position. When you left, the pay range for your position may have been adjusted due to market conditions and expanded responsibilities. Before you respond to any request for salary requirements, ask how the role has changed since you left. If the position is responsible for additional areas or supervising more people, the salary should be higher, too.

Also, your resume has grown since then, too. You have acquired new skills and had new experiences. You are bringing more to the company, so you can reasonably expect to receive more in return.

2. A shorter learning curve

Starting a new job is hard. Not only do you have to figure out an entirely new set of responsibilities and personalities, but also you must learn to navigate the basics, such as how to order office supplies and turn in expense reports. Returning to a former employer means you are not starting at ground zero. Of course, some things will have evolved, but you will have the basics down. That takes a lot of stress off the table.

3. A culture you know you will fit into

If you are considering returning to a company, it means you liked working there, right? (If not, stop. Do not pass go. No amount of money is worth it.) A boomerang employee understands the culture of an organization and knows they will be comfortable within it. You will know whether your coworkers answer email on the weekends, whether 5 o'clock is the actual end to the workday, and whether anyone eats lunch in the breakroom.

4. Renewed relationships with former colleagues

When you return to your former company, you may feel a bit like you are returning from a long trip to exotic lands. Chances are you have not kept in that close of contact with a lot of these people, so there's lots of catching up to do. Their kids may now be in high school. Some of them will have gotten married or divorced. And just as you have grown and evolved, so have they. It takes a certain knack to navigate this relationship. You are not picking up just where you left off, but again, you are not starting from scratch, either. The great thing is you already know whom you can trust to be an excellent guide to your new/old world. Be respectful of the time you were gone and ask to learn about it.

5. Your fresh perspective brings you new energy

You may be tackling some of the old problems, but you are looking at them with the benefit of different eyes. Your experiences during your "hiatus" have allowed you to develop new skills, learn about new tools, and gain new confidence. This can be extremely energizing professionally.

It is often said you can "never go home again," but many successful boomerang employees have proven that isn't true. If you need further proof, look at the cases of Steve Jobs, Howard Schultz, and Michael Jordan. As boomerang employees, Jobs launched the iPhone, Schultz turned around Starbucks, and Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to an additional three championships. Returning to a former employer puts you in solid company.

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