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Ask the Career Expert: Returning to Former Company

Ask the Career Expert: Returning to Former Company

J.T. O'Donnell | Excelle

Being new to the workforce isn’t easy. Let Excelle help you! We’re delighted to introduce a new weekly column by venerated career expert, J.T. O’Donnell, founder of Careerealism.com.

She’ll be taking member questions each week, on topics ranging from finding your first job, to getting a promotion and managing office politics. Submit your question here.

This week, a community member wants to know whether she should consider returning to her former employer.


Dear J.T.,

 I was laid of by my former company about a year ago when the recession was at its worst and every business was cutting the fat. Though it was painful, I understood the decision and left with good rapport.

I’ve since gotten a new job and it’s been a slow start. While the position is ok, the culture is not great and I disagree with a lot of company objectives.

Now I’ve learned my old company is interested in hiring me back. However, the offered position is entirely new (I’m uncertain whether I’m really qualified) under a new manager.

I’m torn between sticking it out a bit longer in a job that will further my career or returning to a company more in line with my ideals but what might not be a seamless career change.

What sort of things should I ask my former (now prospective) employer about my concerns? Should I let my current company know and possibly try to negotiate?  I don’t want to end up with no job at all!

Thanks, Meghan W.

Dear Meghan,

I’m glad you choose to seek some guidance on this. I’ve seen more than a few less-experienced workers make rookie mistakes when put in the same situation. There are two things you need to know:

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