Networking and Career Advice

How to Re-apply for Your Old Job Professionally

Marcie Wilmot

Certified Resume Writer, Career Coach, Business Writer


Have you recently started a new job only to find that you miss your old one? Maybe you didn’t realize how good you had it, and now you regret leaving. Don’t worry. You’re not the first person to feel this way, and you might even be able to return to your old job if you play your cards right.

Continue reading to learn exactly how to ask for your job back. We’ll discuss

  • what you to consider before making this career move
  • how and when to approach your old employer
  • what to say when making the request

Sound good? Okay, let’s get started! 

Should You Ask for Your Old Job Back?

The fact is that you left your old job for a reason (maybe multiple reasons). So even if you’re remembering it fondly and think you want to return, you must examine why you left. Have those old issues gone away? Have they become less important? Spend some time thinking about all of this. The last thing you want to do is get your old job back, encounter the same problems, and realize you’ve made a colossal mistake.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before deciding to try and get your job back:

  • Why did you leave the job? Have these issues been resolved or become less important to you?
  • Has your old position been filled, or is it still open?
  • Have you gained any new skills, knowledge, or experience that will benefit your old employer?
  • Why don’t you want to stay at your new job?

What to Consider Before Reapplying to Your Old Job

Making the decision to ask your former employer about potentially being rehired is a big deal. Why? Because we’re talking about your career and its trajectory. You must ask yourself if returning to your old job will help you progress in your career. After all, the last thing you want to do is go backward.

Be honest with yourself, and examine why you don’t want to stay at your new job. It’s essential to decide if there is something you don’t like about it or if you wish to return to the comfort of something familiar. You can sometimes leverage new knowledge and skills to excel in your former position. In other cases, it may be best to look for new opportunities

If you realize that you just want some “easy” income while you search for a new job, consider contracting or consulting for your former employer instead of trying to get your full-time job back. Then they can look for a permanent replacement while you collect a steady paycheck as you seek out something new.   

What to Mention When You are Requesting for Rehire

Once you’re certain that getting your old job back is what’s best for your career, it’s time to consider how you’re going to achieve this. To start, you’ll want to mention several key pieces of information when you contact your former manager. Remind them of

  • the department you worked in
  • your position and job title
  • how long you worked there

Next, explain why you’re interested in coming back and what you have to offer the company. Be specific about new skills, notable accomplishments, or ways you’ve positively impacted your work environments. Your goal is to show them why they should rehire you.

How to Ask for Your Job Back Confidently

general image of person on computer deciding how to ask for old job back

Quitting a job can be challenging, and it can be embarrassing to reach out to the same employer later to ask for that job back. It’s not easy, but you can do it. Use the tips below to increase the odds that your former employer will respond favorably.

1. Consider Your Relationship with the Company Employer

If you left your former employer on a positive note (without burning any bridges), it’d be much easier to ask if there’s any possibility of being rehired. If the resignation was rocky, it would be harder to make inroads.

2. Research Open Positions in the Company

It’s ideal if your old job hasn’t yet been filled. (Your employer is probably still missing you!) If your former employer is running a job ad for the position, find it and scope it out. Then when you make your pitch, you can highlight how you meet the requirements in the job description.

3. Get Prepared About Returning Questions

Chances are good that your former manager and team members will be curious about why you want to return. Answer their questions honestly.

4. Try for a Direct Meeting via Email or Call

It’s great to either call or email to get the ball rolling, but your ultimate goal should be to set up an in-person meeting. Like an interview, this will allow you to remind your former employer of all you have to offer and why you want to return.

5. Be Confident and Professional

Finally, exude confidence and act professionally. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. The company is lucky that you want to come back.

Determine When to Re-Apply

There’s no time limit for reapplying to a former job. Whether it’s been just a few weeks or several months if you feel it’s best to leave your current job and return to your old one, don’t hesitate – just do it.

However, there are a few instances when it’s wise not to wait. For example, if you’ve recently had your resume rewritten by a professional or otherwise improved, capitalize on this by contacting your old employer. Also, if you’ve taken on additional responsibilities, acquired new skills and/or industry knowledge, or earned relevant certifications/degrees, it’s a great time to approach your former manager about potentially rehired.

Why You Should Use Email for Requesting Your Old Job Back?

Email is a great way to initiate communication with your old manager. Why? Because you can take your time writing it – even having a trusted friend or mentor proofread it before you send it – and put a lot of thought into what you want to say and how you say it. It gives you more control.

Conversely, email gives your former manager time to collect their thoughts before replying. If you instead call them out of the blue, they’ll likely be caught off-guard and might not respond favorably. An email will give them time to think about your proposal before they get back to you. But don’t give them too long to think about it. If you haven’t heard back from them after a week or two, don’t hesitate to send a follow-up email.

Asking for Your Job Back Sample Letter

So what should your email say exactly? We’ve included a sample below to give you an idea. 

Dear [Former Manager’s Name],

Hope you’re doing well! I’m writing to see if we can set up a time to talk about [Employer]. As you know, I’ve moved on to a new position in Chicago, but it hasn’t turned out as expected, and I’m interested in seeing if there’s any possibility that I can return to my position under you.

Over the past several months, I’ve realized how fortunate I was when I worked for [Employer]. It gave me the opportunity to engage in work that I was truly passionate about: [List Some of Your Old Job Responsibilities]. This position hasn’t worked out as I’d hoped, and since my old role at [Employer] is still open, I thought you might be willing to discuss the possibility of me returning.

Thanks for considering my request. I know it’s unexpected, so please take your time thinking about it. If you’d like to talk about it further, let me know. I’d love the chance to explain all the ways I can benefit [Employer] in this role.

I look forward to your reply!

Best,
[Your Name]

Frequently Asked Questions: Requesting Your Old Job Back

How do I convince my boss to me a second chance?

Remind them of how you can benefit them and their company in the role. Bring up past achievements and mention any new skills you’ve learned since then.

Should I try again after rejection?

If your former employer rejects you, it makes sense to wait at least a few months before trying again. Work on building up your skillset and gaining more experience. Then you can highlight these new offerings when you try again.

How long should you wait to reapply for a job?

If you apply for a job and get rejected, it’s best to wait at least four to six months before reapplying. Take this time to become a stronger candidate and look for other opportunities in and outside the company.

Conclusion

We all make mistakes! There’s no shame in starting a new job only to realize that you had it great at your old one. Companies are often open to rehiring boomerang employees (those who come back) because they don’t have to spend time and money training them like they would a brand-new employee. So if you decide this is the best course of action for your career, put together a strong email and ask – you’ll never know unless you try! Good luck!

Write A Comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.