Boomerang Employees: Returning to An Old Job Is Not A Sign of Weakness

Kris Leigh Townsend, LMFT
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You can probably inference by the name what a “boomerang employee” is.  It’s a corporate speak term that describes an employee who leaves a company and then returns.

Many employees leave a company in search of career advancement, higher pay or a more suitable workplace culture.  But, why would they go back?  Isn’t returning to an old job a sign of backpedaling?  Isn’t that giving up?


An Accountemps survey found that 94% of employers were willing to rehire a previous employee.  However, only 52% of workers would return to a previous employer. 

Employees are hesitant to go back because they have the sense that they are stopping their career progression.  They may even think that they are giving away their power by asking their old company for a job.

But there are many reasons why it would be a good idea to return to a previous employer.  This is true both for the company and for the employee.

Benefits of returning to an old job

There are fewer risks

When you return to a company, you know what to expect. If they are rehiring you, that means they want you back.  You have an idea about what life will be like working for them.  There won’t be any surprises waiting around the corner.

You won’t have to be trained

If you go back to a familiar place, you’re not the new kid on the block.  Knowing how to operate in the company makes the transition less stressful for you and the team.  You already know what to do, who to talk to and workplace procedures.  You get to skip a lot of the anxiety and get to work.


Already being trained will also make your company happy because they save a lot of resources, they would have to sacrifice getting someone new up to speed.  It creates more productivity and a better workplace culture.

You can leverage a better position

While you were gone, you probably learned a few new tricks.  Bringing new skills from an outside position can be a great asset to a company.  Especially if the skills bring fresh perspective into the industry.

Having more knowledge, you can advance your career in the company.  You may be able to ask for more compensation or generate a career advancement plan that allows you to bring your new skills into play.

You understand company dynamics

Maybe you realized you made a mistake when you left and you really missed how good you had it at your old job.

Having worked there before, you know which parts you like and which parts you don’t like.  You already understand the pitfalls of the job and have the skills to navigate around them.





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  • Peter C.
    Peter C.

    I do agree that there could be benefits to someone with going back to an old employer. You and the company can both benefit; this is why it is key to try to never burn bridges when you leave a firm. Be smart because you NEVER know when an opportunity might be just around the corner...

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