Career Advice

Embracing the Past: How to Overcome the Stigma of Returning to a Previous Job

By Will Etheridge - 17 March 2023

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You've been there, done that, and now you're contemplating returning. Is it embarrassing to go back to your old job? Should you consider another path instead?

Whether spurred by dissatisfaction with your current role, nostalgic memories of your former work environment, or an enticing offer from your ex-boss, the prospect of revisiting a previous job can stir a maelstrom of conflicting emotions.

But before you discount this opportunity, let's explore the various aspects of this critical career decision.


Understanding the Stigma of Returning to a Former Position 

The world of work often prizes forward momentum. Societal perception frames career growth as a linear trajectory — climbing the corporate ladder, seeking new opportunities, broadening your horizons.

Therefore, when one considers going back to a former position, it might seem like a professional faux pas.

People often worry, "Will my colleagues think I couldn't hack it elsewhere?" "Will I be seen as indecisive or lacking ambition?"

These internal conflicts stem from a pervasive stigma associated with returning to a previous job. However, such societal constructs might not reflect the realities and complexities of modern career paths, which are increasingly dynamic and non-linear.


Reasons to Consider Returning to Your Old Job

Ignoring the naysayers, there are several compelling reasons to consider returning to your old job. A familiar environment can be comforting, especially if you thrived there. Knowledge of the company's culture, protocols, and expectations allows for a smoother transition and a quicker impact.

Moreover, you would be rejoining an established network. Relationships built over years can provide professional and emotional support, ensuring you hit the ground running.

Potentially, a return might entail better conditions than when you left — improved remuneration, flexible hours, or a higher-ranking position. Companies often welcome back 'boomerang employees', recognising their expanded skill set and broader experience as an asset.


Overcoming the Embarrassment: A Change in Perspective 

Still grappling with the question: "Is it embarrassing to go back to your old job?" It's time for a mindset shift. Rather than viewing this as backtracking, consider it a strategic career decision. You're now armed with fresh experiences and perspectives that can benefit your previous employer.

Take inspiration from successful figures who've embraced a similar path. Steve Jobs returned to Apple after being ousted, leading it to unprecedented heights. In a different domain, LeBron James went back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning an NBA Championship for his home team.

Frame your decision as a powerful move — a testament to your courage, adaptability, and resilience. You're not merely returning to an old job, but leveraging your expanded world-view and expertise to create a new, more fruitful chapter in a familiar setting.


The Power of a Strong Network: Leveraging Past Relationships 

As you navigate your career, the value of a strong professional network is inestimable. When returning to a former position, you have the advantage of existing relationships. These can be harnessed to mitigate awkwardness, facilitate open conversations, and reinforce your presence in the team.

Let your old-new colleagues know about your growth since you last worked with them. They'll appreciate your transparency and may even support your transition.

In the professional world, camaraderie and mutual respect can turn a seemingly challenging move into an opportunity for personal and career advancement.


Strategic Steps to Make Your Return Smoother and More Effective 

As you take this decisive step of going back to your old job, a strategic approach can go a long way. First and foremost, open communication is key.

Be clear about your intentions and expectations with your previous-now-future employer. This transparency can set the stage for a healthy working relationship.

Showcase the skills and knowledge you've gained since you last held the position. This is your chance to demonstrate how you've grown professionally, reassuring your employer that your return will bring added value to the organisation.

Finally, show commitment. Your dedication and enthusiasm will help dispel any doubts or negative perceptions.

By displaying your readiness to re-engage with your role, you convey that your decision to return was not one of convenience but of conviction.


The CV Wallet Advantage: Navigating Your Career Transition with Ease 

In this digital age, the CV Wallet mobile app could be your best ally in managing your career transitions. This world-first career management App provides a suite of smart tools that make job-seeking and job-switching easier and faster.

CV Wallet assists with automating job applications and tracking, pulling together jobs from hundreds of boards and thousands of career sites into one accessible place.

This streamlined process can help you gauge the opportunities out there, even as you consider returning to your old job.


CV Wallet's Blue Tick Verification: Standing Out in Your Old-New Job 

Once you decide to return to your old job, distinguishing yourself becomes crucial. CV Wallet's Blue Tick verification lends credibility to your identity, skills, qualifications, and experience.

It shows your old-new employer and colleagues that you're verified, skilled, and ready to contribute in meaningful ways.


CV Wallet's Decentralised Wallet: Protecting Your Privacy and Empowering Your Job Search 

CV Wallet also offers a decentralised wallet to securely store your personal data, ensuring your privacy as you navigate your career. With this feature, you gain the freedom to engage in a global job search while remaining in control of your data.


Conclusion: Going Back to Your Old Job – A Step Forward, Not Backwards 

As we wrap up, remember that returning to a former position isn't a step backward; instead, it's a strategic move forward. This path is paved with familiarity, potential growth, and opportunities to leverage past relationships.

With an open mind, clear communication, and a dash of courage, you can turn this journey into a rewarding professional experience.

If you're considering going back to your old job, it may not be a sign of failure but rather an opportunity to create an even better version of your professional self.

Coupled with the aid of cutting-edge tools like CV Wallet, this step could well be the launchpad to your next career high.

Ready to take your career to the next level?

CV Wallet is the world's first career management app. Our suite of tools is built to make finding your dream job faster and easier.

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