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Meet Varaporn - Our 'Boomerang' employee
Varaporn, from our team in Thailand, recently re-joined our company. She shares with us her experience of joining back a firm, and some tips from her experience.
“"It was clear to me that the warmth and personality of the company remained unchanged despite the growth plans."”
Thursday, December 02, 2021
“I am a “boomerang” employee. I am sure many of you are wondering what that means – I am one of those few employees who left Mondelēz International, only to rejoin it at a later date and then grow from strength to strength. In today’s networked, relationship-driven world, I see many more examples of “boomerang employees” like me. I thought it would be useful to share a few tips and insights from my experience to help others who may be debating whether it’s a good idea or not to return to a company you left. Many professionals hesitate to do so and thus let potential opportunities pass by.
How can you reopen old doors? How can you establish your credibility? How do you decide whether to rejoin or not?
1. Make sure you are rejoining for the right reasons
Ask yourself about the culture and growth prospects of the company. Think deeply about this before you rejoin.
In my case, I started my career in Mondelēz International as a Sr. Key Accounts Executive, with no experience in Sales FMCG before. Amazingly, this company gave me a great opportunity to start my career engine and helped me take off perfectly. I had learnt a lot, not only from the Thailand market where I worked, but also best practices and success from other countries. Mondelēz International helped me grow personally and has been a foundation for my career. I left to explore other opportunities but when I received the opportunity to come back “home” to Mondelēz International in a new role, I instantly knew it was the right decision. The culture and growth prospects of the company, as well as the ambitious growth plans and renewed purpose made it a no-brainer for me to come back.
2. Catch-up with ex-colleagues and get to know what has changed, and what stays the same before you sign the dotted line
I had a lot of colleagues who were great friends whom I valued and trusted. Before I confirmed my decision, I reached out to them to test the waters and asked them for a candid feedback on what has changed and what stayed the same. It was clear to me that the warmth and personality of the company remained unchanged despite the growth plans, and if anything, it has only become more collaborative and more entrepreneurial. The “work hard, play hard” culture that I loved remained intact. The learning and growth opportunities, as well as high work quality that consistently pushes you to grow outside your comfort zone were also important decision drivers for me, based on the feedback from my friends.
3. Balance “head” and “heart”
While I had done my research, I also deeply trusted my intuition on my decision to return to Mondelēz International. The day I got the offer to return, I remember thinking about my favorite brand Oreo and reminisced on the fun I had selling this product. The super-strong consumer brands and the sense of pride and belonging made me decide to come back home to work. I instantly had a good “feeling” about the offer. I believe it is important to balance facts and research, with intuition when taking a decision of this nature.
4. Get onboarded quickly and set yourself up for success
As a boomerang employee, there will inevitably be higher expectations on you since you are expected to know the company’s culture and ways of working. Engage in early onboarding conversations and get to know the new lay of the land. Reset your expectations – try to start on a fresh slate in your new role. Build a clear success plan for your first 90 days and align this with your manager.
5. Reframe yourself with your newly gathered skills and experiences
When I returned, I had gained more experiences and skills when compared to the time I had initially moved on. It was important for me to reset how I was perceived by colleagues in the light of the new knowledge and experiences I had gathered, as well as the new position I was coming back to. I made sure that I built my credibility leveraging the new skillsets I had built. I also made sure I was clear on my manager’s expectations in the new role and context.
In summary, never say never! I never imagined that I would work in any of my previous organizations but I absolutely know I made the right decision in coming back to Mondelēz International, a company I always loved and always will.”