Business Regret your resignation? Here is a path forward

Regret your resignation? Here is a path forward


When you were dating, have you ever broken up with someone, only to finally realize how true the old song is when it says

“Don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…”

Many Americans feel this way about their jobs this year. 2022 was a record year for people quitting their jobs. In December alone, 4.1 million workers quit their jobs. That means more than 50 million people are quitting their jobs in the US calendar year 2022.

But many people discover that quitting didn’t bring happiness. In a study conducted last month, Paychex found that of the 825 employees they surveyed who quit during the major layoff, the vast majority said they regretted their dismissal. Nearly 9 out of 10 people who quit said they wish they hadn’t quit. Most respondents also said that quitting contributed to a decline in their mental health.

So what do you do when you quit your job and then realize you’ve made a big mistake?

As someone who helps top organizations find their very best talenthere is some advice i would give you as you try to relax from your deep regret.

  1. Email your former employer. While it may seem counterintuitive, there are a number of studies that show employers are open to the idea of boomerang employees, employees who left and now want to return. You may want to include the reasons for your resignation in your email. Especially if those reasons weren’t related to a bad manager or an aversion to the work culture. It seems to me that most employers are able to look in the rearview mirror and realize that 2020, 2021 and 2022 were extremely stressful years and many people made decisions that they would regret.
  2. Ask your former employer if there is a place for you at his or her company. And then mention that you’re not looking for a raise. A study I recently read showed that the number one reason employers don’t rehire boomerang workers is that they come back asking for more money than they received in the first place. It’s easy to think that with inflation rising, your pay should be higher than when you first left your company. However, take a moment and think like the entrepreneur. When you left your company, you left your company with a loss of momentum, with hiring costs, with a lot of work to do, and the list could go on and on. When a company loses an employee, especially a good employee, it takes time, money and momentum. You may also consider mentioning this in your email to your former employer. Let them know that you understand that your departure has cost them those things, and that you would be willing to come back at the same wages as before.
  3. You can also ask your former employer to write you a letter of reference. Some companies learned to downsize after the big layoff. Some companies became more efficient as employees left. So even if your former employer wants you to come back, they may not have room for you in their workforce. But while you’re looking for your next step, the best sign of credibility is I know a positive reference letter from a previous employer. If you’re applying for a new job, employers will understand an abrupt layoff, especially if accompanied by a letter like this.
  4. Consider switching industries. It seems that of those who quit their jobs during the big layoff, the most satisfied were those who completely turned the page and not just changed companies, but switched industries. Ask yourself: What have all the jobs I’ve had so far equipped me to do things I never could have done before? With the rise of artificial intelligence and computers taking on more jobs, your ability to demonstrate human soft skills should allow you to apply for jobs in almost any industry. So consider looking at something new.
  5. Offer to go to the office. Everyone’s experiment working from home for most of 2020 and 2021, it appears to have been that way. Many employers are pushing for employees to come back to the office or have implemented hybrid work models. But the idea that you’ll find a completely remote job just because we made it through the pandemic may be utopian. If you can show in your interview, especially with a former employee, that you are willing to come to the office and be there for work, it will separate you from the field. A survey I recently read found that the vast majority of GenZ applicants were looking for remote work. And yet the number vacancies on LinkedIn for remote working continues to fall month after month.

We all make wrong decisions sometimes. And sometimes we don’t really know what we have until it’s gone. But you don’t have to stay in your regrets. Take one or more of these steps and keep taking one step after the other. The calendar will turn and sooner or later your regret will disappear.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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