Changing Your Mind After Putting in Notice

Gina Deveney
Posted by

Quitting your job can make for some awkward professional scenarios, such as explaining to your boss or co-workers why you need to leave. Even more awkward is returning to work at the same job after giving notice. Here are some tips to help you alleviate negative situations and make the best decision, whether you are quitting or thinking of returning.

Even before you ponder the right way to put in your notice, you should carefully consider whether quitting your job is the right decision. Is there a better offer on the horizon, or are you just burned out and in need of a vacation? Leaving your job for the wrong reasons, especially if you're giving into grass-is-greener thinking, increases the chance that you might want to come back to your current company in the near future. Likewise, if you're considering returning to work at a previous job after quitting, take time to consider your options. It's natural to struggle in a new position at first, and you may simply miss the comfort level you felt in your old workplace.

If you decide that returning to work at your previous company is the right step, leverage all your interpersonal and communication skills to reduce tensions. It helps if you utilized these skills when you left the job, making it more likely that you have left your professional bridges intact. Contact a trusted supervisor or manager about your intentions, and find out if your previous position is still open. Be prepared for to jump through human resource hoops, such as application and background check procedures, and be gracious for any consideration your old company provides. Don't assume your foot is already in the door because you are returning to work with a previous employer. The company may be already considering other candidates from both inside and outside the organization.

In some cases, you may decide to return to work after giving notice but before your last day with the company. This scenario is generally less awkward than if you started working with the competition, and it can be a minimal blip on your professional radar if announcements about your leaving were never made. Still, returning to work after explaining to your boss why the competition sounded like a better deal brings up some concerns. Supervisors may be concerned that you'll jump ship at the next best offer, causing them to overlook you for long-term project positions or promotions. When rescinding your notice, frame your reasons in the most positive way, and take responsibility for what might have been a rash decision on your part. Ensure that your management understands that you value the company and your position within it and that you truly want to remain.

Whether you're on the way out or already through the door, returning to work after giving notice is a difficult professional step. By using tact and positive communication skills at all times during professional interactions, you can make your return more likely and less awkward for everyone.


Photo courtesy of nongpimmy at



Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • You Might Also Be Interested In

article posted by Infini Kimbrough

Jobs to Watch