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 ?


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