Your Past DOES Matter, So Always Be the Best Version of Yourself

If someone interacts with you and has a positive experience, they are likely to speak positively of you to others, as well.

I recently moved back to my hometown and was lucky enough to be hired back by my previous employer. Mind you, the last time I had worked at this establishment was about seven years ago. It helped that the individuals who were hiring me, and who would become my immediate supervisors, were two people I had known for a long time. Of course, this was not the reason they hired me back, but as most HR professionals know, there can be biases you just cannot ignore simply because they are subconscious. Originally, after I was hired back, I was required to start at the bottom of the ladder again. This meant I would have to re-apply for an internal posting to gain my last known position back again. It was not the greatest outcome, but knowing how great a workplace it was, I took the position regardless.

A few days later, I received an e-mail from one of my supervisors that included a posting for a higher position. Essentially, gaining this position would mean I would be “second in command,” so to speak. In other words, I would get a higher position than the one I had just before leaving. This simple gesture meant my supervisor recognized the work I previously did for the establishment and found the quality of work I did to be memorable. This also meant the work I did and the skills I displayed were ones that were required to be a successful candidate for this position. In any case, I applied for the position, and was the successful candidate. Little did I know that the work I did previously and the positivity I displayed previously would have another positive effect when I officially started.

Since I had been away for so long, coming back to my previous workplace was an interesting experience. The infrastructure was the same. Some of the employees in different departments were the same, but the immediate staff I would be working with was definitely not the same. So, in that respect, I felt the same anxiety one would feel when starting a brand new job. The other worry I had was the staff’s perception of me since there were internal applicants for the position I recently had received. In addition, I have had previous experiences where current staff felt a bit resentful of me because I was new to the organization and I, all of a sudden, was their supervisor. Luckily, I avoided this with the current staff—again, because of the positive reputation I had before the left the organization previously.

The current staff does have a few members with whom I overlapped employment. So they were already used to my personality, working style, and leadership style. I believe this essentially worked the same way a customer referral does. If someone interacts with you and has a positive experience, they are likely to speak positively of you to others, as well. I can’t be certain that this has happened, but my perception is that it has based on the conversations I have already had with some of the current staff members. They ask me about how I would go about dealing with a difficult customer service situation or ask my advice on how to gain more confidence in a certain area of work. In addition, my supervisors had made it known that I had previously worked at this establishment, which increased my credibility, as well.

Thanks to being mindful about how I displayed myself previously, the transition period I currently am going through is a lot easier and will allow me to progress at a faster rate in terms of learning the staff and creating a healthy working environment.

Joy Marlinga is the Operations coordinator for Oculus Training, a British Columbia-based corporate training and mystery shopping company offering sales management, reservations, sensitivity, and customer service training programs for a variety of service-based industries throughout Canada, the U.S., and the world. For more information, call 888.OCULUS4 or visit You also can connect with Oculus on Twitter @oculustraining, via e-mail at or visit it on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.



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