I previously worked for this logistics company for almost two years. It was a startup at the time and I was the second hire. At the end of the two years, we had grown this company to almost 50 people. It was great and I regret ever leaving.

I recently reached out to the owner, with whom I was pretty close with. I asked if there was a spot for me in the company and if there was any way I could return.

A couple of days later he responded and said:

"I got your email. The company is structured differently since you last were here. Your previous role does not exist. What do you have in mind?"

I replied with:

"I'm not sure how to give you an answer without seeing how the company is currently structured."

I then went on to tell him about my experiences within the last two years and how much of an asset I could be. I told him I hoped to hear from him soon. It's been over a week since that email. I'm wondering if I should have said something different. Should I reach back out to him again? If I do reach out again, what should I say?

Me and this company were very close at one point. I only left due to the overwhelming amount of overtime, and I was expecting my first child. For context: This is a Logistics Broker company. I was a Logistics Manager for them when I was there. I would like to email him again and give him a better answer, but I'm not sure what to say.

  • 2
    Look through the company's website, and see which job posts are related to your skills. Try to apply for those positions, or talk to the owner about these openings. Commented May 8 at 1:14
  • Phone call would've been the best, especially as you were close being 2nd employee and everything. Why not do that?
    – Aida Paul
    Commented May 8 at 5:51
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    If you were employee #2, the owner will probably be fine talking to you in person. Offer to buy them coffee or lunch to catch up and discuss what's currently happening there. Make it sound like fun and not too much pressure. If they accept you can talk in person you can clear the air (if there are any lingering hard feelings) and see if there is enough overlap to continue the conversation. If they don't accept, you kind of know you are: there is some kind of roadblock there and it will be difficult to get around without knowing what it is
    – Hilmar
    Commented May 8 at 11:29
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    @Hilmar You should make that an answer not a comment IMO. This is exactly the correct way to use your professional network in this situation - in person, informal meetings, feel out the relationship and allow things to happen fluidly and naturally.
    – InBedded16
    Commented May 8 at 16:33
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    @Tyler - Here is the first impression that your description brings to mind, you left on bad terms, justified or not you describe you leaving as not positive. You haven’t spoken to this individual in years. This individual replied to your email with, the company structure changed and your position that you left no longer exists, the fact they didn’t request an update resume gives me the impression that a job position doesn’t exist. You also didn’t get a response in over a week.
    – Donald
    Commented May 9 at 3:37

3 Answers 3


How I would reply:

I would start by outlining what your ideal role looks like, but not worry about the name of the position:

  • Salary expectations
  • Responsibilities
  • direct reports or reporting lines
  • area of operation


'Here is what I'd like, ideally an upper-level management position, ideally leading a small team of direct reports who are responsible for XYZ function within the business - Salary of around $XXX per year'

Then add some info as to why the skills and experiences you gained in the last 2 years qualify you for such a position.

Then, depending on what your feelings are - what aspects you are negotiable on:

For example, they might not have an upper-level management position that fits the criteria, but they might have something the next rung down which they can meet your salary expectations or similar.

  • 1
    It sounds like they already sent an email similar to this, and never heard back. Curious why you think they should follow up with more of the same?
    – InBedded16
    Commented May 8 at 16:32
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    @InBedded16 - I read the response as more of a "Oh I dunno, anything" - whereas it is the first part of saying out loud what your ideal role would be. Commented May 8 at 19:49

You've already accepted an answer but I think a more effective approach is in the comments.

My leaving wasn't the greatest. as I said above. we were very close. and He treated me like a son. When I told him I was leaving. I believe he was deeply hurt. He didn't let me work my notice out.

Given this and the lack of communication it sounds like you need to build some bridges or at least find out what state your relationship is in. As proposed in the comments, suggest meeting for a coffee/beer. Make it clear you'd like to catch-up, even if there's no suitable role at the company. See how the conversation goes; does he still appear hurt, would some kind of apology/explanation help. Unless it comes up, I'd just keep most of the conversation about catching-up; he already knows you're interested and probably doesn't need to be reminded. If it goes well, say something about how nice it was to catch-up, if he ever thinks of a suitable role to let you know and that you'd like to meet up again sometime/keep in contact.

Maybe this will yield nothing, maybe he'll offer you something at some point. But if you've got some kind of "history" this feels more likely to work, than just straight out asking for a job.


Almost never are people accepted back to their old company unless they have gone through significant changes in experience and knowledge. And when they go back, things are different from when they were there earlier. (For example, a person just went back to Goldman Sachs - but after being the head of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. He is bringing new skills and connections with him.)

It is far better to seek employment growth elsewhere, new skills, new knowledge, etc. Later, with such extra experience, renew contact with the original company to see if they could use that experience.

  • I don't believe that to be as generally true as you make it seem, I've seen this happen more than a handful of times
    – Aida Paul
    Commented May 9 at 14:38
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    It's patently wrong; I've seen it happen at a number of past employers, with a wide range of circumstances in between, and some employers openly encourage employees to return (well, other than the few bad hires that they were happy to lose). Commented May 9 at 15:45

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