A Known Devil or an Unknown Angel – Rejoining an Ex-Employer

The career trails through different roles and positions. Here’s a case of an employee who is stretched between a choice .

Almost three years back I had joined a firm in Dubai. I left the company in two years time as  I was not happy with the pay. Initially, I was so bitten by the excitement of getting a job in Dubai, I missed negotiating the package. A month back my manager called from Dubai asking me to re-join.  The salary is  lucrative but for the same designation. Right now I am a supervisor in a mutli-national travel company. If I rejoin the company in Dubai I will have to join as a Travel Consultant. Please advise what should I do?

Case facts:

  • A talent is hired in the low range of the salary.
  • Performance is assumed to be good , as the employer wants to re-hire
  • The new salary is on the higher range for the same designation
  • The talent needs to find a deal breaker

Career graph vs higher pay – A job change remains self- explanatory when it is for a higher role or a greater salary. The choice of higher role is perceived as noble as it promises more learning. However, it often signifies the ambition and the career expectancy of the candidate within the company. A lower pay to and existing range is justified only when the change brings in the additional learning which was valued by the candidate, yet couldn’t have happened in the existing job. Here in this case, taking up the offer would symbolize the attenuation to higher salary in the resume.

Ex-Employer vs Existing Employer – The old employer has a track record of the strength and weakness of a talent in the roles served. The chances of up-skilling and re-skilling are not held in this case as the role remains same. It is assumed that the performance of the candidate has been well, which is why he is been head-hunted to the job on a higher pay. This proves that the employer is aware and keen to calibrate an employee to the full potential. Whereas, the existing employer acknowledged the growth potential, with a higher designation. The difference between the two employers remains in identifying the needs and addressing it with a suitable offer. If the need had not arisen, the old employer might not have offered it at all. If the employer was talent oriented, this offer could have been made a year back, when the employee left the organization. In case our member re-joins, the priorities have to be set very clearly. The former employer is likely to remain driven by needs. Hence the growth within the company would be business directed. The opportunity for our member lies in actualizing the potential in order to make the most of that growth wave within the company.

Existing Opportunities vs Future Promises – The size of these two companies and their future potential, remain unknown. The tangible benefits is accelerating. Though the hike in the salary in the next financial year, would remain a question, as a lucrative offer has already been made to the candidate. The position vantage which lies with the existing employer appears to be bleak with the former employer. In this case, the deal breaker would remain the value of holding the higher designation in the long term. Let’s take a window of five years. Lets us suppose, that our member accepts the job offer and shifts to Dubai. This would increase the income, yet slow down the growth. If the member is offered a promotion within the job, it would create a win-win situation. Even, if there are no promotions, it would increase the market value with a higher pay. This may stand a no-profit, no-loss situation, if the candidate can return to India and take up a new job and restart the career. Whereas , if the existing job is preferred, the salary may not be matched to that offered by the firm in Dubai, but a natural progression remains obvious.

The key to decide remains in foreseeing how satisfied would our member remain at a higher salary but lower role in comparison to a lower salary but higher role. Balancing the needs of prioritizing a financially secured future to a growth oriented role would remain the need of the hour. Identifying what someone would love to lose yet not regret it , empowers the choice. As noted by Sun Tzu “Invincibility lies in the defense, the possibility of victory in the attack.”

Tell us what would you suggest to the member ? What in your opinion is a better choice and why ?

  • Gshank67

    i would prefer to join new company, rather than rejoining the old one.

  • @ce29f2a05b30ac4aa847881cecff19f6:disqus , thankyou for your views ! Please share why would you choose that. It would help our member, be able to think with more clarity and decide. Thanking you in anticipation !

  • Gaurav

    no need to join the old job


    One should prefer higher role rather going for higher salary untill the salary is lower than avg market vaule . Joinning new company is always better as it will add new proffessional relations , new challanges so a person will be more confident .

  • Umesh.G.Chavan

    I would negotiate for a higher position & a slightly higer pay than in the existing job if I am going to the old company. The skill of negotiation is important in this case as the employer has a favourable opinion abbout the employee. Alternatively he can open a dialouge & try negotiate with the present employer if he finds that the present employer has a good opinion & is open to suggestions. The key here would be understanding the present employers mindset.
    Changing jobs only for pay or higher positions is dangerous as you may be painted as a self serving employee.   

