John Borrowman III
Borrowman Baker LLC
If you’re in a job-changing frame of mind anyway, it wouldn’t be unusual for you to think about going back to a previous employer. Is that ever OK? Should you even try it?
Before you start down that road, think about how your expression of interest might be received. Will they be glad to hear from you? Was your departure amicable and well-managed? Or are there some scorch marks on the bridge railings? Also, if you’ve said or posted anything negative about that practice in the past you will likely just be wasting your time.
Even if you left on good terms, there can be a tendency to remember the good and forget about the rest. Whatever relationship you had with your employer will probably return, and bring with it the good and the bad. There was a reason, after all, that you thought about leaving in the first place. And whatever caused you to quit the first time could easily be there when you return.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t return to that practice. But, you certainly need to think carefully about some questions:
• Will you be returning to your old role or serving in a new one?
• Why did you leave this firm previously?
• How will things be different? Or, will they be the same?
There are times when returning to a previous employer can work. If you left for a better opportunity or to take care of family or yourself, and your relationship with that employer is still intact, you may enjoy the goodwill that can be the foundation for your approach.
Once you’re confident of that foundation, it’s important to find a clear reason why going back would be a good fit for you and the practice. Is that previous employer experiencing some kind of pain that you can help address? If you can present yourself as a strategic answer to a problem you will go a long way to smoothing the path to your return.
And if you do find yourself back at your old desk, know that expectations will be high for your performance. The phrase “hit the ground running” clearly applies.
If you’re facing this situation and would like some additional perspective, contact us.