There are circumstances where people are looking for a new job because they HAD to leave their organisations due to reasons beyond their control, like needing to take long-term leaves due to death in the family or illness. In this article, we’ll cover different reasons for a job change and how you can explain these job change reasons.
The other reasons people leave their previous jobs include their dissatisfaction with the work or pay or the people. While this may be a rational reason, you cannot go from one company to another badmouthing the other in the world of work.
Because as long as the reason for you leaving your previous organisation includes their shortcomings, it will be considered as bad-mouthing them. And quite frankly, no sane hiring manager wants to hire someone who could potentially do the same to them if things don’t work out.
As you see, answering “Why did you leave your last job?” can be tricky and nerve-racking, so much so that you babble on hampering your train of thoughts in the process.
So, what exactly is the right way to answer “Why did you leave your last job?”
Well, you have landed on the right page. In this blog, we will share the top reasons for job change and how to answer “Why did you leave your last job?”
Top 15 Reasons For Job Change
There are many reasons why people leave their jobs and here are the most common 15 job change reasons:
- They are looking for a higher salary.
- They simply don’t like the organisation.
- They are looking for better opportunities to use their skill sets.
- They are not getting promotions, so they are looking for career advancements elsewhere.
- They do not like the company culture/toxic workplace.
- They do not get along or agree with the management/bad management.
- The company is not giving them benefits or rewards.
- They have to relocate to another city/state/country.
- They are looking for work closer to home because too much money is spent travelling to and from work.
- They got fired.
- They got laid off.
- They don’t get along with their teammates or colleagues.
- They want to work for a specific company.
- They had to take some time off because of death or illness in the family.
- They are looking for a proper work-life balance with much less work pressure.
The reasons mentioned above for a job change can be used in your interview when the interviewer asks you, “Why did you leave your last job?”
You should be very cautious when you answer the question, “Why did you leave your last job?”
Here is a list of some of the bad reasons to give for a job change. You should avoid saying these reasons at all costs:
- I got fired because I was…………….
- The work pressure was too much.
- My boss/supervisor and I don’t see eye to eye or don’t get along.
- The pay was not good enough.
- The job was boring/tedious.
- I didn’t fit in or like the company culture.
- I had to work overtime way too often.
Ensure that you do not, by any means, badmouth your ex-employer or company.
Different Reasons For Job Change And How To Explain Them
Looking for a new job is neither fun nor exciting. Yet, many of us have to go through them because we are looking for a job change.
Here are different reasons why people quit their jobs to look for a different and better one.
1. They are looking for a higher salary.
Let’s be honest, money is why we work. And if the pay is not good enough for the amount of work you do, wouldn’t you rather look for a better paying job elsewhere? Low income or salary is one of the primary reasons for job change.
Example: “My expenditure has increased recently due to a family member’s health issues, and to support her, I need better pay to take care of the hospital bills and other expenses. So, I opted for a job change in an MNC.”
2. They simply don’t like the organisation.
One of the common reasons for job change is when you don’t like or agree with the mission or vision of the company, or you want to shift to a different sector. So, the best way to find a job you love is to look for employment elsewhere.
Example: “I’ve always wanted to do something meaningful in my life and help people, which is why I decided to work for NGOs, particularly yours, as I love and agree with your mission.”
3. They are looking for better opportunities to use their skill sets.
Sometimes, due to desperation, one of the crucial reasons for job change is that we tend to take up jobs where our interests don’t lie, so we cannot use and enhance our skills.
Example: ‘I worked for a corporate for three years, and while it was one of the best jobs a person could ask for, I need to be in a place where I am challenged as I want to develop my skills in the widest range possible, which is why I thought working for an agency, where there are a lot of clients from various sectors, would be the best fit for me.”
4. When they are not getting promoted and need career advancement.
One of the general reasons for job change is when some people get stuck in the same job for years without getting promoted. This can be frustrating and a significant obstacle in one’s career advancement. If you are not moving forward, it’s better to board another ship.
Example: “As a career-driven person, I am looking for a place where I will be able to grow professionally and personally and climb the ladder of success.”
5. They do not like the company culture/ toxic workplace.
A toxic workplace is one reason many people choose to leave their jobs and look for a different one. Examples of a toxic workplace include your work or input not being valued, unfair policies, being bullied by colleagues or supervisors, too much work pressure to the point that your physical and mental health suffers, etc. This is one of the most essential reasons for job change.
Example: “As a success-driven professional, I am looking for a change of scenario where I will be able to grow professionally under the right leadership and climb the ladder of success.”
6. They do not get along or agree with the management/ bad management.
One of the most common reasons for job change is when management can be so bad that conflicts often arise between managers and employees in some workplaces. And when this occurs, it decreases the employee’s chances of getting appraisals or promotions. Some examples of bad management include overworking employees, setting unrealistic deadlines, not giving credit to the concerned person when they are due, micromanaging, etc.
Example: “I believe in teamwork and that a team functions best under good leadership. So, I am looking for a job where I will be able to develop my skills and grow professionally under the right leader.”
7. The company is not giving them benefits or rewards.
Many private-sector employees don’t receive benefits and perks such as retirement plans, rent or travel allowance, paid vacation, performance bonus, etc. And along your career path, as time goes by, these benefits and perks become essential, hence making it one of the common reasons for job change, making many people quit their jobs to look for places where they will be able to enjoy and avail such benefits.
