laid off and then asked back by Alison Green on April 5, 2009 A reader writes: I was laid off after working 2.5 years with a company I adored. I was devastated. I kept in contact with coworkers and was persistent about letting my Branch Manager know of my desire to come back. Finally I landed a new job. But, 3 days later, my Branch Manager gave me an offer. I REALLY don’t know what to do, stay or go. I have tried to weigh the pros and cons in going back to my old company. Pro: It was a part of my life, I adored the company and I have the chance to return. A position I finally could be proud of proving my dedication and productivity. Con: fear/stability, I ask myself are they going to lay me off again? If so, I’ve lost my new job too and thus am unemployed again. For new position I just accepted, the pros are that they are a stable company, in business for years, no competition. The cons here are: high expectancy of having 5 demands to complete at once whilst receiving 5 more, resulting in massive reaming. I can’t do 5 things at once…sorry… (I’m not one that enjoys “reaming” and I don’t have it in me to “give it back as it’s dished out to me.”) Bottom line… Go back to the job I loved and take the chance of getting laid off or the company going belly up? Or stay at new employment and take the chance of being let go or leaving because of frustration? If this were me, here are the factors I’d base my decision on: * What’s going on with your old company financially? It’s reasonable to ask them what’s changed since they laid you off. If you leave a new job to return to them, are they willing to guarantee you (in writing) that you won’t be laid off again over the next, say, two years? * What are your chances of success at your new job, the one you’re currently at? Based on what you wrote, it sounds like it might not be a good fit for you … and maybe that you might not be a good fit for them. If you think their demands are unreasonable, there are two things that could be going on: (1) they’re unrealistic, or (2) they’re not unrealistic; it’s a company that strives to be exceptional and thus looks for employees who can and will work at a faster pace than what you were used to at your old company. If it’s #1 and they’ve been operating that way for a while, they’re unlikely to change. If it’s #2 and you prefer a different pace, they will expect you to adjust or you may eventually lose the job. So you need to be brutally honest with yourself about whether this job is right for you. Based solely on your letter (which obviously can’t give me all the relevant details), I hear alarm bells about your fit at your current job. So at a minimum, please explore those as part of your decision. Good luck! You may also like:managers pushing us to work harder while we wait to be laid offmy job didn’t warn me that I’d be temporarily laid off each summerI misheard my interviewer and agreed to the wrong salary!