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Without going into too many details, I left company A due to bullying and harassment issues. I decided to try something different with company B. However this didn't work out as well as I hoped and I missed the job I had with company A. Again without too many details, the person is question has now left Company A.

I've spoken to company A and they are more than willing to have me back, but the next opportunity with them (due to the nature of the business) is not for 7-8 months.

In the mean time a competitor to Company A (we will call them Company C if this isn't getting confusing) are looking for people with near enough exactly the same job as Company A. However Company C is a newer company, and so the job isn't as 'professional' and things aren't done in as such a smooth or slick way as Company A. I could start the job at Company C near enough straight away and it would last about 6 months (these are contract type jobs).

Given my intent to return to Company A would taking a job at C negatively impact this?

UPDATE: My decision has been made for me, as after an interview with Company C, I was not successful. Thanks for everyones replies.

  • What is the current status of your engagement with company B? Are you willing / have to leave or are you solely looking to go back to company A? – Sourav Ghosh Mar 20 at 13:03
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    You left a company because of bullying and harassment, and you missed it? – HorusKol Mar 20 at 14:02
  • Not so much the company, but more the job and the place HorusKol. – Alex Mar 20 at 14:15
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    @Alex If you put the "at" sign before the other person's name, they get a notification. (You would get a notification for this comment anyway because it's in response to your question, but I included it as an example of how it works.) – Acccumulation Mar 22 at 16:57
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So should I take the job at Company C, and see how it goes, then when it finishes go back to Company A?

If the field is very compelling such that you really want to get back into it, then Company C (or some other competitor in this field) may be the right choice.

Never go back to a company that permitted bullying and harassment issues severe enough that you felt the need to quit. In this case, don't go back to Company A.

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We don't give personal career advice, so instead I'm just going to give you some points to think about. It's up to you to weigh them.

  1. The bullying you experienced may not have been just about one person. Sometimes an organization is complicit, or at least willfully ignorant. Have a talk with company A about your experience there, and ask what they have done to fix the situation, and what will be different if you go back. Have that conversation now.
  2. In the big scheme of things, six or seven months is not that long. It's usually worth waiting that long for a job if its the one you really want.
  3. Getting a job with Company C will have a negative effect on your employment prospects at Company A. That may be a small or large effect.
  4. Getting a job with company C when your intention is to leave after six months is not treating Company C very well. You will be making it harder for you to get a job there in the future if you ever want one. It also makes you look like a job-hopper, which will negatively impact your employability elsewhere.
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If you did not know that that person was going to leave company A, then it was not a mistake.

So, if you need to work with company C to support your life for the next 6 months then do so.

After that get back to company A - as you say they want you.

  • Thanks for your reply Solar Mike. I did know that the person at Company A was leaving. However I wasn't in a great place at the time and I was in a negative mindset. Plus in order to apply for Company B, I had to leave Company A. Timing was important as well since the opening to apply to Company B was very short. So I had to make a quick decision, and with emotions coming into it, I realise I made the wrong choice. – Alex Mar 20 at 12:52
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I would not got back to company A. If you were harassed, bullied, incited, etc ... and therefore have left the company, that probably means that the management at Company A didn't step in in a timely fashion. It should never have escalated to the point where one of the employees left because of a management issue.

Personally, if you like the type of work and are fine working contracting jobs, I would take job 6. These 6 months you will not only have a stable income, you will also have time to reflect upon your time with company A. And they, maybe you don't even want to leave company C.

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I think the question should be re-worded as

Do I leave company B to re-join company A? Since the opening comes after X months, in the meantime I'd need to work for company C, if I leave.

Well, there is no direct answer. We need to asses the situation in a bit more detail.

You said you left the job in "Company A" due to "bullying and harassment" issues. Question is, how the incident was handled then?

  • Was the action and the people involved in those activities received the treatment they ought to receive?
  • Did you leave despite disciplinary action had been taken against the offenders? (In other words, you sure you were not forced to leave, directly or indirectly?)
  • The person responsible is "gone" now because you reported the incident?
  • What things the company has ensured that you will not face the same situation again if you go back?

If you have a clear and positive answer for all the above question, then yes, you can consider going back to company A.

If the answers are not known, I'd say stay way from company A. There's nothing that guarantee that you'll not face the same experience once again.

  • Thanks for your comment Sourav Ghosh, you raise some good points, as does Maarten W. The person in question was reported and action was taken. However this occured a few times and the person also decided to see 'how much they could get away with' by missing duties, turning up late and being unprofessional. They knew they were leaving so didn't care. Company A did not have anyone else to replace them at the time, so 'put up with' this person for a few weeks until they left. I am unsure if Company A has put new practices into place to stop it happening again. – Alex Mar 20 at 13:22

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