I left my previous company as they didn't want to promote me or increase my salary. Also, I was considerably overqualified for the roles I was given on projects. I used to get excellent performance reviews there but I left upset by the treatment there, which probably showed to some extent.

My current company resulted even worse.

I see that a foreign office of my previous company has an opening that corresponds very well to my expertise.

Are there any risks involved to reapplying at your old firm after just 6 months out of the company? To what extent would it signal I'm a failure if I try to come back after just 6 months (to another branch, but still)? Will my reputation suffer? Under what conditions do companies employ their former employees?

It's a huge company and I'm in Europe.

  • A side question - you've now apparently had two employers in a row where you were unhappy: Are you confident that you'll be able to avoid that this next time around? Regardless of this next opportunity being at the old employer or not, you'll likely get asked about that.
    – dwizum
    Apr 16 '18 at 15:05
  • Most people change jobs when they are unhappy with something. But I stayed 2+ years at the first company - at a company where most people in junior positions don't stay longer than a year.
    – BigMadAndy
    Apr 16 '18 at 15:07
  • Of course. But it's always a red flag when the candidate uses words that indicate it was the employer's fault ("upset by the treatment there") since sometimes that can indicate the employee is not self-aware enough to recognize their own role in why they were unhappy. I'm not trying to make a big deal about this, just offering something to consider: blaming your departure on the employer can make the potential employer wonder if you'll next be blaming your problems on them.
    – dwizum
    Apr 16 '18 at 15:11
  • I don't treat writing here like a job interview, sorry. I think you're also assuming things without knowing them - is it possible you had bad experiences yourself which you are projecting on me? And yes, unfortunately, there are plenty of bad companies and bosses out there. If people were happy with their positions they would stay with employers for years. What is the current average duration of employment among young people? 2 years? And among well-educated people probably less than that.
    – BigMadAndy
    Apr 16 '18 at 15:21
  • 1
    There are two risks. 1) they agree to rehire you and you go back to find that nothing has improved and all the reasons you left are still there. 2) they don't rehire you, and you've lost nothing other than a bit of hurt pride at being rejected. Apr 19 '18 at 16:30

No, it doesn't say that you're a failure and you've come running back.

You're applying for a different job in a different location - one that's better suited to your skills.

And if you're asked about your return, stick to the real reason. Mention that you're coming back because you like the company, but the previous role wasn't a good fit (and this role wasn't open at the time). You now feel that this new role fits your skills and progression plans.



  • For you:

    They can say no. I'm not sure how that's a risk, but you might perceive it that way.

    It's an entirely different job, but if it's the Company itself that you don't like, lack of promotion and salary increase, then little is different.

    I don't know that going back establishes you as a "failure", but you should expect the interviewer to dig into why you left each place and their risk to take you back.

That's what's the biggest consideration, for them; the company's own concerns are what they will focus on the most. I don't see how an unsuccessful interview will necessarily doom your future with the company, though you can certainly play a part in that.

Your alternative choice is to secure employment elsewhere (or return to school) that will impress them in a future interview, more than a few years later.

  • For them:

    They know if you made money for them, a large company ought to be able to hire expert number crunchers whom can exactly determine your value. If they hire you back, you stay a week, and they make 100K that's 100K they otherwise would not have had, if you only represent a loss you won't be hired.

    If you made money, burned no bridges and were a great employee then there's little risk for them; that's all they need to know.

If there's a lot of training and probationary period, and various excuses to justify reasons to make up a complaint, then they're likely to try to sell you on the idea that you should be paid at the bottom of the scale while you prove yourself over an even greater period of time - despite their 'worried face' and feigned protests that's good for them as you knuckle under, but obviously it's no good for you.

Your optimal route to return is to make yourself a huge success elsewhere and take various courses over the years to cement your role for returning directly to an executive position with all the perks ...

But if they are large and cheap, and stagnant for advancement, difficult in so many ways, you should consider leaving IS your advancement opportunity and make your success elsewhere - why let them think that no raise and no advancement will bring them crawling back if they leave.

You're sending the wrong message, unless that's the message you most prefer to convey.

Many places are funny about you leaving, after you actually leave. It's leave if you must, it's OK, but we can't pay you anymore. You leave on great terms, everyone is everyone's pal; but when it comes down to it you are crap for having left and there's underlying resentment - at least you'll know what is what sooner than later; and can plan on never returning.

By the same token, IF they seem the least interested you should press for a handsome raise and various perks you didn't have before; if they want you back it's on your terms - that may not be well received but that sends the correct message. It is what I do, but I earn the company too much to let me leave in the first place; though most places don't like to admit it because others would want more money for their years of toiling.

You really need to weigh your own options.

I'm quite sure an early return will invoke the idiom: Same s, different pile.

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