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How to get your old job back after resigning

Updated April 17, 2017

People request their old job back for many reasons. Perhaps their new position didn't turn out to be as wonderful as first thought, or maybe the commute is too long and work-life balance is suffering. Asking for your former job back can be a daunting and difficult task. You may face embarrassment and animosity, which is why you need to form a compelling argument as to why your old boss should rehire you.

Phone a former colleague to find out whether your old job has been taken by someone else, or whether there is a similar position available. Discuss your intentions with him, and try to gauge what the reaction would be if you requested your old job back.

Decide whether to ask for your old job back in person or over the telephone. While meeting in person may be more professional, if you are particularly nervous you may wish to use the phone.

Rehearse the conversation that you intend to have with your ex-boss, and think about every conceivable question that you may be asked. Be sure to maintain humility throughout the conversation. Mention that you left on the promise of better opportunities, but that these have not materialised.

Make contact with your former manager over the telephone. If you chose to request your job back in person, arrange a time and place to meet. If you are requesting your job via the telephone, call at a time when you know the office will be quiet so your boss will not be too busy.

Make notes before any meeting or telephone conversation, so that you can be sure that you make all the points that you wish to discuss.

Begin the conversation by thanking your ex-boss for his time, and finish it by stating your previous loyalty and dedication to the company, and expressing a desire to stay for a long time with the company should you get your job back.

Prepare yourself for bad news. Even if the former boss tells you there aren't any vacancies for you now, ask that your details be kept on file in case something opens up.

Tip

Always avoid criticising a company when you quit. You never know when you might want your job back.

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About the Author

Ben Wakeling graduated from Coventry University in 2009 with an upper second class honours B.Sc. degree in construction management. Wakeling is also a freelance writer, and works for a number of businesses, such as Demand Studios, Suite 101 and Academic Knowledge.