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  1. #1

    My previous employer is asking me to come back

    Hi Everyone,

    I am in an awkward position, I guess it's actually a good position to be in, but my previous employer recently contacted me and wants me to come back. This issue is a little different from the rest of situations that are similar because I walked out on this employer....twice. Let me give you the details of what happened in the past and what is happening now, I would really appreciate some input on this. I do apologize about the lengthy post, but there are a lot of details to this issue.

    I am a web designer/developer and started working for my previous employer in June of 2011. Everything started off okay, but as time went on the position got more and more demanding, working 11 hours on average, coming in on the weekends, etc. That did not bother me as much as the marketing director giving unrealistic deadlines for things. I would get belittled in emails about how my production time was "killing" him and things of this nature. I tried to have talks with him about how these deadlines are unrealistic and how he has been "talking" about getting me a junior designer to help, but things never changed and interviews were never conducted. When I couldn't take it anymore, I sent an email in a professional manner (the marketing director was out of the country at the time), but stern in my opinions about how no one can live up to these expectations without help. I respectively resigned from my position and copied the owner on the email.

    The owner personally called me the next day and explained that he was not aware of this situation and that he does not want to lose me. We talked over the course of two days and I felt he was sincere and he offered to change who I report to, a salary increase and that things would be different because he does not work like that, so I agreed to come back.

    I came back and everything was good for about a week. I am not sure what happened, or if the owner was swayed by the marketing director, but there was a shift in how he perceived me now. He started getting snappy in emails and really started micro-managing me. I now reported to the lead developer, which I worked with regularly before and him and I worked well together. I asked him if he has noticed this shift, which he did and was not sure why. It continued on like this for 3 more weeks, I sent an email to the owner asking if there is something I am doing or not doing that is drawing this negative attention to myself, I never received a response. I came into work a few days later and it looked like the IT guy was doing something on my computer the previous night and left a window open on the machine, which revealed to me that monitoring software was now on my machine. I went to his office and asked him if it was just me or if it was everyone that had this software. He said it was just me. I go back to my desk to process all of this and start some work, but the monitoring software is conflicting with a major application that I use on a day to day basis, so basically I cannot do my work. At this point, I felt all of this was unnecessary and I didn't want to deal with it anymore, so I left again. I sent an email stating I resign and decided to move forward career-wise.

    I found another job shortly after, which I am currently at. I like the people, like the atmosphere, and like the client base. I am able to work on multiple client projects and not just one brand. I have been at this position now since May of 2012.

    Recently, the head developer from my previous employer, who I always got a long with, contacted me. He asked me "hypothetically" if there was a position there for me, would I be interested? I told him that I like working with him, I thought he was a great developer, but no, not after the history there. He explained that he wanted to put together a solid team and when he was discussing this to owner that my name came up because they both really liked my work. I vented to him about what my concerns were and my what my concerns were when I left. Also, how and why did the negative perception of me even take place. We just left it at that. The owner also tried contacting me, but have not gotten back to him yet.

    A few weeks later the head developer contacted me again and asked if I wanted to grab a beer with him after after work. I said sure. He started pitching this opportunity to me again. He explained that the owner was being misinformed by the marketing director about me. The marketing director is still there, but on thin ice, people, especially the owner are starting to see through his bs. He said the owner is willing to admit that he made a mistake with me, and feels like he lost a valuable asset. They do not want me to come back into my previous position, they already filled that, they want me to take a step up and come back as the creative director, with a significant salary increase, and a few more perks. He told me to take some time to think about about, talk to a few a people and let us know what you want to do.

    I've discussed this with a few people. I am here because I am looking for additional advice. My overview of it, as it stands is this: I like where I am at now, I am making significant headway in my position. I feel like I well perceived and they know know I am valuable asset. I am just unsure of advancement. On the other hand, I have an offer for advancement, with a significant salary increase, but there is that history.

