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A year ago, I left my job for a new one. That didn't work out for several reasons, and my year contract ends soon. It so happens that my old employer is offering me my old job back (their initiative). I loved the people there and the organization has improved, so I'll probably accept.

I just have one doubt: say that at some point in the future I will be looking for work again, how will this look on my resume? How much of a red mark is it?

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    Not enough for an answer, but from a resume POV, it might not be bad (as the answers point out), but for the employer you're going back to it might be a red flag. If was so easy for you to leave once, what's to stop you from packing up and leaving again if any of the previous issues crop back up? You mention it was their initiative to bring you back, so maybe this isn't an issue for them. – CDspace Jan 24 '17 at 17:26
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    @CDspace Who said that it was 'easy' to leave? It might be that the OP decided to try something else after a while at the company. If the red flag you mentioned exists, the old employer won't want the OP back, unless they're really desperate. – cst1992 Jan 25 '17 at 13:28
  • Great answers which reflect what I would have said - I've been through this experience myself, and it ended up putting me on an even better career track in the long term (was doing a lower-level job, left for something a bit higher than my company could offer, got a ton of great experience, got headhunted back into a more senior role at the old place). – flith Jan 26 '17 at 12:36
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Why do you think it's a red mark? It shows that you quit the first time without burning bridges and that your previous employer thinks highly of you, otherwise they wouldn't want you back.

I did pretty much the same thing: tried a startup that tanked after a year and went back to my previous gig. No problem at all.

  • I'm afraid it would look like a step back, evidence of not growing, that sort of thing. – GuestyMcGuestface Jan 24 '17 at 13:01
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    On the contrary. If anything, it's a mark in your favor, demonstrating that you can leave a job on such favorable terms that they'd be glad to have you return. Of course, it's all about your story and how you choose to tell it. I would avoid saying things like, "I went back to my old job." and instead say something more like, "An opportunity opened up at my previous employer and given my history there, it was easy to make the decision to accept their offer" (use your own wording, but you get the idea) – DLS3141 Jan 24 '17 at 13:39
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    That does make me more optimistic :-). Since job titles there are basically made up on the spot I'll get a better one too. – GuestyMcGuestface Jan 24 '17 at 14:09
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    @GuestyMcGuestface: Don't think of it as having left, think of it as being an alumni. I've quit my job about half a year ago now, and my manager and director were both very insistent that I would be welcome if I wanted to get back, just had to say the word (which is interesting since they were in a shrinking phase) and given my experience there I would consider it. – Matthieu M. Jan 25 '17 at 12:15
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    If the job title sounds like a promotion, even better. Then you don't just have your old job back, you have a new, better one. Many people leave companies because they felt they had a better chance for promotion at a different company then circle back to the original company in a higher level job. – Guy Schalnat Jan 25 '17 at 12:46
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I would take it as a signal that you got along well with your old employer even after you parted ways the first time. That's a good thing.

If you had quit or had been fired from your current job, I would be afraid the same might happen with my company and you will be back with the old company as your fallback at the smallest problem, but a contract running out is a good reason to change employers and I cannot find anything bad about that.

I would not consider it a red mark. But hiring people is not exactly hard science, other people might think different.

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If they are offering you a senior designation than what you had before then this will be good for you! This will show you are reliable, capable, a team player and a smart person.

In your resume, you can just give a summary of what designation you were on earlier, and what designation you are now working on. Also to your future employers, you can mention the positive side of it during the interviews.

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Future employers will likely ask you what happened. This is very common, and I would do so if I saw this situation on the applicant's resume. Simply being truthful (something I recommend no matter the situation) and explaining that you left and they asked you back when the new contract ended, should be sufficient. Personally, I would be curious and think "there must be a reason that they asked this person back.".

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