Why you want to leave your current job: 5 great tips

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We’ve all been asked this question in an interview. Hiring teams make it a priority to dive deeper into this question because it gives them so many interesting insights into you as a candidate, your temperament, perspective, motivations, and also why you may eventually leave their organization.

So what should you say? In this article we list a few key pointers for thinking and talking about your reasons for leaving.

  1. Keep your reasons professional and career-focused as much as you can. Talk in specifics about your current work, scope, learning curve, and how they don’t support your long-term career growth. Never just boil it down to ‘career advancement opportunity’ as that phrase has been used so often as to mean nothing in particular.

Once again, be incredibly specific to add credibility to your reasons for looking out.

  1. Steer clear of the personal as they relate to your current boss, colleagues, or any other stakeholder at work. Even if that’s the truth. No future employer likes a teammate that badmouths or comes across as lacking the skills to navigate complex relationship dynamics at work.

Complex relationship dynamics are everywhere after all.

Value

  1. We also like reasons such as a business downturn, downsizing, or potential job security concerns. Basically company-wide changes and events that have little to do with you and that gives you every reason to be shopping around for another opportunity. Do prepare to explain however, why you think your job is at risk of being made redundant, or you aren’t waiting out for a retrenchment package before exploring options elsewhere.
  2. Should you bring up money as part of this topic of discussion? Our best answer is that yes, you can be realistic about why a better package makes your happier. But always only talk about it as a second or third reason. Never as first or sole reason, even if that’s the truth.

Companies want employees who are interested in solving big problems while growing in their careers. Money needs to appear as secondary or you make it easy for them to conclude that you can be lured with a better salary in the near future.

  1. This is the part where we hope you’ve done your homework about the company! Always supplement your answers with why you are interested in this company and role for which you applied. Candidates sometimes wax lyrical about why they want to leave, but neglect to give prospective employers useful insight into why they are keen on this new role.

Is it the larger scope of work, a chance to manage a team, or a closer commute, a smaller set-up, that you’re excited about with this new opportunity? Now’s your best chance to say it.

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