What Students Should Know About Boomerang Jobs
In fact, some of you may have parents who could be working jobs right now that they came back to after some time away. That’s what boomerang jobs are all about.
You work. You leave. You hone your career skills and come back to the company at a later time. MentalFloss has a nice breakdown of it here.
From the piece:
“Workplace boomeranging can happen for a number of reasons. Maybe you’re laid off, but when lean times are over, your employer invites you to return. Or perhaps you just want to take time off to get a degree or travel the world. … In a recent survey, 76 percent of human resources professionals say they’re more willing to accept boomerang employees now than in the past.”
Students, you should be aware of this trend now because it can influence the way you perform in current or future jobs. It also can affect how you choose to leave. Here are some of the most important considerations when it comes to boomerang jobs from the still-in-school perspective.
Watch for Glass Ceilings
The concept of the glass ceiling turns up frequently when talking about barriers related to feminism. It was used liberally in the buildup to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat to now President Donald Trump. The hope for supporters was that she would crash through that “final” glass ceiling. But it wasn’t to be.
In the same way, some glass ceilings will exist at your current or future places of employment. In other words, you will go as far as you can in the current ecosystem on the skill sets that you currently have. When those occasions arise, you’ll need to learn to cut your losses and do something differently.
If you stay too long with the status quo, it will keep you there permanently. The only way to shake things up: go somewhere else and build on your strengths. Prove your worth beyond where you are now in another location. Somewhere that will give you that opportunity.
It might even mean taking a pay cut in order to garner the type of skills and experience necessary to achieve peak marketability. That’s a pay cut worth taking when it comes to boomerang jobs because it allows you to come back in at a level that is automatically beyond where you were. In this scenario, you’ve also demolished your company’s previous biases of who you are and what you’re capable of.
The lesson: glass ceilings are totally breakable — and yes, we’ll have a woman President someday — but they often require a change in skills, a change in experience, and a change in climate. You can help those changes along.
Learn the Valid Reasons to Quit
Quitting a job always comes with apprehension and a downer feeling where you feel like you’ve always got to question what the employer will say about you when approached by a potential future employer.
But what you need to understand as a worker and a student, is there are always valid reasons to quit. You just have to know what they are. You also need to know how to present those reasons.
Just what are some valid reasons to quit?
- You get a new job
- You go back to school to further your education
- You start a family
- You experience a serious family emergency or health-related issue
There are no employers in the world worth your time that would have a problem with any of these reasons for leaving, and you could possibly think of a few more, or at least get more specific with the groupings we’ve provided.
But going beyond the reasons for leaving, you also need to leave in the right way. If at all possible, you should submit a two-week notice. Additionally, do not use those last two weeks as a glorified paid vacation from hard work and responsibility. Try as hard as you ever would with the intention of making their transition to your replacement as smooth as possible.
By being a professional through your final day, you will leave the doors open to more valuable opportunities with the same company later on.
If you truly want to leave a job open for the boomerang possibility, then you can’t forget about the employer the moment you clear out your desk. No, cultivating boomerang jobs requires that you maintain the connection to your old place of employment. Fortunately, with social media, that’s easier than ever before.
Particularly with sites like LinkedIn, you can keep up with company culture and changes and maintain a personal connection to all your old co-workers and supervisors. Of course with the workforce the way it is, people come and go all the time. There’s a chance many of those people won’t be there by the time you get around to the boomerang.
No worries. Some will. But you also could end up having other existing friends or family members of those friends who end up working with the company. You might make new connections as well, and those connections could be even more helpful than your old colleagues because they will come to know you through your enhanced resume, not the one you had the last time you were employed with the company.
This understanding of who you are and what you’ve accomplished since leaving will break through any remaining glass ceilings. If you want to keep up with the current personnel, visit the company’s LinkedIn page and click the link that tells you how many of their employees are also on LinkedIn. That will help you keep track of the power players and up-and-comers … people who one day can help you reconnect.
Roll with the Changes
No place of employment will be the same as it was with any significant passage of time. If there have been a few years pass since you worked at the job and you get to go back in another capacity, be aware that you’re not going back to the same job or company that you knew before.
If you’re unable to adapt to the differences, then your stay at the job could be a short or unsatisfying one (or both). Treat the company as you would your education. In agricultural terms, you know it always needs to be tilled and cultivated to produce an abundant harvest. Till and cultivate a new understanding of your job, and you’ll be able to maneuver up the ladder further than you ever did before.
Boomerang Jobs Can Benefit Your Career in Many Ways
Boomerang jobs may not be on your radar right now, but you should never close the door on a viable opportunity, and you should realize that some of the best come from where you already have a proven track record. By seeking new challenges, conquering them and continuing your education, you can return to these positions with more earning potential and more control over your destiny. Have you ever returned to work at a past place of employment? If so, how did it help/hurt your career? Sound off in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Flickr Creative Commons]