I want my job back

Caroline Mboijana. PHOTO/FILE 

What you need to know:

When I got a job offer from a new company, I accepted it. I left my former workplace on good terms, and they wished me well. Almost eight months into my new job, I realised this place was not what I thought it would be nearly every day

Dear Caroline,

Towards the end of last year, I left my job for a new adventure. I work in advertising, and after working with the same company for four years, I thought I needed to grow, and I believed I needed more challenges. When I got a job offer from a new company, I accepted it. I left my former workplace on good terms, and they wished me well. Almost eight months into my new job, I realised this place was not what I thought it would be nearly every day. I would do everything to get my old job back, but I don’t even know how to start this conversation with my former bosses.

Josephine

Hello Josephine, first, it’s a good thing that you decided to move because you wanted to grow and face more significant challenges. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone and remain with familiar organisations. That is easy.

Wanting to go back is a common reaction/ mindset when things get hard or are uncomfortable. My view is before you “go back”, take time to review why you want to go back, which will also answer why you left in the first place. Going back is one thing, but what are you going back to do? That is the fundamental question. Take a step back and critically look at what is best for your career and you as a person. If it is growth, what was that growth you wanted, and can it be achieved in your current organisation? If it included professional development, have you done what needs to be done to enhance your professional qualification? If it was new opportunities that would stretch your technical competence, have you shared those thoughts with your supervisor, so s/he puts you on projects that push you out of what you know? Have you positioned yourself as a resource in your team so that they see you as a value add and cannot do without you?

If you left on good terms your old employer is likely to take you back because you’re already skilled, etc. However, that comes with its challenges; when you return, will you return to your old job- if yes, how do you grow? Remember you left because your old job did not allow you to grow? Will you be at the same level, or will you be at a lower level within the structure that would be less pay? Are you mentally prepared for the possibility that you’ll be reporting to someone who you supervised in the past? That is very challenging mentally and to your self-esteem. Professional growth requires you to take ownership and decide what’s good for you. An alternative is looking for another job once you have critically evaluated what you want. Be careful as recruiters; when we see a lot of movement on the CV, it’s a flag that questions your ability to be committed/ staying power. My advice is to do the self-reflection; that process will inform whether you go back, push the boundaries in your current role or look for a new position. Good luck.

Caroline Mboijana,

Managing Director, The Leadership Team (U) [email protected]

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