Maybe you can’t go back to your former employer. If this is a perfect time to start your own company because you lost your job after angering or alienating everyone you ever worked with, perhaps you should consider a profession that does not require interaction with human beings. Perhaps muskrat keeper at your local zoo. If that’s not the case, however, you may still have a good chance of landing customers as a result of your former employment. In fact, you may actually have multiple chances.
Let’s say that Phil was laid off from his marketing job at Dweebco, International. He had been part of a six-person marketing team that was scattered to the wind when financial setbacks forced Dweebco to eliminate its marketing department. While his team members took jobs with other corporations, Phil decided the time was right to start his own marketing consulting firm. The first prospect on Phil’s list was Dweebco. Even though they couldn’t afford to pay a full-time marketing staff, they might still need marketing help. In fact, Phil suspected, they probably needed it more than ever. Dweedco would get the service they need without paying benefits and everything else to a full-time employee. Phil would get to charge a higher rate than his old salary
Suppose, however, that things at Dweebco had gotten so bad after Phil left that the company went out of business. Phil still had five ready-made prospects: his former colleagues. Their new employers were in a much better position to use Phil’s services. They were in a hiring mode, which meant Phil was in the right place at the right time to help meet additional demand. Phil contacted his former colleagues who then recommended him to their new employers, as well as other companies that had a connection to.
When you work for someone else, you are essentially a one-person company existing to serve your employer. If that company hired you once, they should want to hire you again--as an outside vendor--if the you left on good terms.