Some of our long-time readers know that I was laid off by a company called Centercode a few years ago. At the time, the company needed to make some short-term cutbacks in order be financially viable in the long-term. Though it sucked at the time, especially for me, I completely understood and wished them all the success in the world. Before I left, my boss did two things that stayed with me: he wrote me an amazing letter of recommendation, and he told me that he would hire me back as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
A few days after being laid off, I gave my resume to a friend who worked as a contractor on the Air Force base near our home. Nearly a year later, his company called me for an interview and hired me on the spot. This was actually somewhat of a dream come true; I was working on the base, which I’d always wanted to do, and I was fixing computers which is something that I love doing.
About six months after I started working on the base, the dream became a nightmare as the company I was contracted with lost their contract and ultimately their presence on the base. Thankfully, I was hired by the new company so I didn’t have to go through the unemployment process again, but things went downhill faster that I could have ever imagined. Those who know me know the stories so I won’t rehash them here, but things were pretty bad. Employee morale was horrible and, like rats on a sinking ship, everyone was looking for an escape.
Sometime during the spring I started planning my escape. I didn’t really care about the details, I only cared that I would be able to support my family. There were a lot of jobs out there, but they were all low-paying positions that I would have jumped on five or six years ago but with a college degree, multiple certifications, and years of experience behind me, I was way over qualified. I also wasn’t willing to take a 50-60% pay cut so I decided to tough it out in my current situation with the hope that something better would eventually come along.
Towards the end of June, I applied for an IT position at a local hospital. Taking the job would mean a bit of a pay cut, but it would have also provided me with a lot of potential for growth as well as the stability that I had been lacking as an Air Force contractor. Within days I was called for an interview and felt very positive about how I performed. I was caught a bit off guard by some unexpected events during the interview, but felt like I recovered nicely and made a good impression on the interviewers. The last thing I did before I left was give them a copy of the recommendation letter that my boss at Centercode had written for me with the hope that it would sway things in my favor.
As I was driving home, my phone rang. I looked and saw on the caller ID that it was my old boss from Centercode. Given where I was coming from, and what I had just done, I assumed that he was calling to let me know that the hospital had contacted him to see if the letter of recommendation was real, and whether or not I’d be a good person to hire. I was so wrong…
After a few moments of small talk, I was told that the company wanted me back but there was a catch. They didn’t want me to do my old job, instead they wanted me to be a project manager. I was told that I would basically be running beta tests for any number of companies which is something that they had started training me to do before I was laid off. Oddly enough, I had been speaking with Holly earlier in the day and told her that I was never happier in my professional career than when I worked at Centercode and how much I wanted to go back and work for them again. I told my old boss that I would love to come back and we then negotiated the terms of my triumphant return.
My first day back in the office felt like I had never been gone. Sure, a few things had changed, mostly people’s desk locations, including mine, but other than that, it was all basically the same. I’ve heard stories about people leaving a job only to return later. These stories never seem to have a happy ending. It seems that within a short period of time, one or both of the parties realize why they initially parted ways and the relationship deteriorates. Fortunately for me, I left Centercode because of a situation that neither of us were very happy with, and although it was not a mutual split, it was reluctant on their part.
I’m happy to say that I’ve been back at Centercode now for about two months and things are going great. I love my job and, even though it can get stressful at times, I plan on staying for a very, very long time. The entire experience of my leaving and returning has showed me that there are still people in this world who, when they say something, actually follow through. Thankfully, Centercode is full of those kind of people.
Who says you can’t go back?