I want in (again)
November 21, 2005 8:04 AM   Subscribe

How do I go back to a previous employer in search of work?

I gave my 2 week notice today, I dont have anything lined up but I'm not panicked. I live at home and have a University course that I can put my time into while looking for another, simplier job.

I've been working as a web-developer while studying at Uni, but found that they clashed too much and both were suffering. I had a chat with a counselor at Uni who confimed what I thought, that I wasnt coping.

Now that Im out of my last place, one of the jobs that I would like to do is back at a previous employer. I would be working with some of my best friends, close to home, and less responsibility than I've just left. But I didnt leave there on amazing terms. There were a few staff changes and not everyone liked me working there (I was pretty young to work at a school).

How do I go back to them for a job without sounding desperate for my old job back, and making it clear I want to reconcile any differences with people there.

Ive grown a lot, and developed my skills far far beyond what I could do for them before. I really feel like I have a lot to offer.
posted by lemonfridge to Work & Money (8 answers total)
I don't think this is really that uncommon. Were you reasonably close with your boss or any coworkers? I would recommend just dropping a casual email saying "Hey, any openings coming up?" or mentioning that you're interested in a gig if anything's available.
posted by xmutex at 8:53 AM on November 21, 2005

From the way your question is put together, it sounds like you already know how. Tell them the same things you've told us.
posted by mendel at 9:11 AM on November 21, 2005

Ditto Mendel.
posted by oddman at 9:14 AM on November 21, 2005

I was close with 2 of my best friends there, and a few other members of staff. However my line-manager had issues with me which he often raised with my boss. I think he managed to paint a pretty bad picture at times.

I dont want to use my friends to get a place there, as I dont feel that would be right. I dont want to use them as a method or a reason. If I'm going to be there I want to be there because of my own merit. I would however like to share an office with one of them (given my what i'll be doing, that shouldnt be unreasonable)

Any more thoughts are welcome.
posted by lemonfridge at 9:23 AM on November 21, 2005

It's not uncommon- I just did it. I e-mailed my old boss and was like, hey, you still have work I could do? I need a new job. And she was like, yea, actually, I do, here's a big pile of money and benefits if you want to come work for me. The whole thing worked out so well, I can barely believe it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:26 AM on November 21, 2005 [1 favorite]

If you don't want to use your friends as an in, then there's little recourse but to put some gravy and salt and pepper on that crow and approach someone in HR or management. Be professional, be honest and focus on what you can bring to the table in the future rather than what happened in the past.
posted by willmize at 10:03 AM on November 21, 2005

I dont want to use my friends to get a place there, as I dont feel that would be right.

This is called networking, and while we all would like the world to be a meritocracy, the reality is that networking is an essential part of finding a job.
posted by reverendX at 11:45 AM on November 21, 2005

But would you use your friends to give you positive recommendations to HR? Recommendations are taken seriously. Two of the last three people I took part in hiring were picked in large part on the strength of the people who recommended them. If you don't want to try to get them to bias the process, just ask them to write you recommendations. Then contact whoever it is who's posting for the job with a short, friendly cover letter and resume (or in whatever form they would like to hear from you.) Mention, but don't harp on, your previous tenure, and also mention the positive side of coming back to the job but without spelling out the negatives associated with why you left. Don't gloss over anything, but don't make it out to be some sort of crazy thing you're doing.

When you get called in, go in looking much better than you feel like you did when you left. Attitude, clothing, everything. That way you can demonstrate for them the massive advantage it would be to have you back, as opposed to the other candidates, who haven't worked there before. Good luck.
posted by rebirtha at 6:48 PM on November 21, 2005

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