6 Ways To Make Going Back To A Job You Quit Less Disappointing

Photo: Unsplash
Things To Do When Going Back To Work For Your Former Employer after you quit

We all take jobs we don’t want. In high school we scoop ice cream, in college we fold t-shirts, in our twenties we deliver food and make drinks. In our heads these jobs are just temporary.

Maybe they are place holders for a music career we are waiting to take off, or maybe we are looking for the perfect startup where we feel we can really make a difference, or finally write that book. No matter what we are waiting for, we are waiting. And sometimes we get stuck waiting.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Make SURE Your Work Doesn't Overrule Family Quality Time

Then one day it finally happens. You get the call! The startup wants you, someone wants to pay you for your music, you sold the book! You did it. You take your punch card and punch out for the last time. Your friends take you out for drinks and tell you how much they’re going to miss you.

You give a speech about how these were the best times of your life, you’ll never forget it, but its time to move on. You’re a grown-up.

Then something happens. The start-up fails, the music scene dries up, the book deal falls through. You survive a few weeks on the money left over, but you have to get another job.

You have to go back to the ice cream shop, or the retail store or the restaurant. You’re dropped smack dab in the center of the best times of your life.

Only now it doesn’t feel so romantic. It’s no longer your origin story. It’s no longer the job you had to work to get to the job you want to work. Now it’s just your job.

Walking back into a former employer's office after you quit to ask for your job back can be hard and humiliating. Walking back into an old chapter of your life is even harder. The scenery is all the same but it feels different. It doesn’t belong to you any more.

It is important not to stop pushing towards your goals. Don’t settle into a career because you got knocked down a few times. Chumbawumba says you’ll get up again. I think they’re right.

We've all got to do what we've got to do, so use these 6 tips to keep your head up when your career isn't going the way you want it to, and you have to go back to work for a former employer.

1. Be the absolute best person at your job.

This is my go-to attitude at any job. When you are returning to a job that you thought you put behind you, it is never going to feel perfect, but it is going to feel worse if you treat it as a filler job.

If you show up to work every day and try to be the very best at your job, you’re going to start to take pride in the work that you do. When you are proud of your work, it’s going to get better to be at your job. Nothing is more motivating than praise.

2. If you're not happy where you are, keep searching for your dream job.

Okay, so the first attempt didn’t work out. Or the second or the third. That doesn’t mean you give up. It will be easier to wake up every day and put on your uniform, if you know another opportunity could be just around the corner.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Balance Your Love Life And Career Without Killing Yourself

3. Practice for where you want to be and keep your skills sharp.

Remind yourself every day that you are still working toward your goals. If you are a musician, play music everyday — even if you don't get paid to do it. If you want to work for a startup, work on creating ideas or start to brainstorm how to start your own company. Keep your hand in whatever pot it is that you want it to stay in.

4. Do your dream job for free (for a while).

If you are working at a job you don’t feel proud of, do something to be proud of. Sometimes getting your foot in the door means working for free (as frustrating as that sounds), so intern or volunteer your time in the industry you want to be in. And if you can't do that, volunteer your time doing something that matters. Read stories to kids in the hospital, play your music at a nursing home, hand out sandwiches to people who are hungry.

Find a way to give back to your community, meet new people and feel pride in yourself and what you're doing.

RELATED: 7 Steps You Should Take Before Making A Career Change

5. Take up a new hobby.

Find something that you are good at, or learn something new that you want to be good at. Redefine your identity a little bit.

If you are constantly going from work to home work to home, it is going to feel monotonous and depressing. So try something new! Take a class, join a book club, find an intramural sports team to join. Give yourself something to look forward to other than work and sleep (and job searching).

6. Work on yourself, mentally and physically.

If you are not happy with where you are professionally, work on yourself mentally and physically. Start running or lifting weights. Find a diet and exercise plan that works for you that makes you feel better through and through. It will make you feel better to better yourself, and you'll be able to focus on something that doesn't have anything to do with how much money you make.

RELATED: This Personality Test Reveals What Career Path You Should Take

Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.