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Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:51 am
by Anonymouslateral
Hi all, I left my job at a small firm, primary market to go to a large firm in a secondary market (my home market) because I wanted to be closer to family. I’m now realizing I was happier with the work and people at my previous firm despite being farther away from family. It’s been two months since I left. Is there any benefit to waiting longer before asking for my old job back? I left on good terms but work was also verrry slow at my old firm (part of the reason I left) which has a lot to do with COVID, but I’m worried they won’t want to re-hire me if I ask so soon after leaving and while things are still slow.

If anyone else has stories about lateral regrets and begging for their old job back after only a short period I’d love to hear them!

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:22 pm
by Story
How bad is the new job?

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:36 pm
by BlendedUnicorn
My initial reaction is that unless they're literally torturing you probably best to give it a year but to stay in touch with folks at the old firm.

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:40 pm
by Johannes
It’s fine to ask now. What’s the point in waiting a year. If you don’t like the work, best to get out

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:58 pm
by jeff chiles
i agree that theres no point waiting a year or any longer if you want to go back but 2 months is just long enough for there to be a very good chance they realized its a huge relief to not have to pay an associate when there is not enough work to go around in the first place.

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:20 pm
by Anonymouslateral
Thx all. I’m a 3rd year associate and another mid level associate left around the same time I did, leaving only 2 associates at the firm who are both more senior. I’ve heard through the grapevine they haven’t started looking for anyone to fill the gap yet due to the continuing downturn but will be in the future. One other big thing to consider is I’ll need to take the February bar exam in this secondary market if I plan on staying here. The new job isn’t terrible so far but it’s more firedrills and more demanding than my last job (which had a slower and steadier pace), and it’s more generic corporate work than I had expected, and I’m not sure I have it in me to go through a month+ of bar bullshit when I’m not thrilled about the prospects of staying here for the long term

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:01 pm
by icechicken
I have no idea how, or why, they did this, but I've just this year seen someone leave and then come back ~4-6 months later. Certainly not impossible, and the person in question seems to be doing just fine now.

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:13 pm
by pancakes3
you left your old job bc there wasn't enough work and now you want to leave your new job bc there's too much work?

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:29 pm
by Anonymouslateral
pancakes3 wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:13 pm
you left your old job bc there wasn't enough work and now you want to leave your new job bc there's too much work?
No, there’s too much work that I don’t like. I was in a niche area at my last firm and I expected to stay in that niche at my new firm, but it’s turning out to be more of a general corporate role than I expected.

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:07 pm
by Story
Are there any peers or associates you trust that you could ask how the firm would like u back?

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:24 pm
by notachicken
it's not uncommon to go back. we have taken back a bunch of people who left on good terms. it can't hurt to ask - even if they're not hiring now, they'll know you're interested in coming back.

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 4:30 pm
by Anonymouslateral
OP here. I talked to a partner about possibly returning, and she said the timing isn’t good now/just not enough work, but the door isn’t completely closed. She said the big problem would be the partnership possibly viewing me as a flight risk to move back to my home market again in the future (the firm I left is in NYC). Is it generally difficult to move from NYC/primary market—>secondary market—> back to primary market? I liked NYC pre-covid and not sure I want to stay in my home state forever.

Re: Asking for old job back after lateral move

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:07 pm
by icechicken
Re: going from [major market] > [secondary hometown market] > [back to major market], the person I mentioned upthread did the same thing. It's certainly not unheard-of. But you will need to somehow convince people that you intend to stay in NYC for the foreseeable future or bringing you on is more trouble than it's worth. Fool-me-once, etc.

In other words, I think the advice you already got about this is excellent.