After quitting your job, you still might want to come back if the grass doesn’t turn out to be greener on the other side.
You finally decided to take the plunge and interview elsewhere. You got the offer and you kind of want to try out the new gig, but you’re not sure you want to commit. The grass might be greener… but then again it might not.
You feel like it’s time to move on, but at the same time you wonder what you’ll do if it doesn’t work out. So what can you do to put a safety net in place for when you move on?
Follow these five tips when you quit to find yourself on the business end of an open invitation to come back to your old job: ( to tweet this list.)
1. Jump into a pool with your coworkers
The more quality personal relationships you have with your colleagues, the more receptive your employer will be to inviting you back if things don’t work out with your new job.
Not sure how to get “in” with your coworkers without awkwardly inviting yourself to eat lunch with them? Try gambling. Fantasy football and NCAA squares pools for March Madness work best, but you can make bets on anything. The key is to run a pool where you send out weekly updates.
More contact yields stronger relationships that can help keep the “come back home” option open.
2. Give more notice than necessary
Warning: if you haven’t bonded with some of your coworkers, you may want to tread softly on this one. The rule of thumb is to when you’re ready to move on, but in the two jobs I’ve left, I’ve given more than four weeks notice in each case.
Why? Because I didn’t want to screw over people I had personal relationships with. That sense of loyalty — the pull of wanting to change jobs but not leave the people behind — only exists when personal relationships are in place.
3. Bust your hump until the last day
Do whatever you need to do to resist coasting once you give notice. In fact, you should work harder after you give notice than you have any other time up to that point. Your legacy will only be as good as your last impression.
If the last thing people remember seeing you do is kicking your feet up while spilling crumbs from your farewell cake down the front of your shirt, the door for you to come back will close faster than you can get to the curb.
4. Leave for something your company can’t offer
At least that’s what you should tell them. If your company can’t match what you’re leaving for, it makes the breakup much more bearable for your employer.
Your boss can’t argue with a hefty pay bump, a huge increase in responsibilities or an opportunity to move to a new city. You defuse the chance of your boss viewing you as a turncoat and maintain a clear path for your return if you need it. The strategy of pursuing a new job that offers something your employer can’t provide applies to ALL careers — even when you’re an NBA superstar like Lebron James.
5. Stay in touch after you leave
Of course you’ll do all the usual stuff like sending your personal email and connecting on LinkedIn. But you need to raise the bar to stay connected with people once you leave.
Remember the morale-boosting gambling pools I talked about? You can still stay on the team after you leave your company. Staying involved and trash-talking from afar provides an opportunity to be on top of mind for everyone involved.
You’ll also want to send to stay in touch with people. Just as some people swear by handwritten , a handwritten card shows you value your relationship enough to put your former colleagues on your short list (even if the list isn’t that short.) They’ll feel special that they are one of the few people you go out of your way to write a note to every year. If you receive holiday cards in return, you’ve played your hand well.
If you can successfully execute all five of these strategies, you should have no problem hearing those magical words “give me a call if it doesn’t work out.” How’s that for job security?
is a Management Consultant and CPA. By day he solves complex business problems for some of the world’s most well-known brands, and by night he teach others how to carve out successful careers in the business world. Follow him .