A few years ago I was working for a small(ish, about 70 people) company. I had been working there for quite some time (close to 10 years). Needless to say I was quite happy there. Due to sad circumstances (my manager dying), the position of head of the software department opened up. This was something my manager was coaching me to become, although I am the first one to admit that I was probably not 100% ready for that position at the time. I did not get the position... After that, I lost my enthusiasm for the company. So much that I quit, and started working somewhere else.

Fast forward a few years, and what do you know?! That same position at the old company has opened up again! I have a few more years of maturing under my belt. Would it be weird to apply for a position I was rejected for before at a company I worked for before? I tried my best not to burn any bridges. How can I best approach this situation?

Thanks all!

  • If possible, try to connect with a previous co-worker. Meet with them and share your interest in the position. Ask them to arrange a meet with the person who has the power to hire you. An internal referral from a co-worker would go much further than a cold approach. It takes more effort on your part but it yields a far better result. – user7360 Dec 4 '17 at 17:21
  • @Joe: Yes, I told them that was the reason. I contacted the manager they hired instead (he is a great guy, it's not his fault he landed "my" position...), and who is now leaving. He said he finished a task he set for himself for the company, and wanted to find a new challenge after that. – Lourens Dec 5 '17 at 10:02
  • As it is not an answer, I'll put it here: I once returned a few years later to a company I left on good terms. When I returned it was at a higher position for higher pay and I stayed for an additional 6 years. It can absolutely work out great! – Forklift Dec 5 '17 at 14:32

How can I best approach this situation?

By all means yes, apply for the open position if your interested.

Be sure to update your resume so that you are as good of a match as possible for the opening. Keep in mind though if the same person is managing the department, do not get your hopes up.


If you really want the position, apply like you would to any other job.

Perhaps send an email to an old manager or acquaintance letting them know you're doing so, if you feel this will help you get some sort of priority when interviewing. However, think long and hard whether you have the sort of relationship with them that allows you to pull that sort of move.

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