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If you haven’t heard of boomerang employees, you can probably guess what they are. A worker leaving an organization and returning at a future date is not as unusual as it once was. A study by Workplace Trends revealed that 76% of HR professionals are “more accepting of hiring boomerang employees today than in the past.”

If you are currently considering changing jobs, you aren’t likely plotting your eventual return. However, there are some good reasons to be thinking like a boomerang employee.

Well, you never know

First of all, there’s a possibility that the circumstances driving you away from a job could change entirely. Whether you are leaving for a better opportunity or escaping a bad situation, don’t burn bridges on your way out the door. Businesses change and sometimes change brings better opportunities long after you’ve left an organization.

The odds on favorite

At some point, your employer took a risk on you.  You did well in the interview. You had good references. But there’s always a little guesswork that goes into hiring someone. Now, however, you are a known quantity.  Your employer has an informed opinion of you, and if it’s positive and you apply to a position at a later date, you might have the edge as “a safe bet.”

The grass is greener

Change isn’t always for the best, and sometimes you just have to get the band back together. If you’re leaving to find more upward mobility or a higher salary, you probably aren’t interested in harboring feelings of doubt. But leaving on good terms might help keep the door open just in case.

The right thing to do

Finally, the steps to becoming a boomerang employee are really just common sense professional networking practices.  In “4 Steps to Becoming a Boomerang Employee,” Vicki Salemi talks about leaving on good terms, staying in touch, and various other ways to maintain good relationships with former employers and colleagues.  But you don’t have to be actively planning to boomerang back to your employer. Observing these professional courtesies will help you build a strong network, and that alone can make the difference in landing the right job.