S: Our current vignette talks about boomerangers, people who return to a former place of employment after being away for a while. Have you ever done that, Heather?

H: Not really. Collins says that no one expects to get a job and stay there for 40 years until retirement these days. But I'm already more than half way to that point. I joined my current company about 23 years ago and I've been there ever since.
I have worked in different departments, you know, then after a while been called back to the original section that I joined in 1994. That's where I work today, in that original section. But that's about as close as I come. I do have a friend here in Tokyo who boomeranged, however.

S: What was involved in that person's case?

H: Well, he worked at a certain firm for a while and then quit to do some freelance work. A few years later, the firm was in financial trouble and they asked him to come back as a consultant to help them restructure their business. Obviously his experience was a big draw for them. He was very familiar with the organization and most of the staff. So he could hit the ground running as soon as he returned.


S: Was financial compensation the biggest reason he went back?

H: That was part of it. He got a higher salary and a much more senior position than he had before but he was also fired up by the challenge of restructuring things. He'd had a number of ideas while he was there previously and it was the perfect opportunity to put them into practice.
Getting the higher position wasn't an unmixed blessing, however.

S: What do you mean?


H: Well, he was now superior to a number of people he'd been equal to or below when he worked there before. Some employees resented that. And some just didn't like the fact that changes were underway. So he did encounter a bit of hostility.


S: Well, sometimes changes have to be made. The vignette also talks about millenials being especially prone to job hopping. Have you ever seen evidence of that?

H: I have. I can't speak for all of millenials of course. But I have known a number who moved around with that kind of frequency mentioned in the vignette. In fact I knew one woman who changed jobs even more often, about every eight or nine month. She got restless very quickly. She's a very smart young woman. And always seemed to be moving into jobs with a better salary and nicer perks but it didn't seem like the wisest course to me. Eventually I thought she was going to get a reputation as a bad investment. If I was hiring for my company, I certainly wouldn't spend time and money training someone who would vanish in less than a year.

S: So what's your opinion on boomeranging in general?

H: Seems fine to me. On the contrary it's the no return policies that strike me as odd. Almost a bit vindictive. The decision to go elsewhere is generally not personal, I'd say. The person in question is just looking out for their own best interests, like the company does for itself.

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