My take on being a boomerang employee

>> Don’t. Seriously, don’t do it.

The other day I caught an article on MSN talking about how to become a boomerang employee — you know, going back to a former job or employer you previously left. In some cases people may be looking to go back to a previous job because they were laid off or their department was eliminated. Doesn’t change my perspective on the subject however, I still think it’s generally bad advice.

Here’s the bottom line: you left for a reason (voluntary or otherwise), that reason has likely not changed. Just like any other relationship in life that ran its course, that chapter is done, respect that fact and move forward. Don’t give me that crap like “Well, it worked for Steve Jobs”. Yeah, he’s the exception, every rule has one, besides it was his own company. And you’re not Steve Jobs.

Having been a boomerang employee firsthand, I can tell you that putting that comfortable coat of a job back around your shoulders is quite easy. Too easy. The familiarity lures you in, like a gateway drug. Sure it may work out for awhile, but you’re going to end up parting ways again sooner or later. Do yourself a favor and stay out of that comfort zone — it’s the best thing you can do for your career; your future self will thank you later. Ultimately, sliding back into that comfortable relationship will keep you from forging ahead on a different path that actually gets you further along in your personal evolution.

Take me at my word on this one. In my case, I don’t regret stepping back into my old role, but if I had the option to do it over again — I wouldn’t. Ultimately that safe haven is a cul-de-sac on the road of life, and at some point you need to accept that you’ll have to backtrack out of it to get back on the highway to your future. If you personally feel it’s a necessary move or it’s a port in a storm then by all means do so, but respect yourself enough not to linger too long, because your true path is waiting for you and you’re only delaying your arrival.

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