What would you do if you were asked to reapply for your own job? You’d think it quite a peculiar request, right? I mean, how can you apply for a job you already have? Well, as some of you may have experienced unfortunately, your company is, under certain circumstances, able to put staff jobs back on the internal job market and have employees reapply for their own jobs. Why would they do this? It’s usually done as part of a redundancy or merging/restructuring process, where they want to move the organization from one state to another.
Even though the bird’s-eye view justification for this may be sound, the realities of the process of reapplying for one’s own job can be gut wrenching and soul destroying, especially for those who have been in jobs for many years.
So, what are the realistic steps that an employee in this situation can take to navigate and climb out of this job-seeking quagmire, back onto terra firma?
1. Resist negativity by consciously considering your options.
The first step is to resist negativity, and the simplest way to do this is to list all your options at this point. There may be many: reapply for your own job, reapply for a different job in the company to broaden your horizons, use any voluntary redundancy package on offer to start your own business, or start looking for a job elsewhere.
As you can see, there’s no time for negativity: you have so many options/alternative to consider. That being said, unless the company is doing poorly and/or you are really disengaged, there’s a good chance you’ll reapply for your own job.
2. Many new doors will be opening.
And if you do reapply, don’t make the mistake of assuming you will be rehired into your old role. Also don’t make the mistake of assuming others will be hired into their old role — which means that there could be an opportunity for you to apply for a promotion or a career/department shift if you believe you have the transferable skills. Many doors will be opening as well as closing during the reapplication process.
So, don’t assume that you’ll get your own job back or that you can’t seize another opportunity in the business. Apply for any role that you qualify for and enjoy, including, of course, your own. Don’t take anything for granted, and be as diligent and professional in applying as you would if you were an external applicant.
3. Networking and relationship building are crucial.
A reapplying-for-jobs scenario is a unique situation, as all the goal posts have been moved, and there is a much uncertainty. Be seen, be involved, network, market yourself, and strengthen relationships with colleagues, managers, and influencers. Remind people of your skills and contributions to ensure that you are perceived as a core part of the business.
4. Show that you are actively engaged in the business.
Talk about the future and your dreams, wishes, and objectives with the company so others visualize you as an integral part of the company’s future. Demonstrate engagement by volunteering for work and avoid showing disengagement, as this will be the fastest way out of the company. The employer will be want to rehire those who have remained engaged during the change process.
Finally, if you do find yourself in the unusual position of reapplying for your own job, you’ll need to cast aside negativity as quickly as possible and fully engage with the process if you are to maximize your chance of a positive outcome.