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I work as a developer in IT industry.
I am faced with a situation and would like some advice.

Why I had decided to move from previous employer

  • My ex-manager is a very technically competent person in his domain (say PERL, ORACLE etc.)
  • However I worked in an entirely different technology vertical under him (say Web Technologies)
  • I believe he failed to understand the effort/technicality involved in my work.
  • This in turn led to 1)No promotions 2)No pay hikes
  • I had no option, but to leave after working there for 4 years.

Present: Fast forward 8 months

  • I got a call from previous ex-manager - he wants me back
  • It seems they are not able to get the things done with the resources at their disposal
  • He had agreed for promotion and a matching pay hike

Why I am inclined to join back

  • My ex-manager is the most technically competent person I have ever come across. I admire him and simply makes me happy to work for/with him.
  • He is agreeing to my demands of promotion and pay hike.
  • The current job - I have earned an excellent reputation here but the work here doesn't make me happy, just pays the bills.

Concerns:

  • Its just 8 months into the new job - will it look bad on my resume to leave this soon?
  • Will it be embarrassing to go back to the same team?
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    'What should I do?' questions aren't really answerable here. – jcm Dec 12 '18 at 9:42
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    The longer I go in the working world, the more I realize that employment relationships are a lot like romantic relationships (except for the sex part, obviously.) If you're contemplating going back to an "ex" you should spend a good long time thinking about the reasons why you separated in the first place, and whether or not anything has really changed. No one can tell you the right answer for you, but you should go in with your eyes open. – Steve-O Dec 12 '18 at 14:43
  • @Steve-O That's a good answer. :) – KorvinStarmast Dec 12 '18 at 15:50
  • Why do you believe the situation has changed so significantly that the manager is willing to agree your demands but when you worked their 8 months ago, your manager, was unwilling to meet those same demands (promotion and pay increase) surely after 4 years they should have understood what you did? If you stay there for another 4 years a 8 month position is a needle in a haystack of your career. However, you left for a reason, might do some soul searching on this one. – Donald Dec 13 '18 at 2:28
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Will it not look too bad on my resume?

I'm not an HR specialist, but I'm a team lead developer, I had to hire several developers during the past year, and I would be happy to see this in a resume: it tells that the candidate left their company while retaining a good relationship with their managers and co-workers.

Usually, they say that badmouth previous employers is really bad when you're searching for a new job. Being able to not burn bridges and actually return to a previous company is somehow the opposite of this.

It may not be a bonus, but I'm pretty sure it is not a bad thing.

Will it be embarrassing to go back to the same team ?

Well, that only you know, it really depends on how was your relationship with your team members: if you were in bad relationship with some of your team members, it sure will be.

In a previous company I worked, a fellow developer did exactly the same thing. I believe he returned to the company six months after leaving. And it didn't fell awkward, it was like him never left.

In fact, I believe it is easier to arrive a workplace you already know than a new one, where you don't really what kind of political issues and personal dynamics may be.

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While they can match your current pay, the culture and the people are not changed.

You will end in the same position as before, so no pay hike, no promotion and probably your ex-manager will still non understand the effort and the technicalities of your work, which are the reasons that make you move on in the first place, if there was nothing else.

So, if you think you can work in the same conditions for more time (months ? years ?) then go back but be prepared to find again all the problems (and there will be some, since you leave it after all) you had before. Else just thanks for the offer and decline politely.

  • This is absolutely 100% true. OP left for a reason, and those reason have likely not changed in 8 months. They might cater to you a bit in the interests of luring you back, but eventually things will go right back to they way they were and you'll be right back in the same position. – Eric J Dec 12 '18 at 15:04
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I had a similar thing happen to me - I was approached by my former manager to come in as a new role which was a step-up from the position I was in. Only difference was it was for a different company as he had moved. I jumped ship. The new role I was offered was a big step up from what I had gone to do - and despite having gotten into an incredibly prestigious and well respected company, I wasn't truly happy despite getting awarded and very well recognised within 4 months of starting - the role was not what I truly wanted and although they wanted me to stay they couldn't match the offer.

My take on it was that, being able to explain that your previous boss contacted you to offer you a new position far outweighs the fact that you were only at a new place for a relatively short amount of time and to my mind paints you in a much more flattering light. If you're happy to go back there, and are going into a higher position, I would strongly consider it.

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