If you were living under a rock, then you might have missed the news that Lebron James made the decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Earlier this month, James announced that he had re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he played with from 2003 to 2010 until leaving to join the Miami Heat. By doing so, James became part of a growing group of workers that experts are referring to as “boomerang employees.” Boomerang employees are workers who ultimately decide to return to former companies after resigning and leaving for sometime.
Although rebounding to a former employer used to be exceedingly rare, nowadays it is becoming increasingly common. Today’s generation of employees bounce from job to job more often, meaning that leaving a company is no longer an act of betrayal. In today’s job market, employers are more willing to welcome former employees back with open arms.
The New York Times reports that experts are finding that the employee move can be a win-win for both the worker and the employer. Companies are saving on recruiting costs and are able to label the hire as less risky, while returning workers have the advantage of already knowing the company culture.
When does boomeranging back to an old job makes the most sense? One recent report on these employees, “Gone Today but Here Tomorrow,” studied an accounting firm where 20% of hires were returning workers. The study concluded that those who had left to pursue a clear path, such as grad school or to achieve a big career goal, were the most likely to eventually return to their former employer. In other words, people aren’t returning back to toxic work places or because they were underpaid. Additionally, a similar study found that the returnees who found the most success were those who didn’t stay away from the company for too long, and had originally resigned on good terms.
If you are interested in one day returning to a company, career expects suggest that you should always leave a job respectfully and never burn bridges when switching jobs. Although you may not be a 6-foot-8-inch NBA superstar, you can still maintain positive relationships and one day join the ranks of workers, James included, known as Boomerang employees.