People and Culture

Meet some of Zühlke’s boomerang employees: why did they return?

Labiba, Roman and Christian have something in common: they are ‘boomerang employees.’ All three returned to work for Zühlke after leaving. These are their stories. 

5 minutes to read

Few things in life turn out exactly as expected. That’s just as true in our professional lives — where moving to a new role at another company often sees the permanent closing of a previous chapter. For Labiba, Roman and Christian, however, that wasn’t the case. Each has their own unique story. But they share something, too: they are ‘boomerang employees.’ All three returned to work for Zühlke after leaving. These are their stories. 

Roman built solid foundations

Roman Scheidegger found Zühlke was an invigorating change of pace from his earlier career.

“The level of professionalism I discovered here was a different world to previous software engineering roles,” Roman says. “The company’s philosophy for challenging how things should be done, its immense support network and the switch to a singular customer focus really excited and benefited me.”

But one day, he received an opportunity he couldn’t ignore. 

“I was always very ambitious. And I left Zühlke to pursue a chance to further those ambitions with an executive-level role elsewhere.” 

Little did he know what fate had in store for him. 

Labiba swapped Zurich for Medellin

Labiba Khawaja spent four years as a Project Support Assistant between 2018 and 2022. At the time she was also studying part-time for a Bachelors in International Management and found that the range of projects, new skills and supportive camaraderie at Zühlke were hugely complementary to her degree.

“My time at Zühlke flew by,” Labiba explains. “My job was to help things run smoothly in the background — overseeing administration for different products, entering data and so on.” 

Then things changed. Obligated to study abroad for two semesters, Labiba swapped Zurich for academic life in Medellin, Colombia. Life at Zühlke — seemingly — was over.

Christian took the next step in his career

Dr. Christian Straube, Global Key Account Manager, grins when recollecting his early days at Zühlke.

“A fellow PhD colleague already had a job here and recommended it as a great place to build a career – in fact, he’s still here to this day! I remember that Zühlke stood out from other options for its look and feel, and its vision really resonated with me.”

After joining, Christian took on increasing responsibilities over six years – moving from Project Manager to Business Solution Manager to Senior Business Solution Manager.

“I had found my niche with Zühlke’s work in the FSI industry. Every day was different. And despite the company’s quick growth in that time, the roles never lost their sense of fun.  

But when an opportunity with another company came along, Christian moved on from Zühlke to take the next step in his career. What he didn’t know was that it wouldn't be long before he stepped back towards Zühlke.

How Roman, Labiba and Christian returned to Zühlke

Roman, Labiba and Christrian experienced something a lot of Zühlke leavers do – a fresh perspective on working at the company, and a desire to return. 

For Roman, that perspective arrived when he hit a bump in the road.

“Somewhere in that first year at my new gig came a realization…’you’re in the wrong place, you didn’t find what you wanted.’ But it was a tough feeling! I thought ‘I can’t leave after just one year,’ you just don’t do that, right?”

He took time off to reflect and consulted a headhunter. One feeling he couldn’t shake off was how positively his line manager at Zühlke had taken his initial decision to leave.

“I remember it distinctly. They said ‘I understand why you’re going — but if it doesn’t work out, give me a call.’ 

Something clicked.

“It was like quitting with a partner only to realize you want to give it another go. It took me a lot of thinking and then I thought, okay — I’ll give them a call. What is there to lose? When they picked up the call, they reacted so positively. They were just really happy, and things moved quickly after that.” 

Within 13 months, Roman had rejoined Zühlke, this time as a Lead Architect & Team Lead. Four years later, he’s seeking a Principal Architect role, and working on an exciting, top secret project he wishes he could tell us about!  

What felt like a big deal at the time now feels like the obvious choice. “Everyone was so positive and welcoming. I also met people like me who’d returned to Zühlke after moving on – and it was comforting to know this was a relatively common dynamic.”

An unexpected text message

Labiba didn’t expect to follow up her Colombian adventure with another stint at Zühlke. But such is the nature of many boomerang employees.

“Spending a year in a different country made me want to come back and start as a new person,” she says. But when an ex-colleague messaged Labiba about a new role, that unexpected text message took her down a different path. 

“Honestly, I wasn’t planning on coming back. But Zühlke’s culture, the agile nature of how we operate, and the ability to sharpen new skills really appealed to me.” Now a working student in the CRM space, Labiba says she couldn’t be happier. 

Revisiting company values

Christian spent roughly 18 months at a competitor. After spending six years at Zühlke, it represented a different way of achieving the same goals. 

“Both firms’ approaches are completely valid,” he explains. “But after some time in the new place, I started to truly think about what I wanted from the company I worked for. What gives you purpose in life? What gives you energy?” 

For Christian, finding that answer meant revisiting both company’s values. 

“While thinking about a company’s values, it became clear to me that they’re not just words sprawled across intranet pages, but things that truly impact daily business. That’s also true for Zühlke, where you can see they have a real, living impact. With the right technology and innovation, you can do work that feels like it matters. The more I thought about this, the more I wanted to go back.”

Roughly 18 months after rejoining, and now Head Value Proposition Insurance and Global Key Account Manager, Christian has no regrets.

“Coming back felt like coming home,” he says. 

Is Christian 1.0 different from the one we’re speaking with today? 

 “My duties of leadership, communication skills and so on may have improved  but I still have the same passion for the company as I did when I joined all those years ago — and I know I’m not the only one in my position to feel like that.”

Employees in this article

  • Picture of Labiba Khawaja

    Labiba Khawaja

    Working student CRM


    At the moment Labiba is studying International Management. Whether it's learning negotiation skills, or fostering cross-cultural connections, I thrive in the dynamic of this field. Working at Zuehlke while studying provides me with real-world insights and practical skills that can be useful after graduation. When not studying or working, you can find me on a yoga mat, at a pilates class or enjoying time with my friends and family.

  • Scheidegger-Roman

    Roman Scheidegger

    Lead Architect


    Having worked primarily as a software engineer, I have a strong background in the realm of C#, ASP.NET, TypeScript, and Angular. However, I am also happily navigating the Linux realm and have no issue writing a Python script or developing Ansible roles. As I had the chance to work as Quality Manager, Technical Project Manager, and System Engineers as well, I understand the different roles that need to work together to make up a winning team. Furthermore having worked in different Off-Shoring and Near-Sharing setups, I collected much experience of what is necessary for a distributed team to succeed.

  • portrait photo Christian Straube, Head Value Proposition Insurance & Global Key Account Manager at Zühlke

    Dr. Christian Straube

    Head Value Proposition Insurance & Global Key Account Manager


    Dr. Christian Straube is Head Value Proposition Insurance and Global Key Account Manager. He joined Zühlke as an Advanced Software Engineer in 2014 and has since then specialised in the insurance sector through his experience in both technical and executive roles. Due to his background, he excels with strong leadership and communication skills.