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How to Return to a Job After Quitting

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Workplace politics may complicate your dream of returning to a job after quitting. Convincing your former employer that you deserve a second chance can be an uphill battle, even if you had a noble reason for leaving. Snagging your old job back requires a proactive, thoughtful approach.

Assess your standing. The way you left will affect how well your former employer receives your return request. It will be much easier to ask for your old position back if you gave proper notice and left on positive terms than if you quit in a fit of rage through social media or text message. It is also important to keep the reason you quit in mind as you weigh the pros and cons of a comeback. You may not want to return to the same boss who you perceived as a bully while it may be worth a pay cut to return to an emotionally rewarding position. Deciding to reapply means committing to battling through whatever chaos you created by leaving.

Develop a solid case. Making a case for your return may be a tough sale. For better or worse, your workplace moved forward without your services. Former colleagues may resent you for leaving if your absence added to their workload. New hires may resent you for returning if your presence threatens their office standing. Even if you left on good terms, it can be difficult to rejoin a workplace culture after a lengthy absence. It is your job to convince management that rehiring you is in their best interest. Create a targeted, polished resume that touts your professional expertise. Include professional networks you joined, certifications you completed and new software you learned during your absence. Design a cover letter that expresses your intent to return motivated to prove your value. Asking former colleagues to advocate for your return may prove worthwhile.

Make your move. Timing is an essential aspect of your approach. Although you may appear indecisive if you ask to return to an old job a few days after quitting, striking fast may prevent someone else from taking your position. If considerable time has passed or if you are on good terms with your former boss, opting for an in-person meeting may be beneficial. Schedule a discrete meeting to present your case. Express your desire to return along with persuasive reasons why you should be welcomed back. Downplay any negativity associated with your departure and highlight ways your presence will improve productivity and morale.

Build new bridges. Being rehired is not the end of your journey. Once back, you must fight to build your credibility. Breaking the ice with former colleagues may prove difficult if you left on bad terms, but may be worth the temporary shame. Reassure them that you are back and ready to work toward common goals. Stay honest when asked about why you returned without over-sharing unnecessary details. Going into details about how much you disliked co-workers at the job you worked after quitting can make you appear disloyal or desperate. You need to prove that your rehire was a smart business decision. Make a dedicated effort to complete timely, accurate work. Always arrive to work and any related engagements on time, eager to participate. Volunteering for extra assignments or cross training in another department can demonstrate your renewed loyalty to the workplace.


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