Got asked to come back by my former manager

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  1. Hey everyone,

    I have been working for this company for 2 years. It's my first company after my graduation. 7 months ago I was transferred to another department because my previous department could not extent my contract. These 2 departments are located in different locations.

    Yesterday I had a lunch with my former manager, he asked me if I’m interested to come back to his team. I’m really tempted to accept this offer, because I don’t like my current job very much. It’s not a horrible job but the tasks are not challenging and there are no opportunities to be involved in projects at all. I’m a person who likes to analyze data and this job has almost nothing to do with analyzing. Also there is hardly any guidance and coaching from the managers (I have 2 managers). One of them never talks to me, when he wants me to do something he will says this to my other colleague and this colleague will pass this instruction to me.

    My previous job was different, it was tough sometimes but I learned a lot from it. The former manager is strict but he is supportive and nice person. He taught me a lot of things regarding work. Workload was high, made overtime every week (did get paid for it) but I really enjoyed it. Currently there are some changes going on in processes so there will be more projects coming up for this team, My role in this team will be supporting my former manager and another colleague with these projects, which I think it's a good chance to develop myself.

    But the thing that I’m most concerned with is that I feel it’s not appropriate time to go back to my previous department. The amount of time is still too short, I just been here for 7 months. And because of the department transfer I moved to another city and was planning to buy an apartment here (currently still looking). When I decided to go back I need to move to another city again.

    It’s not 100% sure that I can come back. My former manager said he can propose this to the higher management and try his best to convice them. But only after I say yes to him.

    Is there any advice on this? Has anyone been in this kind of situation?

    Excuse if there are grammar mistakes because English is not my native language.
  2. My thoughts (I no longer work but I was a manager & project manager for many years):
    • I would never offer a job to anyone unless I had a firm, funded position open. That your former manager is doing this seems kinda "hmmm".
    • Also this manager will only try to get you back on his team AFTER you say yes? That is another "hmmm".
    • Would this be another contract position that could run out leaving you jobless? Since both jobs are with the same company, maybe the other departments will hear back about this and think you just jump around, HOWEVER--this is based on when I was working. All I read now is millennials don't stay at their jobs long and move on when it feels right and this seems to be accepted (but based on what article I read or who I talk to, this fact can vary)
    • As for your only 7 month worries--does this ever happen at this company? When I was working, managers would try to lure away good staff all the time. We called it poaching--it wasn't a nice business practice but it happened and the thought was "if we don't let this person go work for this other manager, he/she will be miserable and resent us" so some rules were put in place, like you couldn't move to another position for a year. When a department puts time and money in training an employee, having someone whisk them away hurts a lot. But, things change and it may be the norm now.
    • Are you in another contract now? Can you get out of it ok? All I know about contract positions is the rules can vary a lot.
    Ok, the above were just some thoughts/talking points. If I knew it was a firm job offer that had some longevity (like negotiate a long contract with a bit more $$--nothing crazy!), I would probably go for it. It sounds like you are leaning that way--the position is interesting, challenging, etc. You are at the very beginning of your work life--lots of things are going to come your way (the stories I could tell)--I can barely remember my first job except that the staff was pretty mean to me, the "new girl", and the company is no longer in business.

    And your English is very good too! Good luck in whatever you choose. :tup:
  3. Thank you so much for your thoughts kemilia! Currently there is a position open in his team and the interview process is still running. But my former manager says that he has not found a suitable candidate yet.

    Could you explain to me why you think that is an another “hmmm”? I think my former manager wants to propose it to the higher management only if I say yes because otherwise there is no point for him to do it.

    That’s what I’m worried about it as well. I don’t want to have a reputation that people think I’m just jumping around. If I was working for another company it will be easier for me to say “yes” to this offer.

    Not sure if this has ever happened in this company. But from what I heard is that the management of my current department are not easy with letting people go to another department. So my concern is if the higher management from my previous department agrees with my return, I’m not sure if the managers in my current department agreeing with this as well? And if they don’t agree, I’m afraid that my current manager will treat me differently or even tries to find a way to kick me out of this company.
  4. The reason I gave this one a Hmmm is if the position is really needed, he/she should be able to present a good enough case for creating it, whether it is for you or someone else. Most companies are still being frugal, even the ones doing really well (they got burned in the recession and are not going to forget for a long, long time) and a new position isn't cheap. If your former manager already has you and only you in mind, upper management might sense this and wonder. I know that in movies & television, positions are created for "special" people, and I'm sure it happens in real life too. But if this position is only available if you are interested in it, I dunno. If there is a need (like you are really good with what you do and can bring that to new projects and this manager knows this from working with you before and you would definitely make these new projects successful), that would be a good pitch for this manager to use. I just wouldn't want to have this spotlight on me before getting the job, word could get back to your new bosses (and from what you have said, they ain't the nicest people around). But please, these are only my thoughts. Others might say "hey, you're overthinking this--just tell him yes, you will definitely take the position."
  5. So, are you saying that your new department could prevent you from leaving and going back to your old department? Is the contract preventing this (is there a contract?) or is there some no-compete clause? Not clear on this.

    I do know that when an employee would come to me and tell me they were applying for another position in the same company, I would kinda feel hurt and think "what did I do?" but that would only be for a second (it is a human response) and I would think that my employee is interested in learning new things, bettering themselves, moving up in the company, etc. The last few places I worked at had a requirement that the current manager had to be informed that one of their staff was going to be interviewing for another position within the company (and to make sure this happened, HR would tell the manager because everything went through HR). I never liked that--if they were going to interview for another job that was totally NOT with company, they weren't required to tell their managers--that's just common sense! Ok, it would be a nice courtesy to tell one's boss that they were interviewing elsewhere--and it could maybe open up dialog as to why this person was looking to leave (is it for more money? more responsibility? a total change?). I do know that if someone wants to leave, making them stay is basically sabotaging yourself in the long run. And unhappy employee, well, who wants that?