Save yourself the career turbulence: Don't ever, ever return to a previous job

Have you ever considered going back to a previous job?

It certainly isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly because, honestly, the downsides really do outweigh the benefits.

Trust me, there are many pitfalls. For starters, you’ll experience uncomfortable feelings among your old peer groups. If you have been gone from your job for a while, there may be some sense of awkwardness when you return.

Most of your old coworkers might still work there, but there is a good chance that other new people have started there as well.

There might be new clicks and groups that you fit in before you left that may not be as open to having you back. Especially if you haven’t kept in touch while you were gone.

Consider, too, that you may have a target on your back from management. Just because you are returning to your old job doesn’t mean that you will be continuing where you left off. In most cases, the tenure you had before you departed will mean nothing, and you will actually be restarting at the bottom.

This means that you may have a target on your back if a round of layoffs comes around. You may not only be looked at because you are new, but they will also consider the fact that you have already left voluntarily once in the past.

It’s also important to note that things are probably the same. Many people leave their jobs because they are not happy with how things were done there.

Either the pay wasn’t good enough, your bosses couldn't see your potential or the attendance policy was a little strict.

There can be a million reasons, but honestly, things probably haven’t changed much, so if you go back, it will likely be more of the same. Take some time to think about that.

Also, you may not want to admit this, but it’s true: You could face resentment from old peers. Before you even consider about going back to your old job, think about why you left in the first place. If you left for a job that made more money or that held more prestige, and you informed your past co-workers of this before you left, then you may be in for a rude awakening when you return.

How would you feel if a co-worker left you to the wayside for bigger and better things, only to come crawling back?

You may have feelings of anger, maybe a little jealousy, and you might even wish that the employee never came back in the first place. Get ready to face these feelings if you return.

Oh, and that goes hand in hand with the fact that they may also resent your salary. Companies are always upping their hiring budget to fit with the times and if you go back to that job starting off making more money than your coworkers are making now. Your old peers will not be blind to this fact.

The importance of weighing the pros and cons of returning to a previous job cannot be understated. Going back may be the easier path, but it will not be without its downfalls so take some time to think about things before you make your big decision.

We say, let the past stay in the past. 

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