You can get your job back if you quit.

Here’s how.

People typically go through many jobs in their lifetime. Sometimes the grass seems greener, or you get an attractive new job offer that you simply can’t turn down. But new horizons don’t always work out the way we would like.

It’s quite possible that you may decide one day that leaving a certain job was a mistake. And that’s totally fine! If that’s the case, here are some crucial steps to follow when looking to get an old position back.

Make Sure Your Old Position Is Still Available

If you’ve been gone long enough, there’s a good chance that your position may have been filled. Obviously, they needed someone to do the work that you did, and if you’ve been replaced then reapplying could be much more difficult.

Start by contacting the business’s HR department to inquire about whether someone has taken your place. You can also ask about similar positions that they may be trying to fill, or other hiring opportunities within the company in general.

Check Your Reputation

You may already have a good idea of the type of impression you gave by leaving. Was it sudden? Unexpected? Did it place undue burden on your old coworkers? Ask yourself if you left on good terms or not, and try to suss out what your reputation is at your old business.

If you worked there long enough, chances are you have some old colleagues and friends from work that you can reach out to. Touch base with them, get an idea of the climate at your old work and what peoples’ impressions of you returning might be. Essentially, you want to make sure that you haven’t burned any bridges before attempting to return.

Consider What Went Wrong

This one is very important for you to try to ascertain. What did you feel that made you want to leave in the first place? Was it issues with coworkers or management? Was it a stressful workload? Low pay? There’s a multitude of reasons why you may have wanted to go. Be honest with yourself and be as specific as possible.

Once you think you have a good grasp on why you left, ask yourself if that will become a problem again. Is it something you could have addressed the first time? Is it something that you can deal with this time around? You want to be sure you won’t encounter the same roadblocks that made you leave before.

And most importantly, really ask yourself why you want to go back. Will things be different enough this time for the pros to outweigh the cons?

Be Ready To Explain

Once you have come to terms with why you left and why you want to return, be ready to explain that to your former boss, and anyone else involved in the hiring process. Especially if you did not disclose the reason for leaving in the first place.

Consider that quitting may have affected your credibility. So, when preparing how to answer questions about your leaving and returning, be as genuine as possible. Acknowledge that they may be hesitant to hire you back. Demonstrate your value to the company using proof from your time there, and any new skills or accreditation you’ve gained since leaving. Let them know that if you come back, you will continue to demonstrate your commitment to the business.

Remember, you are not going to have to grovel and beg, but you should be humble in your approach. Maintain your self-respect, without seeming arrogant.

Meet In Person

So you’ve checked on your old position, worked out why you left, and thought out your explanation for why you want to come back. Now comes the part that makes most people nervous. The part where you actually ask for your old job back.

You will want to have this meeting with your ex-supervisor or manager in person. Start by reaching out in writing, with an email. This will give them time to collect their thoughts and respond appropriately. There may be new factors they will have to consider before setting up a meeting. Be straightforward, but don’t give too many details in your email. Ask to set up an appointment. Explain that your new position is not working out and that you would like to discuss returning to work with them.

Alternatively, if you don’t hear from them, you could visit the business in person to try and arrange a meeting. Bear in mind, in either case, they may refuse to see you. If they reject your offer to discuss returning to work, be civil and polite and take them at their word.

Start Fresh

If you are offered the opportunity to return to your old company, treat it like a brand new position. Stay focused and committed, and be eager to learn about any changes to the business.

You may find out that your old position is no longer available, but they can offer you a similar or higher position. If you have been developing new skills since your departure, you can use them as leverage to ease back into work. To your employer, that will demonstrate value in hiring you, as opposed to simply helping you fix your mistake.

Be sure to talk to your former boss and coworkers and clear the air so you can start with a clean slate.


Getting an old job back is never a sure thing, but approaching it the right way makes a world of difference. Remember that hiring or training a new employee is time-consuming and costly. Employers would generally prefer to keep an old employee. So, as long as you haven’t burned any bridges, applying for old jobs can sometimes give you an advantage. And now that you know the steps to take, that advantage is even greater.

Belleville Office

Unit 8, 161 Bridge Street W. 
Belleville, ON K8P 1K2

Phone: 613-966-9069
Toll Free: 1-888-401-9636
Fax: 613-966-7357

Marmora Office

By Appointment Only
Itinerant Services 

Phone: 613-966-9069
Toll Free: 1-888-401-9636
Fax: 613-966-7357