We get how awkward it sounds. You left a company for good reasons, and now you should return to work for the same employer?
While it might sound crazy, returning to work for a former employer is a sound job search strategy that more and more job seekers are finding works in their favor.
Keep in mind that companies change. People change. Policies change. If you left the company because you were underpaid, under-appreciated, overworked and/or had a horrible boss - all of that may have changed for the better over time.
Before you throw out this job search option, here are three good reasons why you should work at a former employer.
1. It's easier to get hired
Unless you had a "drop the mic" moment and alienated the entire company on your way out the door, it's easier to get hired at a company that knows you. Consider your odds - would you have a better chance getting hired based off your resume, or based off a previous working relationship?
If you left a company on good terms, you're an almost automatic candidate consideration if you reapply. Plus, the company's hiring process won't be as rigorous or as long as a normal hiring process would be. You'd be on the fast track for consideration, and would know pretty quickly where you stand on being hired.
2. You'll get paid more
Forbes reports that employees who stay with companies longer than two years get paid 50% less. That's because the average raise for employees ranges between 1-5% annually. If you've left the company for a couple of years and accumulated other skills and experiences, you're undoubtedly more valuable to an employer and you've raised your minimum salary expectations beyond what the company typically pays new employees - even 10-20% higher than what you were making before.
3. Reduce your ramp up time and make immediate contributions
Starting a new job immediately puts you on a learning curve. You're constantly ramping up, catching up, and fighting uphill. Even though that phase doesn't last forever, it's a tough place to be in if you don't have to be.
Returning to a workplace environment that you're familiar with eliminates a lot of the stress and anxiety that naturally comes with beginning at a new company. People know your name, and you're not scrambling to learn everyone else's name. You know how the systems and software operate, and you're not spending hours spinning wheels and asking questions to get a feel for how things work.
Eliminating all of the ramp up stuff paves the way for you to make an immediate contribution to your employer and to make an impact with your work.
Before you write off your ex-employer, maybe drop an old colleague a note to see how the employer is doing. Have things changed? Are they hiring? Is so-and-so still there?
The answers may just convince you to make your ex-employer your future employer.