5 Reasons Your Boss Won't Take You Back After Quitting - Evil HR Lady

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Have you ever turned in a letter of resignation and then changed your mind? Texted your boss when you were upset about something and said, “I quit!” and then, after you calmed down, realized that wasn't the best idea? Or what about resigning because you have a new job all lined up, but then that falls through? These things happen all the time to people and then they write me (EvilHRLady@gmail.com) and ask me what they can do to get their old job back.

The answer is usually nothing. Managers don't often allow you to rescind a resignation—even if your reasons seem perfectly logical to you. For instance, if you resign because your childcare fell through, but then your neighbor offers to watch your kids, why shouldn't your boss welcome you back with open arms? After all she'll have to hire and train someone to replace you and that costs money. Why not just keep you on?

Bosses can, of course. There's no legal requirement that you must leave a job after saying you wanted to quit. But most don't. Here's why.

Your resignation means you're unhappy there. Even if you write a nice letter stating how much you love this job and it's so sad that you have to leave, the reality is you think you can be happier elsewhere. That's why you're quitting. Or at least that's what the boss sees it as being. Why would she want to keep someone that would prefer to be somewhere else?

Your boss took your resignation personally. Do you know the number one reason people quit their jobs? They don't like their manager. So, your manager is being perfectly logical when he assumes that you don't like working for him, once you've hit send on that text saying you quit. (Pro tip: Don't resign via text message, ever.) And many, many managers are insulted by this. Personally offended even. They don't want you around.

You look like a flake. Bosses love responsible employees. Responsible, predictable employees who will show up when they are scheduled and work hard while they are there. When you say, “I quit—no, wait! I don't quit!” you look like you don't think through decisions, and that you can't be counted on any more.

You'll leave soon enough anyway. There is some problem at work. That's why you originally wrote that letter of resignation. And if you come back, you'll be looking to leave again as soon as possible, because whatever the problem was (could be your boss, your salary, an annoying coworker, or obnoxious coworkers) hasn't gone away. And even if your neighbor agreed to take your kids now, your boss suspects you'll have problems in the future. So, what that means for your boss is that she's simply delaying hiring your replacement. She'll still have to do it. And since she already started looking the moment you told her you were leaving, it's easier just go keep going.

You were a problem employee to begin with. If you are one that quit when you were mad, and then are shocked that your boss doesn't want you back, it's time to do some introspective thinking. It's really rare for problem free employees to quit when angry. Most that do, saved the boss the hassle of firing them in the first place. Of course the boss doesn't want you back! He was thrilled when you resigned.

So, think before your resign. Make sure you are sure this is what you want to do. Don't resign because the new company says they are sending you an offer soon. Wait until the new letter is in your hand, the background check is complete and you have a firm start date. Then resign. And no matter how upset you get, don't resign in a huff. Chances are, the boss will take you seriously.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. To find out more about WGU’s online degree programs, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers

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