Returning to a former employer: how to go about it?

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It may sound amazing, but sometimes the circumstances can cause you to consider returning to a business you left behind. Is this really a good idea? What is the process to follow to approach him? Elements of answers.

An option to consider … under certain conditions

Want to return to a former employer? “Yes, it does exist,” admits Bérangère Touchemann, career coach. In this case, she does not try to prevent the process but warns: “You have to want to go back for good reasons. In the current economic context, some people may want to find a comfort zone, but that does not fuel a long-term career project. Generally, it is not a very good sign to consider such a step back… ”To make sure that this is a good idea, you have to ask yourself the right questions: why did you leave this company? Why do you want to go back? What do you want to do there?

“Beware of idealization! You should not look to nostalgia for years gone by but project yourself towards your future missions.”

“Like a bachelor with his ex”

To these questions, convincing answers must be found. In particular, if you have the opportunity to return to work for your old company at a higher level, this can lessen the impression of backtracking and no progress. “It’s like a bachelor tempted to see his ex again: nothing forbids it on the condition of not considering it on a whim! We must see beyond the temptation of the moment », Insists Bérangère Touchemann. A point of view shared by Alain Jacob, president of the firm AJ Conseil, who from the outset tends rather to advise against the initiative. “The most common attitude when you make such a comeback is not to make the integration efforts that you should. We tell ourselves that we already know the house, but it’s often a mistake : in a few years, a company may have changed its strategy, size, workforce, etc. ”

A return in two stages

If, however, you really plan to return to work for your former employer, it is better to have prepared the ground well beforehand, warns Bérangère Touchemann. “Of course, you can’t have left on bad terms. Better still: it is preferable to have remained in regular contact with your former colleagues, who will be able to inform you in due time about the evolution of the company, and especially with your supervisor at the time, who can recommend you if necessary. »Networking work that should pay off.
“The return to its old box must be done in two stages, details the career coach. First, you have to show your desire to go “off” to the operational staff with whom you were working at the time. With them, you can consider the implementation of the best strategy to then contact the HR department and apply officially. »All with the support of your former superiors and ideally concrete proof of the missions that you had validated years before: numbers, letters of recommendation…

Don’t sound like an opportunist

The return to an old company must be done in the dark, recommends Alain Jacob. “It’s like when you show up to friends you haven’t seen for years: it is better not to bring her too much at the start, otherwise you will be considered an opportunist. “For her part, Bérangère Touchemann warns:” beware of idealization! You should not look to a nostalgia for the past years but to project yourself towards your future missions. You may think it’s going to be easy to get your bearings, but it’s usually wrong.. You have to come back with humility and listen to your colleagues, without taking anything for granted. »Keep these precious tips in mind and welcome back home!

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