Pros & Cons of Rejoining Your Former Company

Have you ever considered being a “boomerang” and returning back to your former company?

With the “Great Resignation” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, boomerang employees are on the rise — these are those who returned to their old jobs after quitting, seeking greener pastures like higher pay or permanent work-from-home roles. Research by payroll and workforce management firm UKG showed that nearly 1 in 5 of those who quit during the “Great Resignation” have already returned to the job they left — with 41% considering it as an option.

To help you weigh if it’s worth it to rejoin your former company, here are some upsides and downsides that will help you make your decision.

Pro: You’re Coming Back At Higher Pay

Moving on from one job to another often comes with better compensation. Who wouldn’t jump ship if the pay and the role were significantly better than your current one? And now that you’ve leveled up your pay grade from your previous to your current role, you can get even better pay if you’re coming back to a more familiar work environment.

If your previous company offers you a new role, chances are that the offer will be a significant increase from your previous stint with the company. With your prior experience, it might even give you leverage to negotiate beyond salary, including a sign-on bonus, remote opportunities, and additional benefits.

Pro: You’ll Be Working With Familiar Faces

Returning to an environment where you thrive is also good for you, even more so if you’re surrounded by people who make you better. If you know you’ll again be teaming up with people you trust and enjoyed working with before, it could be good for you to consider coming back to familiar faces and routines.

Pro: You Already Have A Reputation 

Always being the new kid on the block may be hard – having to prove your worth every time you hop on a project. But if you return to a former employer, they already know how well you do your job and how you manage projects. This may also give you an opportunity to handle bigger, riskier, and high-visibility projects since they know they can trust you, and that your skills are apt for it.

Con: Work Might Be Stale

One thing about returning to a former company is having a “been there and you’ve done that” feeling. Just as it may be exciting to come back to familiar routines — keep in mind that the excitement could fade just as easily if you re-enter a work loop you’d rather escape from. If you’re looking for something more exciting, you could also consider roles in a competitor company or related industries instead. 

Con: The Reason You Left Is Still There

There’s always a reason why you left, and you should think about that if you’re contemplating coming back. Ask yourself, “Is the reason I left still there?” It could be a toxic work culture and lack of work-life balance, office politics, or a manager who didn’t treat you right. 

Going back there might trigger unfavorable memories and experiences in the workplace that could also affect your output. You should consider turning down an offer from a previous company if you think it could be detrimental to you in the long run. 

Con: Less Opportunities For Learning And Growth

When returning to a familiar role and company, your learning and growth opportunities might take a backseat. While not always intentional, your team may assume you already know what’s going on and exclude you from new training and onboarding. 

Ask yourself, “Do I want to dip my toes into new things, or would I rather strengthen what I already know?” This will tell you what is best for you and your career moving forward.

There is definitely no one-size-fits-all formula when deciding whether or not to return to a former employer or company. This is a personal choice that you have to think deeply about. Decide if the pros outnumber the cons, and whether it’s good for your career in the long run. Even with the cards that I laid out for you to consider, it’s still up to you to decide what’s best for you and your personal situation. Rooting for you!

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