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Is it true, you can't go home again?

My previous company is slowly opening lines of communication with me again. For context, I left because the new VP of People was destroying our culture...and they were underpaying me to the tune of about $40k as compared to the market average for my role. I joined sub 40 employees, pre-series-B, and by the time I left they were valued at over $1B and crossed the 200 person mark. They haven't rehired for my role and have had it up since I've left (might still be criminally underpaying).


I'm not unhappy with my current role, in fact, it's the scale I like to be at (sub 20 people)...but it's hard not to imagine what you would ask if your previous employer said "name your price/demands" as a means to get you to come back.


What would your last company need to give you to come back, assuming you'd be interested in joining?

πŸ’° Compensation
🀝 Interviewing/Offer
17
funcoupons
WR Officer
+12
that's queen coups to u
I see this as getting back together with an ex. In the grand majority of cases, you parted ways for legitimate reasons. There might be one or two occasions where it makes sense to try again but most of the time you're going to face the exact same problems that caused the breakup in the first place.

I don't think I'd ever go back to an old company. Once I leave for a new position I consider that relationship over.
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
What if the problems you were facing have truly been fixed? Either through leadership change or other means? Almost sounds like a "trust me, I've changed" situation...but could it end like a good romcom?
WCK
Notorious Answer
+13
Padre de Tequila, General of the Coors Knights
We all love a good RomCom, and if the issues were truly tied to one person and said person is no longer there, I can see the reasoning to return absolutely.
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braintank
Politicker
+7
Enterprise Account Executive
100% agree. There's a reason you broke up in the first place. With some time and distance, you minimize the negatives and get sentimental about the good old days. However, once you're back you'll quickly remember why you left in the first place. Unfortunately, I did this with a company once and with women several times... never ends well
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
This is one of the many occasions where I got to comment but @funcoupons has already nailed it. Especially because you're currently in a good spot!
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
Wow this hits.

Personally I believe in never looking back. Especially if you are in a good position now.

You left for a reason. A very important reason. How do you know they'd suddenly respect you this time around?Β 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
That's the thing, if they gave me that blank check I'd turn it around and demand insulation from the bullshit that was their People team. Hard to do, and probably impossible. I'd almost want them to say "we can't do this, this, or that" and I'll say "then I'm still out". Splash a drink in their face, and leave.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
Love the flair 🀣

You could always see what they would put in writing. But I honestly wouldn't put any energy into something you think will piss you off again. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ
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paddy
WR Officer
+11
Account Executive
Sounds like you have a shit ton of leverage in this case. If you think the problems have been fixed, I'd ask for the moon in terms of compensation. If they can't come close to it then fuck em and stay with your current role since you seem happy there.
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
I have a number that I'd slap down on the table, and I'm willing to bet it'll make them choke on the overpriced old fashioned.
paddy
WR Officer
+11
Account Executive
Fuck it you may as well try to negotiate a bar cart in there
Justatitle
Politicker
+11
Mid Market AE
You can go back 100% but don’t think it’s gonna be radical change. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’tΒ 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
There is one Devil, and she was somehow more powerful in the yes of the CEO than his own co-founders.
Justatitle
Politicker
+11
Mid Market AE
β€œFootball is the devil” is she still at the company?
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DungeonsNDemos
Politicker
+10
Rolling for Initiative
Very true!!! Taking a measured risk can pay off, but if you go back just make the best of it and have an overall plan for how you want to operate.Β 
Ryscott0317
Politicker
+7
Cloud Specialist
0 interest in going back. A BDR role they constantly said was sales (no disrespect, but it wasn’t) and they micro managed the shit out of all of us. Now after being at my current role I would never go back.
Riss
Opinionated
+4
I don’t even know anymore πŸ€ͺ
I loved the work I did at my last job. But mgt was toxic and I had a ceiling on compensation when my latest raise (market avg btw) my boss said he couldn't ask for that cause it was more than he made.Β 

But I think about that. What is the $ amount on dealing with that stress. It wouldn't only be money....it'd be my boss's job lolΒ 
Kinonez
Celebrated Contributor
+9
WR Enthusiast
Β For me it's tough to go back to a company. I usually leave when I consider I can't grow any further or I have learned everything they have to offer, otherwise I'm very loyal if both those requirements are met.
For me to go back, they would have to offer me a position where I could grow and learn much more than the role and company, I'm at. I have turned down the 2 offers I've gotten from previous companies because they didn’t meet that criteria.
DungeonsNDemos
Politicker
+10
Rolling for Initiative
I can speak to this (long comment warning), as it's where I am currently at. Started with a company fresh out of college, very small and figuring things out. Had a small raise after 2 years and I was growing my sales skills/backbone. Great company with a solid product.

To keep it concise, due to not having much professional experience I was getting super annoyed at some internal processes, and began to look around.Β 

A mutual friend called me up as he got hired as an operations manager for a "startup" SAAS company that was a town over and he told me they were looking for sales people.Β 
I kind of blindly jumped on it because I thought the grass was greener, and BIG IMPROVEMENT: they gave health insurance.

Well I can say that after 2 months I realized it was a shitty spot to jump to. Terrible CEO who was an idiot. They fired a huge chunk of people a month after hiring them. The sales team was constantly losing people because our sales were constantly screwed up by Project Managers. I was one of the younger ones and I stuck it out as well as I could (as this was last year when the pandemic started when I was 4 months in).

I actually ended up their top salesperson, but that's half because so many quit.Β 

My old VP who I kept a great relationship with invited me to come back about 10 months after I quit. Turned out that they grew a bunch due to the pandemic demand for our product - and NOW they offer great benefits which are better than the company I moved to.

So I've been back with my original company about 7 months now and things are going well enough. Definitely feel like I'm in a better position than I used to be but there are still some lacking things that could be better. No company is perfect.
SaaSguy
Big Shot
+9
Account Executive
A role in management/sales leadership. I left on good terms but wasn't making money as the company was hit hard by the pandemic.Β 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
I had that, but I almost would have been better off as an IC. However, I'd need to name my price and demand autonomy to run my team in the way I did before they hired a people ops army.
Feds_Watchin
Politicker
+9
Account Executive
I left possibly a worse scenario. Employee #35 Series A between 10-15M. CTO/Co-Founder could not β€œlet go of his baby” aka keep his nose out of sales. Still hoarded deals to avoid paying out commissions and drove out Sales leadership to the point that he is now managing all the field teams currently. I left late last year and he calls me out of the blue asking about a Salesloft invoice. I was apparently also the vendor manager in addition to many unwanted hats. I knew a rep was leaving so I inquired. Told him I was happy where I was and check back in a year. I doubt any progress is made but I would have to be FLOORED to return. Like 280-300 OTE.
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Sounds oddly familiar when it comes to start-ups that don't have real money in the bank. I was recruited back to one of my old start-ups because they couldn't find a good VP in their niche corner of the industry. I was granted everything I wanted, except control over the pipeline...said no and threw the CEO into a tailspin.
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
Well my second to last company did the same. IΒ΄m still able to go back if my current gig starts to suck.Β 

Going back seems like a decent move to do if it suits your goals. Both the company and you can benefit from it.
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