Advice: "I took a new job, but it's not all I imagined. How can I get my old job back?"

Want to submit a question and be featured in our advice column? Click here. (Don't worry, you'll remain completely anonymous).

Dear Quota Team,

A few months ago, I left a great sales job for a job that I thought was going to be better. This new job involves some recruiting. The reason I took the new job was because I was told the upside was astronomical. But after working here for a while, it’s clear that the numbers I was shown were major outliers. Basically, my income is much more likely to be closer to what I was making before, although it will likely be a bit higher.

I was happy where I was before. The company was laid back, treated their employees fairly, and the sales process was not incredibly difficult or stressful. I was making a nice living. But I started getting a bit restless and saw the dollar signs at this new place and decided that I would rather make as much money as possible instead of sticking with what I knew was a great gig.

It’s starting to sink in that I’ve made a pretty big mistake. I don’t like this new company very much. The environment is very tense and stuffy. People don’t really talk to each other. There’s no camaraderie, and I feel like I’m always being watched. But I am worried that by leaving my previous job, it was like a slap in the face to my previous employer. They were very kind of course, but I’m afraid to try to get my old job back. Either way, I know I can’t stay here long-term. Do you have any advice? 

Regretful in The Midwest    


Dear Regretful,

You’re definitely not the first sales rep to make this mistake, and you certainly won’t be the last. The grass is always greener on the other side, and the commission checks always seem bigger and easier to attain at another company. It’s the way of the world. 

You should reach out to your previous employer. Compose an email to the manager, or to the person with whom you have a relationship who would have a say in bringing you back. Be honest. Explain your reasons for leaving, as well as your reasons for wanting to come back.

This second part is important: make sure you talk about what you miss, and what you appreciated about the company and the management. Tell them you made a mistake. Ask if there is any possibility of you getting your old job back. Be direct. Swallow your pride. 

There’s no guarantee that they’ll take you back, but there’s a decent chance that they will. You have already done the job, and know the company’s processes. And with you, they already know what they’re getting. Give it a shot. You have nothing to lose. And if it doesn’t work out, you can always try to find something else. It’ll work out. Don’t worry. Good luck!

You might also like

Everything sales, straight to your inbox.

Sign up for The Quota, a fun, free weekly newsletter for salespeople and sales leaders -- from the people who brought you Sales Humor.

Thanks for subscribing! Just one more step!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.