  • Dennis

    Dear All,
    As far as this situation ,the person should stick to the present employeer,becoz 
    1) The ex-employer was not able to analyise the skill while he was along with them-so potentional growth is very minimal
    2)The present employeer found him more potential during their first meeting itself.
    3)higher designation means -more challenges & more learnings
    4)If he continues the next jump will be some higher designation  or else he rejoins he has to start from the begining.

    So my dear friend stick to the current employeer & explore more for better future results.
    Dennis John.

  • Dev

    Thanks Nabomita…your two sided anlaysis made me think about the positive and negative areas…thankyou Gaurav…Shanks…Dennis . .JP…Umesh Chavan…..I might negotiate and try to make this no profit no loss situation into win-win one.

    Thanks again Nabomita your expert advice did help.

  • Thankyou @041887aab3006175b515aed95f4d1d06:disqus  

  • Good points , well presented ! I too felt that if the ex-employer valued talent, then a higher salary could have been offered as retention. Its clear that the current offer is purely need based. If it is considered , @8330642a8789e11c23729a4e5a41753f:disqus  will have to keep his expectations right. A higher salary is preferred by the professional, who priorities a secured future financially and then work their way up to the top! Thank you, for your analysis and suggestion @380e52a3741463dab88a29d2d57f60c8:disqus   

  • Thankyou @gotudada:disqus  I cant agree more with you. Negotiating the offer holds the key. However, if it hits a cul-de-sac, then its better to select a career which offers him more growth. Market-wise, talents who are on the higher pay-scale are difficult to be hired. Whereas , highly trained and well served talents , who work on a lower package remain attractive to the employers, perpetually. I agree to your point that @8330642a8789e11c23729a4e5a41753f:disqus would be weighed on the decision he makes. The way out would be the justifications that he would present. If his current project is in a situation where he cannot leave , hence stays on the higher role, would show his leadership skills and character. Whereas , if he joins the ex-employer, his past service to them would stand acknowledged.  He would be valued as a notable talent , whom the employer wanted to acquire at a higher compensation. It automatically proves his worth , along with his penchant to value tangible benefits.

  • Thankyou @a94ae55266ced042836c3cd0f7f96c26:disqus  the justification to the point made stands valid. We are weighing both the sides to ensure a balanced decision. Thankyou for your inputs ! I am sure it will help @8330642a8789e11c23729a4e5a41753f:disqus  to decide. to decide.

  • Dear @8330642a8789e11c23729a4e5a41753f:disqus , I am glad you wrote in. The suggestion made by @gotudada:disqus , @041887aab3006175b515aed95f4d1d06:disqus , @ce29f2a05b30ac4aa847881cecff19f6:disqus . @a94ae55266ced042836c3cd0f7f96c26:disqus   and @380e52a3741463dab88a29d2d57f60c8:disqus ic covers almost every area you might want to weigh before making a decision. Wish you all the best. Whichever way you choose, continue working as good as you have been. We appreciate and applaud your efforts as we all know,  being re-hired is an honour of its own ! Congrats on your decision. God bless you ! your efforts as we all know,  being re-hired is an honour of its own ! Congrats on your decision. God bless you !

  • Lilz364u

    I would be of the opinion , that the concerned Individual here , should stay back in his current profile .

    Firstly his ex-employer seems unstable in their decision factor. Why the decision to now increase his salary and not recognise this as a retention technique earlier. Plus since he would be shifting to DxB incase he accepts the offer, It has a high standard of living,so how much is he actually saving? Also one must keep in mind the constant termination of jobs in the gulf on a consistent level due to insufficient jobs for the localites. Secondly I Suggest before joining or taking any decision do a SWOT ANALYSIS of the opportunity.

    His present employer has given him new challenges which is a blessing in disguise for his future. You never know with this kind of learning the ex-employer may offer you a higher designation if you explain it to him/her in a very diplomatic way that you have grown knowledge and responsibility wise since you last left the organisation and would like to continue and not backtrack.

    The actualy worth of an Individual is not measured in terms of money but wisdom & knowledge,Money easily follows,so dont worry. Better opportunities will definitely come your way .

    Best Wishes,


    The biggest happiness lying in Job Satisfaction first and then higher pay, least one is same position. 

