How to Ask for Your Job Back
Losing a job you enjoyed can be severely depressing. It can be difficult to find the same job in your area. Even if you do, you may find the atmosphere just isn't the same. When you lose a job, you lose friends too. Did you walk away from that good job in anger or despair? Or perhaps you were laid off? There are times when it might be possible to ask for your job back — and get it.
Before asking for your job back, try reaching out to your employer directly in order to determine whether rehiring is even a possibility. If you receive an interview, be sure to prepare yourself for questions like "Why should we take you back?" and "Why do you want to work here again?" If you quit your job voluntarily, don't forget to apologize to the interviewer and let them know that you regret your decision and that you made a mistake.For more advice, including what to do if you were wrongly terminated, read on.
Petitioning to Return After Being Fired
Assess the legitimacy of your termination.Why were you fired in the first place? Did you do something you were not supposed to do? Was it something avoidable? Did your boss or another employee have it out for you and set you up to be fired? There are a number of ways your termination could have been the appropriate response to bad behavior. It could also have been caused by an inappropriate reaction.
- If you know that there have been negative rumors spread about you in the office regarding protected statuses (e.g., religion, sexual orientation, or age) this is a good place to start. You may want to find out of others like yourself have lost their jobs too. If there's a pattern of discrimination, you may have a good case to get your job back.
Seek legal counsel if necessary.If your employer fired you for an illegitimate reason--even if legitimate reasons were part of the termination--you may want to consult a lawyer. You may be able to show your termination was not justified. This may effectively void your termination. If you are in a union or are under contract, you may need to do this immediately so that your lawyer(s) can negotiate your rehire.
Revise your résumé or vitae.Update your résumé or vitae with your most recent job. Highlight the valuable contributions you made to the company before your termination. This helps show you were a valuable member of the team before you were fired. Take time to polish up the wording to make yourself look as good as possible without overdoing it. You want to remind them of the work you did and why they hired you in the first place.
Reach out to your previous employer to determine if rehiring is a possibility.This can be tricky depending on the circumstances of your termination. If you are eligible for rehire they may give you a list of requirements you must meet to get your job back. If they give you a list, do it. Even if they say you cannot have your job back, you may ask to take a reduction in pay or a lesser job in hopes of reattaining your former status over time. If they flat out refuse to allow you back, do not take this as fact just yet.
- One way to do this is to have lunch or dinner with an old co-worker in your office. Your old boss works too if you left on good terms. You may be able to discuss open positions at the company. They may be able to tell you if the climate is good for you to re-apply.
Resolve any issue that may have caused your termination.If you have any personal issues, especially if they were explicit causes for your termination, work on them now. You need to have these resolved before you ask for your job back. Furthermore, you have plenty of time to resolve these issues while you are unemployed.
- If you were let go because of your behavior, seek counseling. You may have an unknown condition that needs to be medicated. If you know you have some disorder and are avoiding treatment, get treatment now. If your bad behavior is the only issue, try to work through it with a counselor.
Prepare for questions regarding your departure and time away.Have responses in place to likely questions such as "Why should we take you back?", "Why do you want to work here again?", and "How would you feel about doing a different/lower level position from before?". Be humble in your responses. You want to show them whatever issues existed in the past are no longer an issue.
- Emphasize that your experience at the job make you a good candidate for rehire. Experience and know-how are valuable qualities no matter what other factors are in play. Even if your performance was poor at the end, highlight the work you did when they appreciated your skills.
- If the conditions under which you left were circumstantial, for instance a problem in your personal life, it is appropriate to mention that. A change in those circumstances would partially explain the value of your returning to the company.
- Avoid being defensive regarding the cause of your termination. You are not there to re-litigate the past. Try to shift conversations about the past into a discussion about how you can help the company in the future.
Submit a new application for employment.Even if they are not explicitly hiring, go ahead and submit a new application. Include your revised résumé or vitae. This way they have the application on file if they need it or chose to disregard you. If you want your job back you must reapply or your old employer could refuse to hire you simply because you didn't apply.
Requesting to Return After Quitting
Resolve your own issues first.If you quit there was likely a reason. Even if you think your boss was at fault, if you want your job back you will have to submit to them. You need to focus on your own attitude and desires. How can you adapt your attitude to be accepting of a future working in the company you just quit?
- If you go into a program and successfully complete it, be sure to inform your former employer of your success. This shows maturity and growth.
Apologize to your previous employer and boss if needed.Unless you left for a legitimate reason (e.g., moving away for college), by now you are thinking that something has changed between when you quit and now. Apologize to your previous employer and boss letting them know you regret your decision. That your attitude has changed and you have realized your mistake. If there were hard feelings, ask your employer to forgive your bad behavior and reassure them that you have changed. If they hire your back, they can depend on you long term.
