How to Regain a Job After a Bad Experience

by Lisa McQuerrey

Losing or leaving a job due to a bad professional experience can be difficult to overcome. Returning to the job after the fact requires a positive attitude, a willingness to proactively address previous problems, and an ability to apologize or forgive and move forward. Be honest with yourself about your ability to successfully tackle these challenges before looking for ways to move back into the job.

Resolve the Issue

Resolve the problems that led to the bad work experience, if possible. For example, if you didn’t have appropriate training or credentials, and didn’t perform up to par, address the deficiency through additional training. If you had anger management issues and frequent clashes with colleagues, get counseling that will help you control your anger and resolve conflicts in a professional way. If you didn’t like the hours, had a problem with customer complaints or disagreed with how your manager ran the office, come to terms with how you felt about the problems and make an honest assessment of how things will change for the better.

Contact Your Former Boss

Contact your former supervisor and tell him you're interested in returning to the company. Outline how you feel the circumstances will be different this time around. For example, if you previously had a problem with time management, describe your new plans for keeping yourself organized and on track. If you had serious disagreements with colleagues, let your supervisor know you underwent counseling to improve your conflict resolution skills and explain how you plan to effectively work with colleagues in the future. Emphasize the fact that you took steps to improve your skills and behavior and reassure your boss that you are committed to doing a better job next time.

If Your Boss Was Problematic

If you originally left the company because of conflicts with your direct supervisor or manager, it might not be prudent to return to the same circumstances expecting a different outcome. However, if that individual is no longer with the company, contact the new manager or the human resources department and state your case. Explain that you had a personality conflict with your previous supervisor, but that you otherwise enjoyed the opportunities presented by the company, admire the business and its products and services, and are interested in rejoining the team.

New Position

Just because you were unsuccessful in one role or department with the company doesn't mean you’ll have the same bad experience if you return in a different capacity. Talk to the company’s hiring manager about employment opportunities in different areas where you’re qualified. Describe your knowledge of the company and how your previous experience can be beneficial in a new role. Have others you know at the company put in a good word for you by recommending you for a new position.

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