Millions of laid-off workers are still unemployed and would like nothing better than for their former employers to call and offer them their old jobs back. This is the situation my husband has been in for most of the last three years.
After sending out countless resumes and going on a few interviews, he was still unemployed. We’d examined many options for a second career for him. We kept coming up empty. The bottom line was, he liked his former job and he was good at it. His preferred option was for his former employer to re-hire him, even if it was only part-time or if it involved a pay cut.
Three weeks ago he got the call he had been hoping and praying for. His former company has some projects right now that they need his help on. There is no guarantee that they’ll still need him in a few months, but for now, we are grateful that he has work.
Steve took care when he was laid-off to maintain his work relationships and not burn his bridges. I am sharing the following tips from my observations of my husband’s journey back to re-employment in the hopes that they may help someone who is in the midst of the difficult situation Steve was in.
1) Understand your employer is having a difficult time too. You company is laying off workers in an effort to save their company. Your employer did not cause the current economic crisis. The company is a victim just as much as you are.
2) Be grateful for the opportunities your former employer gave you while you worked there. Speak positively of your former employer at job interviews. Even if you never want to work for your former company again, you may need a reference from your old boss. Also, companies that are hiring are looking for employees with positive attitudes.
3) Keep in touch. Drop by or call from time to time. Let your former boss know you are still looking for work. A door may open for you to go back to work at your old job, or your former boss may know someone who is hiring. Steve occasionally went out to lunch with his former boss and the few employees who had been retained. He wasn’t a stranger and they didn’t forget about him.
4) Don’t hold a grudge. When Steve’s boss called to let him know his help was needed, Steve was glad to go back. Steve was never angry with the employees who were not laid off. He was grateful that they kept their jobs. When there was some work for Steve to do, his former co-workers were happy to have him re-hired.
5) Volunteer to help out without the expectation of pay. While unemployed, Steve offered to help his former employer put together a few job proposals with the understanding that Steve would be hired to do the work if they got the jobs. Unfortunately the company did not get most of those jobs and Steve did not get paid for his time. However, working on the proposals kept Steve’s job skills sharp and earned him his employer’s gratitude. When a job did come through, Steve was called back to work.
6) Give a little. Steve offered to work for 5% less than his previous rate and without benefits. That made it easier for his employer to afford to hire him back. Taking a pay cut might not be easy, but it is a whole lot better than receiving no paycheck.
Have you been rehired after being laid off? Please share any additional tips you have that might help others to regain their former jobs.