Nancy left her previous organization five years ago for better career prospects. Over this period, she realized that she misses the environment that was offered by her prior employer. Therefore, she considers going back to her erstwhile firm and believes that her good impression with the organization would enable this process. However, her dilemma is: Will the organization accept me yet again? How difficult or easy would it be for me, to withstand my positive impression?
If you are a re-joiner, then these could be some deliberate questions that may need to be answered.
The good news is, while most organizations increasingly consider hiring old timers, employees also consider rejoining. The benefits are experienced by both the sides. Roping in previous employees is smoother than incurring costs in recruiting a new employee. As the training investments are lesser compared to a new employee. Moreover, a former employee is known, tried and tested. As far as employees are concerned, it takes time for a new hire adapt to the organizational culture, grasp work and deliver results, whereas an old-timer is familiar with the culture, the practices, and the people; hence, the transition is mostly easier.
Nonetheless, one also needs to evaluate the reasons for leaving the organization in the past before making a decision to rejoin. Some of the reasons could be: to pursue academics, the desire to check out new pastures or workplace specifics. Do consider rejoining by all means, but if the reasons for your exit were workplace - specifics and they still exist, contemplate your options wisely. If you had chemistry issues or disconnect, matching of minds is unlikely to happen. Hence, it is vital to evaluate the decision to rejoin the previous employer on several parameters.
In contrast, if the organization seeks you out, you already have a head start; the organization unquestionably sees you as a highly talented resource and you need to just prove them right.
However, the unsaid truth is, whether you approach your erstwhile organization or the organization seeks you out, sustaining the employee’s positive impression, by all means, becomes imperative and the responsibility mostly lies on the employee’s mindset while revisiting the earlier employer.
On that node, few tips that a re-joiner may follow to excel are:
Be ready for higher expectations: As expectations from your role may change over years due to organizational dynamics, it is good to clarify them with your stakeholders to understand the results expected and the support you need to achieve them. Be ready for high hopes from you as your stakeholders would like you to apply all that you learnt from the outer world when you were away.
Sustain positive perception
The high of being sought after is good whilst it lasts for long. Give your best to sustain your positive perception. Deliver results, perform consistently and be persistent. As once the excitement dies you may operate in probably the same environment you left.
Be cautious about flattery
Your performance would prove your mettle anyways so, you don’t need to flatter people unnecessarily to regain people’s confidence in you. Just be a true employee out there to deliver results.
Manage team curiosity
When you rejoin, your team may have a lot of curiosity about you coming back. The best way to deal with it, is to not avoid it but be honest about the reasons you left and the background of you coming back.
Re-tap your relationships
Rejoining your previous employer is like remarrying. Efforts required could be a little more than before. To re-establish trust among known people, express genuine gratitude to everyone who helps and offer support. You may find many in the team who would have voluntarily supported you when you worked with them previously.
Revisit those relationships, try to regain their confidence in you as they would be the best source of helping you understand, what changed after you left.
Apply new skill
Remember, you are re-hired with an expectation of applying all that you’ve learnt when you were away, as the organization would like to make the most out of it to add value to the current projects and assignments. Any new skill that you picked up after leaving the organization previously could be applied in action to show improved results. Do not skin them, apply them wherever you get an opportunity.
For most people, careers have ceased to be a lifetime commitment to one organization, but when an employee decides to come back and is accepted with a warm heart, it talks a lot about the confidence the employee and the organization have on each other. Generally, it may take some time for both to re-accept each other as either sides go through specific changes over the parting period, this journey could be a little easier for those employees who demonstrate behaviors that imply progressive mindset so, to excel ‘with’ your previous employer in the current state. All the best to all employees who have decided to come back to their erstwhile employer!