How To Get Your Job Back

Ben Allen
Getting your old job back
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Whether you were fired from your job or decided to quit, the result is the same. You no longer have that particular job.

You need to get an income to continue living, and your old employer still needs workers to accomplish their work. Maybe your current plans of getting a new job isn’t working out, and maybe your old employer is having a hard time filling your spot.

It is possible to get an old job back, especially if you left on good conditions with your former employer. Even if you were fired, you could get re-employed, though it might be difficult.

Should You Ask for Your Job Back?

Before you send that email to your former boss, really consider if it’s worth going back to your old job. If you quit voluntarily, what made you want to leave? Do you want to go back there? Was it too physically or mentally taxing for you? Make sure to weigh all of your options before putting in the effort to get the job back.

If you were involuntarily terminated (getting laid off or fired) getting your old job back might be a bit harder, or even impossible. Before putting in too much effort to convince your boss to take you back, analyze why you lost your job. Do you really think they could overlook why you lost your job and hire you back?

If you are just afraid of searching for a new job, don’t let that be the reason to slink back to what’s familiar. Push ahead into the unknown and find a new job. But if you are finding it very difficult to find a new job and are getting desperate, you may want to actively consider getting your old job back.

How to Get Your Job Back After Getting Fired

Depending on the circumstances surrounding you involuntarily being terminated, you could get your job back. You need to analyze why you lost your job, what the needs of the company might be now that you are gone, and if you could convince your old employer they should want you back.

Can You Get Rehired After Being Terminated?

There are a handful of common reasons why people get fired or laid off. If the company laid you off because the project you were working on finished, or they don’t have the money to keep you employed, you might be able to get your job back if their situation has changed.

Other reasons, especially behind getting fired, may be a little harder to get around. If you were fired for behavioral reasons, you have an uphill battle ahead of you. If it was because of your performance, you could convince your old employer you’ve changed and improved, in hopes they will give you a second chance.

It’s important to analyze how the meeting went when you got fired. Was your boss sad to see you go or happy? Where you furious and unprofessional, or did you keep your cool? This can tell you a lot about your chances to getting rehired.

How to Ask For Your Job Back After Being Fired

Getting your job back after getting fired is all about overcoming your old employer’s concerns. There is a reason they fired you, and you have to convince them either you’ve gotten rid of that concern or that you can overcome it. For example, if you were fired because you struggled to control your anger, attend a anger management course and show your old boss you worked it out.

There are tons of benefits for an employer to hire back an ex-employee, mainly that they don’t need to spend time training a new worker. If you can hit the ground running, that’s money and time your employer can save.

Another tactic to help incentivize them hiring you back is to put you on a probation period. During that time, they could fire you for any reason if they feel it won’t work out, and after a few months, reassess your employment. If everything is working out, you leave the probation and become a full employee with all associated benefits.

It all starts though with getting in touch with your hiring manager/boss. You need to find out if there is any opportunity to get your old job. Don’t waste time pursuing it if the company won’t even consider hiring you back or can’t.

How to Get A Job Back After Resigning

Getting a job back after quitting on your own terms is usually a lot easier than when a person gets fired, as long as you didn’t burn any bridges while resigning. The employer gets the benefits of having a well trained, and hopefully very productive, employee back and you have a secure income.

Make sure though that you really do want to go back. If you quit for a specific reason, like harassment or the job created health issues, push to find a new job. If you quit because a new job fell through, then going back to a job you liked is a good solution.

Don’t Burn Bridges

Whenever you leave a job, be sure to remain professional and friendly. That includes months or even years later. Don’t badmouth them down the road, because you never know what they might hear.

If your employer has a positive attitude towards you, they’ll be more likely to hire you back when you need it.

Stay In Touch

Maintain a casual relationship with your managers and coworkers after you quit. Check in with them, be friendly and helpful, stay in touch. That way, if you do need to ask for your job back, they want to help because they are your friends. If you disappear into the world only to come back six months later asking for work, they might have already forgotten you.

If you stay in touch, you’ll also have a good idea what’s going on. If you time it right, you could even line up asking for your job back in the midst of a crisis you could solve or after another person left.

Prepare for the Interview

If you are able to get a job interview, be prepared to answer some tough questions. They might inquire why you quit, why you want to come back, and whether you are going to leave again. If you quit for a specific reason, they might ask what changed your mind. Be prepared both logically and emotionally for some harder to answer questions.

Prepare to Negotiate

Depending on how much the company wants you back and how desperate you are, you might need to negotiate in order to get re-hired. That could include taking a pay decrease, being hired back at a lower or different position, being put on probation, or something along these stipulations.

But don’t be afraid to negotiate for your own rights. If you feel like the company is trying to cheat you, push back. Try and get your original salary again, or at least disagree with things you don’t agree with. Do so respectfully, and you might just get what you are looking for.

Working towards getting your old job back can be a solution to a bout of unemployment, but don’t put all of your eggs in that basket. While working on getting your old job back, keep hunting for a job. Especially if you got fired, it’s often unlikely you will get hired back, meaning you need a new job somewhere else.

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