When the “Greener Pasture” Turns Out to be AstroTurf…

You are comfortably fixed in your job; you like your boss, your work is challenging and the company has a great culture. For all intents and purposes, you are happy with your place in life. You are not looking for another job, but then it happens: you receive a call from a recruiter offering a shot at a position that pays more – maybe a lot more. Good people will always be in demand.

At least it’s the way it’s supposed to work, right? You interview several times and get the position. All seems well for a while at your new job, but then you start to experience the differences. It may be your boss, your colleagues or just the “vibe” in the new company. For whatever reason, the new position isn’t what you thought it’d be. You begin to think you may have made a mistake and consider your options. Research has shown that within one week of starting a new position an employee knows whether they intend to stay or leave.


“Good people are always in demand. It’s our job to keep them working here. -Fulton Breen, CEO”


So what do you do when you finally decide that you’ve made a bad decision? Do you go back to your previous employer? How will they react to such a move?


At XSInc, we have, in my experience, an unusually high number of return employees. We welcome them back enthusiastically. Employees owe it to themselves and their families to consider career opportunities. But, if there is no basis of comparison (often because of youth), how do you know if you are leaving a good thing? If you do make a mistake, should you go back to your previous employer?


In my opinion, yes. It’s reasonable – if not commendable – to look for ways to better yourself, which may lead you to different opportunities. But if it isn’t working out, and assuming you liked your previous company, why not go back? As long as you’ve left your previous employer on good terms there’s no reason not to consider returning if things didn’t pan out at the other company.


Research shows that within one week of starting a new position an employee knows whether they intend to stay.


Money is an important consideration to be sure, but happiness and fulfillment trump money on average according to most psychologists. Psychologist Barry Schwartz talks a little about this on CNBC. Our mission at XSInc is “Helping our partners reach their potential”. While this mission certainly applies to clients and suppliers, it is primarily aimed at our employees. As previously stated, you should continuously consider ways to improve your employment situation by maintaining your “brand” using LinkedIn, involvement in industry associations and of course amongst your colleagues at work by being a good teammate. It’s your job to remain as marketable (skills, experiences, relationships, etc.) as possible while it’s the employer’s job to make it worth your while to stay put.


It’s your job to remain as marketable as possible. It’s the employer’s job to make it worth your while to stay.


A great company culture, friends and a learning environment are attributes of a great place to work (the Harvard Business Review had some interesting thoughts on this as well). There’s always a risk associated with change, but we must continually strive to better our position in life. If our decisions don’t pan out, don’t be afraid to consider returning to the company you left; you’ll have a whole new appreciation for what you left and my guess is they’ll take you back with open arms.


If you are considering asking for your old job back, here is a great article you may find useful with tips to get rehired by a former employer.



Read Fulton Breen’s bio here.