How Can She Return to Previous Employer?

Nanci writes:
What is the best way to go about re-applying for a job at a company I left four years
ago? I left on very good terms and always got good reviews. Downside is the
company put a lot of money into my relocation package and I am afraid that they
will be worried I will leave again. I thought the grass was greener but I realize now
what a great company they were and I want back in. Any suggestions?
Thanks! I wanna go back!

The Career Doctor responds:
In the past I would have told you that you were out of luck. Employers didn’t like to hire
back employees who chose to leave on their own — no matter how good they were. But
times have changed as has the workforce and these days employers are much more
willing to give top-notch former employees a second chance.
Assuming you have kept in contact with a few of your former co-workers or boss I would
start there. Even better if you have a mentor who still works there. If you have not kept in
touch with anyone then your job is going to be a little harder. Your situation is a good
reminder to everyone reading that you always want to stay in touch with former co-workers
because you never know when some situation such as this one will arise.
Ask about your reputation at the company. Is it as good as you think or are you seen
as a traitor for abandoning the firm? If you do still have a good buzz around the office
the next step would be to have someone float the idea of you coming back and see
how management reacts. This tactic is best handled at a staff meeting or some regular
kind of gathering. If the reaction is neutral or better then you have your answer to
proceed; if there is a strong negative reaction it’s probably best to move on.
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