Girl Talk Career Blog

May 10, 2010

Employer Deja-Vu

Filed under: career worthy — lisalahey @ 8:26 am

 Have you ever returned to work to an employer you worked for once upon a time?  Did you discover significant changes in infrastructure, products and services? If you have repeated a piece of your employment history you may discover that the infrastructure of your former organization has likely changed somewhat or even remarkably.  For one thing, if it has been several years since you left the CEO may have retired and been replaced by a complete stranger or, gasp, an employee who used the cubicle beside yours.  Hopefully if that’s the case you were easy to work with because if you get yourself back in the door that person is now your boss. 

Girlfriend, they say never to burn bridges.  Often in life that isn’t true.  You discover that certain jobs and acquaintances simply aren’t part of a network you ever need to use again, particularly if you were very young during your employment with that particular organization.  However once in a while old ties and employers can resurface and it’s quite an unexpected and remarkable experience. Then you certainly do need to walk across that bridge and if you left the organization on good terms it won’t be a shaky one.

A friend of mine went through that type of metamorphosis himself last year.  13 years ago he worked for a company that he felt offered him little growth potential so he left.  However he continued in that particular line of work and that industry, building his skills and broadening his network.  He did indeed climb the corporate ladder until the recession hit.  Then the axe fell and he was downsized along with a number of other co-workers.  Devastated, he began flipping through his rolodex desperately seeking new ties, recent ties and old ties trying to get employed once again with no luck.

One day on an absolute fluke he ran into a former colleague from the organization where he had worked years before. Over coffee she informed him that in spite of the recession the organization was hiring again. Of course he perked up and inquired who had hiring influence, hoping that person was someone he knew and had been on good terms with once.  Alas, the name was unknown to him but wait!  All was not lost!  The woman he spoke to was only too happy to offer him a referral.  That gave my friend a wonderful advantage over anyone in the unemployed sector. He followed up, revealed his very good employment history with the company and the rest is history.

However the story doesn’t end there. My friend offered me an interesting perspective about his initial employment with the company years ago.

  1. Had he been a few years older he would not have left so quickly when he became dissatisfied with his former role. He would have sought out ways to expand his own role and invented new projects that could prove to his boss that he was capable of much more responsibility than that offered in his current role.
  2. He might have remained with the company and moved up the corporate ladder to a very responsible and well-salaried role.
  3. He would likely have upgraded his skills and his knowledge about the company and its industry during his upward climb in order to remain employed.

In short, my friend informed me that jumping ship as soon as job dissatisfaction sets in is NOT the way to improve an employee’s situation.  Sticking it through and working on your own job position within that organization is quite possibly a much better move.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  There are also benefits to moving on depending on circumstances.

  1. If taking on new projects is NOT an option it may be the case that growth potential is very limited.
  2. A boss who sabotages your career potential due to insecurity is a certain growth obstacle.
  3. An organization that doesn’t consider technological enhancement is not an organization that will remain successful for much longer.
  4. A company that invests its money and time in providing its employees with continuing education (seminars, workshops, educational incentives) is worth pursuing. Conversely, an organization that has no interest in pursuing this avenue is indeed investing in limited job positions.
  5.  Organizations that are not open to their employees’ input and suggestions are closing themselves off to potential revenues.  They also aren’t displaying respect for their workers.  Time to leave.

When all is said and done however leave graciously.  Remember that over time organizations that survive have improved their hierarchy or maintained one that is successful.

And that is a bridge you definitely don’t want to burn, Girlfriend.

1 Comment »

  1. I guess there are no `one size fits all.’ I went back to 3 ex-employers and they took me back because it required less on-the-job training. Familiarity says it all. It also helps to leave some sick days behind. However some jobs are just bad news. There one leaves no matter what the enticements. I’ve passed on two jobs where, when leaving, all of a sudden the carrot’s came out. Haha. Too late. Moved on with no regrets.

    Comment by almostvoid — May 10, 2010 @ 10:48 am | Reply

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