  • Wonderful analysis @9f1638e68306a263741fa2da678471d4:disqus  ! Working to earn is a natural phenomena. However , as you pointed out, The aim should be to elevate oneself, through expertises, upto a level where material gifts, becomes a natural result  ! I am sure It will help @8330642a8789e11c23729a4e5a41753f:disqus  to arrive at a conclusion.  to arrive at a conclusion.

  • Thankyou @90621b7b0d936dcad468097a274f5ae1:disqus  , accurate ranking to the attributes! This is a lesson we learn, as we work through our careers. You have wonderfully, summarized  the priorities . I am marking @8330642a8789e11c23729a4e5a41753f:disqus to note it. to note it.

  • ajayi olufemi

     This is my view, the higher pay offered by the former company is a bait to loose many opportunities because its temporary. The advantage of the present place is that if he leaves with higher designation, it attracts better offer from anybody willing to hire him, but if he is fired by the Dubai coy. with lesser designation, it is to his disadvantage. Its pays to stay with the present.

    ajayi olufemi

  •  Thankyou @f2f20c7b55185626fe8199bb39cb7eaf:disqus , appreciate your views. You have rightly weighed the offer made by the former employer  to @8330642a8789e11c23729a4e5a41753f:disqus  , requires to be considered. This hike could have been offered to him when he was at the job. I completely second you , it would be difficult for him to find a job when he leaves the company in Dubai, as he would be way up the salary scale.  

  • Srikanth Kalamegam

    I believe he should take the decision based on his present financial requirements. At least this time let he should negotiate properly before arriving at any decision. But I would like to mention one thing, now days the pay pack gap between Gulf countries and India is not very big, only advantage is, the salary is non-taxable at middle east.


  • Pritesh.P

    Hi Nabomita,
    The Case is really good and made me to think over Practically… I think yo should go for Present job yo hve.. As the job is having a higher role for yo irresoective of ur salary.. As “Pankaj” said about the job satisfaction is important rather than salary Attactiveness.. This job will help yo to grow ur potential which ll make yo valuable in future.. Yo should stick on to the present job and become competent..


  • M. Nagarajan

    In my perspective, it is better to be a Boomerang by joining the old organization! Why because is, it is clearly evident that, the employer badly needs you and realized the importance of having YOU in the organization in order to better run the organization. Moreover, the morale and value of the said employee will always be high, which in turn reflect on the work. Hence, this offer is more than enough to reach the supremo cadre in the work place at the earliest.

     To many, this decision may seems to be non-justifiable, because of the very reason that almost everybody is evaluating on the basis of emotional justification and in terms of oppurtunity cost. But in the long run, I am quiet confident that, the return will be very lucrative and will fetch a sense of satisfaction, if he switch back to his old employer.

    Always I am of the view that,

    “If you are ready to take the path, which is less travelled by;
    Then, that will made all the difference”.   
                           As it did to many including Robert Frost.
    My Very Best Wishes to all the Budding Entrepreneurs of KCT Biz School.
    May your path be blessed.

                                   –  M. Nagarajan
                                      Asst project Manager,
                                      Anna University of Technology, Coimbatore.

  • Thankyou @d78c492d033de8a9d7db84ebe343485e:disqus   . I second your views. I am sure Dev would read this and stand to gain. Thankyou so much for sharing your thoughts . 


    There are no measuring scale in the world for any body’s sincerity. Looking to your sicere behaviour, even if your past employer hires you even paying more than what you are drawing presently, since he would definitely having more expectation which he could not previously by reposing his faith in you and for which you may fail, where will you ?

  • Thankyou @fb75abde325a7640bb03d3ad368ae4e0:disqus appreciate you sharing the details about the salary difference. This should remain the deal breaker to @8330642a8789e11c23729a4e5a41753f:disqus 

  • Hari_prince21


  • Hari

    hi  in need help 
    how to write a mail regarding salary increment, i rejoinined in my company 3 months back..
    am getting 3 LPA and my HR managar informed and he told me after this April he will increse my masary. i wont to ask him know. please can you all suggest me how to ask him.

  • Hari

    hi Naomita, this is Hari.. please can you help me out of this problem..

    because am littil poor in English

  • Dear Hari,

    Please mail me your query at nabomita@@citeman:disqus .com. I wish to take it in details.