Snooki says the ‘Jersey Shore’ cast ‘begged’ MTV for their comeback. Here’s how to boomerang back to an old job like a pro.
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You can go home to an old job again.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi told the New York Times that the “Jersey Shore” cast had no shame in pleading with MTV to bring their fist-pumping antics back on the air.
“We basically were begging MTV to bring us back … We were begging everyone to bring us back,” she said.
And it worked! The “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” reboot premieres this Thursday at 8 p.m., with the entire cast except for Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola reuniting onscreen for a Miami trip that sees the rest of the cast trying to gym, tan, laundry in their 30s.
They’re not alone. Plenty of people go back to their old jobs. Steve Jobs was infamously fired from Apple by CEO John Sculley during a 1985 power struggle. So he launched a new startup company, NeXT — which was eventually bought by Apple in 1997, bringing Jobs back into the fold, and eventually making him CEO.
In fact, a 2015 study by Kronos and WorkplaceTrends.com found that 76% of 1,800 U.S. human resources executives and hiring managers said they were open to hiring “boomerang” employees — or those who leave the company but turn around and come back — and more than half said they gave “high” or “very high” priority to job applicants worked at the company before.
And younger workers are more inclined to come back swinging, as almost half (46%) of Millennial workers in the report saying they would consider returning to their former employer, compared to a third of Gen Xers (33%) and just 29% of Baby Boomers.
There are a number of reasons why someone would want their old job back. “I’ve seen this happen before,” Monster.com career expert Vicki Salemi tells Moneyish. “Let’s say you went to a startup because it sounded really exciting; but you get there, and they cut your pay in half, but you’re working 50% more hours, so you’re really unhappy. Or maybe in the three months that you’ve left, the one thing you really could not tolerate before (like a toxic boss) has left, and you’ve heard it’s a much more vibrant, positive workplace, and you want to come back because that issue is no longer an issue.”
If you notice the posting for your job description is still online because your employer hasn’t replaced you yet — or, they have replaced you, but there’s another position open that you’re also qualified for — it’s natural to want to go for it. And don’t feel too awkward; boomerangs are actually appealing to employers because they are already familiar with the company culture and don’t require as much training as a brand new hire.
“If they hire an external candidate, the onboarding and ramp up time will be considerably longer — but you already know the acronyms and all of the internal mechanics,” says Salemi.
But before you throw your hat back in the ring, ask yourself two important questions: Why did you leave then; and why do you want to go back now?
“That will help you decide whether it really makes sense to go back or not,” Glassdoor career trends expert Alison Sullivan told Moneyish. “And making sure you have all of those reasons really clearly defined will help you when talking with your old company,”
Here’s the best way to work your way back into your old gig.
Leave on good terms. Keep the door open to come back by bowing out gracefully. “If you didn’t leave your former employer on good terms, or you had a poor job performance and it’s documented, it’s going to be harder and more challenging for you to come back,” warns Salemi.
“Last impressions can be just as important as first impressions,” agrees Sullivan, who suggests tying up all loose ends and doing what you can to ease the transition for the next hire, as well as writing thank you notes or sending out an email acknowledging everyone for their help while you worked there.
If you had a bad goodbye: The door is still open if the people you had a problem with are gone, however. “Companies change and people change, so if there was an individual that didn’t work well with you, or the business direction didn’t fit your needs, maybe those things have resolved and there’s a way in now,” says Sullivan.
Stay in touch with your old colleagues. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, comment on the progress they’re making with projects, send them articles you think they might enjoy, and meet up for drinks or coffee to dish about each other’s jobs. This will keep your ear to the ground with what’s happening with your former gig, and serves as a natural conversation starter to talk about coming back if you decide you want to return later on.
Make the ask. Invite those former colleagues you’re still friendly with out for coffee to test the waters. “When you left, you likely left behind a mentor, a boss and close colleagues. Reach out to someone from that group — someone who knows you well — and discuss your wanting to come back. That person will be able to give their honest sense of the feasibility of that happening, and be a champion for you throughout the process,” says Michael Erwin, senior career advisor at CareerBuilder.com. “If you’ve kept in touch via social media, reach out that way; if you usually text, do that this time, too.”
Or if you’re close enough with your former boss to reach out to her directly, set a meeting. “Just be sincere. It’s okay to say, ‘I regret leaving,’ or, ‘I left because I had raised some issues about salary, and it sounds like you fixed them. I noticed you still have the position available. Do you think I could pursue it?’” adds Salemi.
Convince them you’re committed. If you land an interview, expect them to drill you about why you left, why you’re returning and why they should believe you’re here for the long haul this time around. Salemi suggests saying something like, “I’m looking for long-term career growth. I was short-sighted when I made my decision to leave this place, which has an internal annual training program and a mentoring system, and that is what I’m looking for at this point in my career.”
“Spell out exactly why you miss your old company; for example, the culture and willingness to innovate,” adds Erwin. “It’s your job to assure everyone you’re interviewing with that you’re not a flight risk, and to convince them that you’re worth investing in again.”
Show them what you’ve learned since you left. Hopefully you’ve acquired new skills and a fresh perspective that you can bring back to your old gig to shake things up in a positive way. Maybe you learned new software at your new job, or you took time to travel and mastered a new language or were inspired with some new ways to manage workflow based on what you’ve seen elsewhere. “It’s important to showcase what you can bring back,” says Sullivan, suggesting that you say something like, “Since I left, I have learned X, Y and Z skills that I can bring to be an even better employee than I was when I was first here.”
You don’t have to settle for your old salary. Negotiate getting paid what you’re worth, as you should do in any job interview. If you’ve only been gone a couple of weeks or a couple of months, Salemi notes they will likely offer you the same salary as when you left. ”But if it’s been six months or more, and you can demonstrate a more specialized skill set that would be critical, maybe you can get an increase,” she says.
“It comes down to research, whether this is your first time applying to a company, or you’re coming back,” adds Sullivan. “Do your research, like on Glassdoor, about what your company pays, as well as what the pay expectations are for the role and for the market. Make sure you walk into that interview expressing what you need for the skills you have.”
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