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I Went Back to My Old Job and Regretted it – What Should I Do Now?

Going back to your old job can be a double-edged sword.

You may feel good because you can work again in a well-known job. However, there is a possibility that you will regret it even more.

Unfortunately, in your case, this second option happened.

Why did you regret going back to your old job? Because you realized that it was a wrong decision, and all the reasons why you left that job in the first place now seem even more evident to you.

man being depressed by working in office

Let’s review your situation again to clarify: You’ve been at one job for a long time, but you decided it was time for a change, and you quit because it seemed like the right move at the time.

You found new employment and started it with huge expectations, but none came true. After a short time, you also quit your new job.

Then you decide to return to your old job because it is a familiar environment and you will easily fit in again. But it turned out to be a wrong move for you too because all the reasons why you left your old job in the first place now bother you even more.

You realize your choice was wrong but don’t know what to do. You have two options:

  • to stay at your old job despite being unhappy
  • to quit that job again and start looking for the right job for you

This article will help you make the right decision.

Why Did You Decide to Return to Your Old Job?

There must be some strong reasons behind such a radical decision to leave a new job quickly and return to the old one you hated. 

Those reasons can be:

1. You Were Not Satisfied With Your New Job

During The Great Resignation in 2021, many people decided to quit their jobs and look for better opportunities. Perhaps you did the same.

You are not the only one who regretted that decision because, according to the study, 80% of people regret that decision.

The conditions at the new job were so awful that your old job suddenly seemed like a beautiful place.

Nothing was right, and it seemed to you that it was best to return to the “good old place,” but that was a wrong decision too.

2. You Caved to Pressure From Others

What did everyone say to you when you were leaving your old job to start a new one?

Family members and friends probably didn’t understand your decision.

They must have told you that you would deeply regret it and not to make rash decisions. But you didn’t listen to them.

Because you didn’t listen to them, you found yourself in an even worse situation, because of which everyone said the infamous “We told you so.”

You thought it was best to listen to them now and return to your old job, but that was also wrong.

Is it right to depend so much on other people’s opinions? Of course not.

3. You Wanted to Return to The Safe Environment

That new job might not have been so bad, but it was actually great.

So what’s the problem? Well, that job required greater responsibility, knowledge, and skills. Not to mention much greater competition.

It seemed to you that you could easily fit in there, but you were very wrong. You didn’t have the right set of skills for that new job.

So you decide to return to your good old job, where the atmosphere is more relaxed. There is no room for improvement, but at least there is not much responsibility either.

Ah, that comfort zone everyone loves so much to be in, but here you are back in it, but still, something is wrong. It may be your burning desire for something bigger and better.

Why Do You Regret Returning to Your Old Job?

We don’t know why you expected that going back to your old job would magically erase everything that bothered you about that place.

Now, even when you’re back there, you seem bothered by new concerns besides the usual things like low pay, long working hours, and similar things. These can be:

1. Colleagues Dont Like You Anymore

Nobody would like boomerang employees, especially if you didn’t part ways on good terms.

boomerang employee is an employee who leaves a company they work for but then later returns to work for the company once again. It can even cause jealousy among colleagues.

You told your colleagues at your old job how you would succeed and progress while they will forever be at the same lousy job.

That didn’t happen.

There you are back again, with your tail between your legs. It was not wise to have this attitude that you are better than others.

Clearly, the attitude in the company towards you has changed, and you are not popular among your coworkers.

2. You Question Your Abilities

Going back to your old job was a massive blow to your confidence. Especially if you could have done better on the new one.

Now you’re wondering if that’s it? Is this the job you will do for the rest of your life even though it makes you depressed? Do you have the skills for more than that?

Even the comfort zone can become uncomfortable if you want something else for yourself.

3. You Realize You Were Wrong

Going back to your old job was definitely a wrong decision.

Some things have to stay in the past behind us, even if they were good at some moments in our lives.

The fact that you have yet to find something new that will be ideal for you does not mean returning to the old one is the right decision.

It’s the same as getting back to your ex. That’s rarely a good option.

Hey, are you a soccer fan? If you are, you surely know how Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United went. Definitely not as expected, even though he is one of the club’s legends, and in his first term at the club, he was the best in the world.

There is a time and a place for everything, and some things don’t work anymore, even though they were ideal in the past.

How to Prevent Regret in The Future Career Choices? 3 Major Tips

Various disappointments in your career can seriously affect your belief in yourself, your skills, and your ability to make the right decision.

Maybe you even fell into such a mood that you want to quit that job and do nothing.

Here are some tips that will help you in your current situation but also in the future when you are faced with similar decisions:

1. Don’t Make Rash Decisions

There is an opinion that it is not good to overthink too much and that it is better to decide in the moment.

However, having a plan and looking at the situation from multiple perspectives is much better than making hasty decisions, especially on significant issues.

Those wrong decisions can make you feel like you’ve made a huge mistake in your life.

Also, don’t make such decisions under pressure from others. Even though these are people closest to you who mean well and think they know what’s best for you.

It’s okay to consult with close people you trust, but the decision is yours. 

2. Reflect on Your Values ​​and Goals

Before you decide whether you will stay at your old job and make any career decision, it’s essential to take a step back and reflect on your values ​​and goals.

The questions you need to ask yourself are:

  • “What are my core values?”
  • “What are my career and life goals, and how do they fit together?”
  • “Where do I see myself if I stay at my old job for 5, 10, 20 years?”

These questions can be difficult, but they should serve as a guideline for future career decisions.

It’s crucial to be honest and genuine when reflecting on these questions, as it will help identify whether the decision is a good fit.

3. Invest in Improving Your Skills

You can never go wrong with further improving your skills.

Education doesn’t stop when you finish formal schooling and job training.

Learning is a lifelong process. Constant learning and improving one’s skills are necessary. This is especially pronounced today when business trends change overnight, old jobs become dated, and new ones emerge.

When you constantly improve your skills and invest in your knowledge, it will be much easier for you to make career decisions because you will be much more confident in yourself.

In Summary

What’s important is that you don’t stay at a job that makes you unhappy just because you failed at another.

Give yourself time to make the right decision, reevaluate where you see yourself in the future, and in the meantime, work on improving your skills. 

This is the best way to get the job of your dreams, which will eventually come if you apply these three tips. Good luck!

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