Whether you’ve left a company to pursue a new opportunity, been let go by a mass layoff, or left a toxic team, you never know if there’s an opportunity to become an “employee of boomerang” – that is, to return to your former employer. The author presents five ways to position yourself as a successful boomerang, even if you leave your previous company.
When “Samantha” left her company to find a new opportunity, it wasn’t because something happened at her previous company. He only has one chance to manage a team and gain more skills to advance his career.
What he didn’t know was that the culture of his new company and his new boss didn’t align with his values, leaving him overwhelmed and dissatisfied.
A short 10 months ago, Samantha was able to demonstrate that her new skills and capabilities could fill a newly created management position at her former company. He boomeranged and continued to grow in his career.
Whether you’ve left a company to pursue a new opportunity, been let go by a mass layoff, or left a toxic team, you never know if there’s an opportunity to become an “employee of boomerang” – that is, to return to your former employer. Here are five ways to set yourself up to be a successful boomerang, even if you leave your previous company:
Leave a good note.
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people ruin the situation they left behind, not knowing it reflects badly on them. Bad boss, bad processes, bad leadership team — these can all change after you leave. It’s best to leave without expressing your strong opinions about the company’s internal turmoil or specific people you don’t respect.
If you’ve left on bad terms and have since realized how you contributed to that toxicity, connect with those who remember your leaving or inappropriate behavior and try to start a conversation about your learned and how you’ve grown and matured. If necessary, say that you are sorry about your past behavior. Apologizing doesn’t mean there wasn’t another contributing factor to why you left, but owning up to your part in it will make your boomerang easier.
Keep in touch.
There are five categories of people you want to contact after you leave a company: your former manager, your direct reports, cross-functional leaders, at least one or two other colleagues, and either a recruiter or HR business partner. Why? These are the people who can point you to new opportunities in the company.
Keeping in touch means sending holiday cards or ecards, as well as quarterly emails asking how the recipient is doing and mentioning what skills you have, big projects you’re working on (without revealing confidential information), and exposure to you. I need the C-suite. At least once a year, invite your contact to coffee or lunch, where you can show your presence to the executive and discuss your growth and interest in returning to the company. Make sure you know what type of position you want to return to so you can articulate how you can bring value to that type of work. Staying well connected will keep you top of mind and give you the benefit of learning about upcoming jobs before they are posted.
Follow the company.
Just because you’re familiar with the company from your time there doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be selected as the right fit for a new opportunity. Showing in a conversation with your network and a potential hiring manager that you continue the company’s progress and successes will give you an advantage that will be a boomerang because it shows that it takes less time. to get on board with you rather than a candidate that is unfamiliar.
Do your homework so that you are prepared when the opportunity arises. If the company is public, you can find insights into its status and successes — as well as challenges — in their earnings reports, such as 10-Q and 10-K reports in the SEC’s EDGAR system. Read recent media about the company and the products it brings to market.
Acquire skills and capabilities.
While you’re at your new job, find a way to high skill. Showing that you have developed new hard and soft skills will put you in a better position to promote yourself when you return to your previous company.
If you haven’t left your company yet and you know you want to return in the future, print your performance reviews before you leave and look at your areas of growth. Even if you don’t agree with everything written, try using the 2% rule: Assume that you can believe at least 2% to be true. So what can you do to change that perception? Consider which hard skills you need to master to further your career growth and which soft skills will help you improve your ability to influence, manage stakeholders, and lead.
Find out why you left — and why you want to come back.
Dig deep to understand what caused you to leave the company and whether those conditions still exist. For example, did you leave behind a bad manager who has since moved on? Or if you left because there was a change in strategy you didn’t agree with, how would you handle it now? If you are let go in a mass layoff, is the company stronger now or more cautious in its talent acquisition plans so you can be confident you won’t be in this situation again?
When talking to people from your old company, your messaging shouldn’t be about how your new company is inappropriate. It’s about why your previous company is where you stay for so long. Remember that the company you leave is not the company you return to. Organizations change. Leaders change. The goals have changed. Sometimes, cultures change. Try to understand how the company has grown or changed since you worked there so you can tailor your message about how your skills and capabilities will add value to the new job — and convince the new hire. hiring manager that you will never leave again.
. . .
If you’ve left your previous employer and want to return or are about to leave and don’t know if you want to return in the future, think about how you left and how you’ll stay connected. Above all, work through any trauma you may have experienced while working for your previous employer so that when you decide to return to a new opportunity, you can enter with peace of mind. And always remember that life is not linear.