    Do I take this offer to my current employer and ask him where he sees my career going within the company? Will that make it seem like I am out looking for another job? I am just not sure what to do in this situation. I have a ton of questions floating around in my head. Will I regret not giving the previous employer the benefit of the doubt? I am at a crossroads and need to make a decision soon, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    MrGerbick,

    Don't return to your previous employer. Two negative experiences is enough. Workplace cultures take a lot to turn around - different people, different strategies, different ways of executing those strategies so that the culture actually changes. Unless you actually see significant change in your previous employer's culture and/or the money is enough for you to put up with the headache in case it hasn't changed, stay away.

    You are in a positive environment now. Mental sanity is a definite benefit to be valued as much as money. Remember that you can certainly go elsewhere and advance - just not at a known negative workplace.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the the reply, I initially had the same reaction, which was no way, I walked out of there twice, there is no way I am going back. But recently, I have found myself contemplating this offer.

    I am started to grow more and more irritated with little things at my current position. This may just be because I know I have this offer on the table. I have really started analyzing things and starting asking myself is there really potential for growth at my current place?

    I do have to say that a big part of it is the money. I am in a position in my life where I currently live with my girlfriend and pretty soon there will be an engagement, a wedding, etc. and we have to pay for all of it on our own, with the salary they are offering me, it would be a lot easier to accomplish this sooner than later. Another part of it is that it will be growth, I will no longer just be a designer/developer, but now I will get manager experience.

    There are pros and cons, cons mainly being the history, which is a pretty big one. I can honestly say that I am overall scared to take a step forward, just to possibly take a step backwards again. On the other hand, I am also afraid of being stuck in a position without the opportunity for growth.

  4. #4
    The past is generally the best indicator of the future. Don't go back. Life is too short.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MrGerbick View Post
    Thanks for the the reply, I initially had the same reaction, which was no way, I walked out of there twice, there is no way I am going back. But recently, I have found myself contemplating this offer.

    I am started to grow more and more irritated with little things at my current position. This may just be because I know I have this offer on the table. I have really started analyzing things and starting asking myself is there really potential for growth at my current place?

    I do have to say that a big part of it is the money. I am in a position in my life where I currently live with my girlfriend and pretty soon there will be an engagement, a wedding, etc. and we have to pay for all of it on our own, with the salary they are offering me, it would be a lot easier to accomplish this sooner than later. Another part of it is that it will be growth, I will no longer just be a designer/developer, but now I will get manager experience.

    There are pros and cons, cons mainly being the history, which is a pretty big one. I can honestly say that I am overall scared to take a step forward, just to possibly take a step backwards again. On the other hand, I am also afraid of being stuck in a position without the opportunity for growth.
    Please take the right step whether it is going back or forward, work at the place where you have the opportunity for career growth.
    http://www.samplecvtemplate.com

  6. #6
    Member Senior Member Shea's Avatar
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    You have to try something else. This offer is not worth it. Don't return.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I decided not to go back to my previous employer. Even though it would have been a move forward career-wise, I ultimately felt that it would be a move backwards, personally.

  8. #8
    My thoughts are is regarding your resume. How will it look to another employeer that you left the same job three times? Not sure how your industry works in that respect.

    The extra money is nice, the title is nice but is it worth it to go back and be exposed to the drama. If you like where you are why go back unless, unless the money is that much better where you can change your life significantly.

    All jobs have risks and drama and no job is perfect. The fact that your old company realizes they made a mistake is admirable. How and why would any boss/company say this to someone when the talent pool is so large?

    Me being a risk taker if the money was right, there was a clear understanding that the extra hours at work are minimal, and I am clear of that other guy I would go for it.

    They may just be nice because they need a project completed and when its done they will treat you like crap again. And then what do you have for yourself?

    But it depends on how promising your current job situation is.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Jones View Post
    The past is generally the best indicator of the future. Don't go back. Life is too short.
    Great quote Brent, do you mind if I steal that?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoTechnoTechno View Post
    Great quote Brent, do you mind if I steal that?
    Hahaha... not at all. Steal away. I'm pretty sure I didn't come up with that... here's another quote I love:

    "Steal from the best and steal with pride."


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