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Rejoining your old company could be a great move for your career


For most people, career is no more a lifetime commitment to one company. In this competitive world, people are always on the lookout for newer opportunities. In some cases, employees rejoin their previous organisation. But, when an employee rejoins the same company, there are obvious anxieties in their minds regarding the changed circumstances.

If an employee maintains good relations with the former employer, he/she may feel like rejoining later when there is a change in the situations that compelled him/her to quit. Saba Adil, chief people officer, Aegon Life Insurance says, “When a good ex-employee rejoins, it is a win-win for both, employee and employer. For the employer, it is actually a pat on the back as it means that the employee believes in the company and its future, values the culture that he/she has seen and lived and finds himself/herself connected even after moving out. It is an additional validation point for an organisation.”

From an employer's perspective, organisations are increasingly open to hiring old-timers as roping in old employees is smarter than incurring costs in recruiting a new employee. “For employers too, having a previous employee rejoin is far more convenient and cost effective as the organisation is already aware about the employee's work quality and there is minimal training required. Further, the employee is already trained within the company and takes far lesser time to adapt to the organisational culture as compared to that taken by a new employee,” adds Manuel D'Souza, chief human resources officer, Intelenet Global Services.

Find your groove again quickly:

  • Make an effort to catch up with old bosses and colleagues. This will help you get comfortable quickly and bring you up-to-date with the changes that have occurred in the organisation;
  • Be proactive. It is, after all, a new role for you and it is fine if you need clarity on anything that you are asked to do;
  • Don't compare your previous roles and responsibilities in the organisation with the current one. The new job may require a different use of your skills in order to attain responsibilities;
  • Reflect confidence with your answers. It is likely that you would be fired with questions when you join back. Stay confident and be quick at replying with a smile on your face;
  • Stay calm and composed as it takes time to settle within an organisation, be it an old or a new one.

It is inevitable for a rejoining employee to keep thinking if things are the same as before or not. For some, there could be a little awkwardness too in the beginning. “When one rejoins the old company, there are a lot of thoughts one has in mind - whether it is a right decision and how the peers have moved over time,” shares Sameer Wadhawan, vice president, HR, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia.
Be cognizant of the work culture and the expectations of the organisation. It is advisable to harbour an open mindset to quickly adopt to the workplace dynamics. “As long as the employee does not consider the new assignment any less seriously; aligns himself/herself with the overall performance expectations; puts his/her best foot forward; is self-motivated and; most importantly, enjoys the role with enthusiasm and fervour, the unsettling feeling will be removed and he/she shall gain acceptance amongst colleagues,” shares Shefali Suri, chief human resources at LIC MF.

The key lies in understanding the changes in the company over time, trying to connect them with the new reality and contributing to it. Connecting with ex-employees who are aware of the environment can help in making the right decision. Reaching out to the right people and leveraging their network can lead to effective involvement. “Overall, an upbeat feeling of renewed vigour and energy can go a long way towards a very fruitful and impactful contribution in the new stint,” concludes Manoj Biswas, chief human resource officer, Larsen &Toubro Infotech Limited.

Feeling a little uncomfortable when you rejoin an organisation is fine. But ensure that you are clear about your reasons for returning and they don't have anything to do with wanting to work with old friends again. People may ask you what made you return; be ready to handle such questions with aplomb.

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