- Try to make your apology sincere by doing so in the most thoughtful way possible. Avoid apologizing by text or email. You should apologize face-to-face if possible. By phone if not. If you get their voicemail, ask for a call back or let them know you will call back. Do not apologize by voicemail.
- In your apology, admit fault and responsibility. Be sincere and let them know you know you made a mistake. If you said anything inappropriate, be sure to note you are sorry about that too. Don't be clever. "I'm sorry, I was wrong" shows strength of character.
Revise your résumé or curriculum vitae.Anytime you leave a job you should revise your résumé or vitae. Go ahead and do this so you can resubmit it in the future. Take time to polish it so it looks remarkable. You want to show your previous employer you can act professionally.
Submit your updated résumé or vitae to your previous employer.Go ahead and submit your résumé or vitae to your previous employer even if they are not hiring. You may decide to use your internal contacts to forward your résumé or vitae to the right person.
- When you submit your updated materials, do so widely. Give them to the hiring personnel as well as your former boss. You may want to let other managers you were on good terms with know you are looking for work again. This way you follow the proper procedures by filing with the hiring people and you can get others interested in hiring you.
Be prepared to answer questions about why you quit.Try to focus on your own change as a person rather than negative aspects of your job. The goal here is to show you are reliable. Even if you were not reliable in the past you can highlight your past mistakes and how you have resolved them. You are more reliable now than before because you resolved your issues.
Humble yourself before your boss.Your boss or employer may be amicable to your return pending some sort of penance. They may accept you back at lower pay or in a different, less desirable position. If you want your job back, accept their conditions but emphasize you want your old job back. Then you can show them how serious you are about reacquiring your old job. This will give you time to re-earn their respect.
- Don't allow yourself to be demeaned too much. Taking a lower position or a drop in pay is one thing. Being harassed or bad mouthed in the office is different and is unacceptable.
Asking to Return After a Layoff
Keep in contact with your business connections.If you want that job back, you need to know as soon as possible when it might become available again. You'll need to keep in contact with your former co-workers to see if work is picking up or getting too much to handle. You may even want to let your former boss know you're still available if they decide to hire another person.
- If you knew your boss or co-workers well, try to keep in touch outside of work. Have lunch or dinner with them. Join them for birthday parties or cookouts. You may want to have a social event and invite them to join you.
Update your résumé or curriculum vitae.Go ahead and put your most recent job at the top of your job history. Use your time off to refresh and polish the document. Take time with your job summary to highlight the important work you performed. Emphasize the skills you gained from working at the company and what you have learned since.
Get supportive references from within the company.If you were laid off then chances are people in the company liked your work until business died down. People trust those that they know. They know they can rely on you if additional help is required. Go ahead and find people willing to vouch for you when business picks up again. Go ahead and ask them to permit you to include them on your list of references.
- Co-workers are great references. Your boss or other managers and supervisors are better though. Their word means more to hiring personnel. Be careful to only use those references that you know will be positive though. Better to have co-workers who like you than a manager that barely tolerates you.
Submit your revised résumé or vitae to your previous employer.They may not be hiring but they will know you are serious about working for you again. If they need you your updated documentation will be on file. Hopefully they will be in touch soon.
Stay prepared to work again immediately.If the company you previously worked for knows you are interested in your old job they may have you on their list. Pay close attention to new trends and projects your former co-workers tell you about. If work suddenly picks up they may call you hoping you are available almost immediately. This saves them a lot of time and money forgoing an extensive job search.
- Whenever you hear of a new process or procedure being started at your old employer, take time to read up on it. If you are close with your co-workers, ask them about what's going on. You want to stay as up-to-date as you can so that you can demonstrate skill and proficiency if asked to work again.
Protect your employment status.When you get rehired you may want to remember you were previously laid off from that job. What happens if business slows down again? You may want to discuss an employment contract requiring the company to keep you on for at least a year. At the very least you can ask that your previous time working for the company be considered part of your history. In other words, you retain some seniority in the company despite being only recently rehired.
QuestionWhat do I do if I don't understand why I got laid off?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAsk your boss for feedback about why you got laid off. Sometimes, it happens for reasons beyond your control.Thanks!
- Always work a two week notice when quitting.Even if you feel like you need to leave now, work a notice. If you do not work a two week notice some employers will permanently blacklist you. You may never work for them again at any level. Furthermore, when future employers check with past employers they may want to know if you are reliable and may use a failure to work a notice as an indication you're unreliable.
Video: ASKING FOR MY JOB BACK!
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