Asking For Your Old Job Back

Elizabeth writes:
My question refers to asking for my old job back. I resigned for
another position. I changed my mind about the other job and I now would like to
go back to my old job. How can I ask for it back? I left on good terms.

The Career Doctor responds:
Ah the old the grass is always greener on the other side strikes again!
Normally I would say your chances are slim mostly because as soon
as an employee resigns the separation — by both parties — begins and
historically that separation is pretty permanent.
The key for you is your last line. Assuming you really did leave on good
terms tearful goodbyes and such then it is at least worth putting some
feelers about your interest in returning to the company. It might also matter
whether you left to go to a competitor or not.
Keep in mind that there may already be a person in your old position
and even if there is not the employer may not feel comfortable just giving
you your old job back.
And while there may be good feelings about you you are still going to
have to sell yourself all over again — and not so much on what you can
offer the company (because they know this) but more so that you plan to
stay a while.
So assuming you kept in touch with people from your old firm now is the
time to perhaps meet for a meal and float the idea and see the response
you get. If it seems positive then more aggressively pursue it.
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