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How to Ask a Boss for Your Job Back Under Bad Terms

by Erin Schreiner

Going to your former boss with your tail between your legs and asking him to take you back is no one’s idea of a good time. Sometimes, however, it’s necessary. Even if your last exchanges with your boss were less-than-amicable, you may be able to mend your relationship and regain your position. Instead of considering an attempt at getting your job back a waste of time, move forward with caution and you may be able to make amends.

Enlist Some Help

Before you actually venture back to the workplace and request your job back, get a little help from your friends. Have coffee with someone of influence who still works for the company, recommends Annie Yap, CEO of The GMP Group. Catch up on news coming out of the office and tell your former colleague that you are thinking of attempting a return. Politely request that he put in a good word for you.

Explain Yourself

While you may stubbornly believe that you don’t owe your former employer an explanation, if you are asking for your job back, you do, says Yap. Tell your boss why you left to begin with, but shave off the details that may re-inflame the argument that left you on bad terms. For example, if you left because you were offered a job with a higher salary, but the offer didn’t pan out, don’t simply say that. Instead, say that you were exploring some other career opportunities but realized that the company for which you had previously worked was a better fit.

State Your Value

Even if your former boss doesn’t like you as a person, he may agree to take you back if you can prove to him that you are an asset he can’t live without. Reference some of your specific accomplishments, recommends Dennis Nishi for “The Wall Street Journal." State that you will work just as hard as you did before your departure and that you hope to have even more successes in the future should you be given the opportunity to return.

Ask for Feedback

Your former boss may be more eager to have you back if you demonstrate an eagerness to grow as an employee -- particularly if taking criticism was a weakness in the past. Request a meeting with your former employer and, during this meeting, ask specifically for feedback regarding your past job performance, suggests Tara Weiss for “Forbes.com." Be as open as possible to this feedback, and express an interest in improving to show your boss that, should he re-hire you, you will make becoming the best employee you can be your primary goal.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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