Example: “I am looking for a job where I will be able to avail perks and benefits such as travel allowance and retirement plans, which your company offers, for my personal and professional advancements.”
8. They have to relocate to another city/ state/ country.
Unless they are granted permission to work remotely, people look for new jobs closer to their homes when they relocate to a new city/state/country. This is one of the most popular reasons for job change.
Example: “I just moved from ABC to XYZ. So, I am looking for something closer to home.”
9. When they have to travel extra for your office location
Many companies don’t give their employees travel allowance, and for those commuting a long distance to and from work, too much of their hard-earned money goes to travelling. In order to save money, they tend to look for jobs closer to their homes or localities, making it one of the common reasons for job change.
Example: “I am a career-driven person, and since I spent too much time commuting to and from work, I decided that finding a job closer to home would give me more time to focus on my work rather than wasting them travelling long distances.”
10. They got fired.
This has to be one of the most important reasons for job change. Thousands of employees get fired each year in India for various reasons such as poor work performance, misconduct, company policy violations, theft/ property damage, insubordination, giving false information on company records, among many others. Getting a job again in a good company after being fired can be difficult for many people.
Example: “Although I tried my best, the position I previously held needed a much-experienced person. I have learned since then and utilise my free time to enhance my skills. I am now looking for a job that would match the level of my skill sets, which I believe align well with this position.”
11. They got laid off.
Sometimes, through no fault of their own, employees are let go. This can be due to many reasons. For instance, it could be because the company decided to cut back on costs, or it was bought out or merged with another company, or the employers want to eliminate particular positions to make changes, etc. Due to the ongoing pandemic, being laid off is perhaps one of the most popular reasons for job change.
Example: “Due to the pandemic, my previous company had to take cost-cutting measures, which included laying off employees. Unfortunately, I was one of them. After I was let go, I had to take a break for my and my family’s safety, but now that the majority of us have been vaccinated and as the world resumes again, I am looking to get back to the world of work.”
12. They don’t get along with their teammates or colleagues.
In a workplace where people have to see each other every weekday for 8-9 hours, disputes and fights are highly likely to happen. Sometimes, it can get so bad that people would rather leave their jobs to work more productively and happily than work with the person they clash with. This is also one of the very common reasons for job change.
Example: “The ideas and thoughts shared between our team were not on the same page/level so, I decided to take a different route to work more productively for the growth of my career.”
13. They want to work for a specific company.
For instance, many people want to work for a particular brand – or be associated with that brand, like Google or Nike. This is considered as one of the important reasons for job change. So, they leave their last job to be able to apply for the one they really want.
Example: “To be completely honest, I have always been a big fan of your brand and products. So, after getting more experience and developing my skills, I thought it would be a good time to follow my dream of working here, and as luck would have it, this position just opened up.”
14. They had to take some time off because of death or illness in the family.
Sometimes employees have to quit their jobs because their employers cannot grant them the long-term leaves they have requested due to death or illness in the family. They need so much time because they would have to be the new head or caretaker of the family. The leave can last from a month to even years. This is considered as one of the serious reasons for job change.
Example 1: “My father passed away two years back. I needed time to mourn and take care of my family business. Now that my brother is old enough to take over for me, I can finally focus on doing what I love and know best again.”
Example 2: “My father was bed-ridden sick for two years. I needed time to take care of my family business. Now that he has fully recovered, I can finally focus on doing what I love and know best again.”
15. They are looking for a proper work-life balance.
Too much work pressure can affect your physical and mental health, making it one of the most sought-after reasons for job change. It can also put a dent in your relationship with your family members and loved ones. To avoid these, one must keep a healthy work-life balance. And when employers overwork and pressure their employees too much, the best solution is to find a different job where they will be able to enjoy a healthy work-life balance.
Example: “‘I have been working in a startup where I had to support almost everyone on all fronts. I am looking for a job in a corporation where I will be able to focus more on my field, which will allow me to develop my skills and eventually empower me as an expert in said field while enjoying a healthy work-life balance.”
How To Explain Why You Are Looking For A Job Change
When you are looking for a new job, you will have to face the interviewers and answer many questions.
One of the most challenging questions to answer in an interview is “Why did you leave your last job?”. You see, people leave their jobs for various reasons, and you definitely did not just leave a job that you love or enjoy so much. There must be a reason for your job change, right?
As we have mentioned earlier, you cannot go from one company to another, badmouthing the other in the world of work.
You should know that this question can be phrased in different ways:
“Why were you fired?”
“Why are you looking for a new job?”
“Why did you quit your job?”
“Why are you looking for a job change?”
You may think, “If I give an honest answer and tell them the truth about my last company, they might be more understanding.” Well, you’d be wrong. This is no innocent question. If anything, how you understand it determines your chance of moving on to the next round. So, how do you explain your reason for leaving?
Well, all you have to do is follow the tips below:
- Be honest and positive when you answer because chances are the hiring manager will contact your ex-employer.
- Keep it short and stick to the point. The more you give, the more the chances of the interviewer dissecting your answer with follow up questions, which could lead to you stammering and trying too much to justify your answer.
- Whatever your answer may be, ensure that it is delivered positively. Do not badmouth your ex-employer, colleagues, workload, overtime, company culture, etc.
- Remember to practice your answer before the interview. Just think that all interviewers will ask you this question and practice your answer as many times as possible. This will help you gain confidence as well.
Why Interviewers Ask, “Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”
Here are the reasons why interviewers ask the question, “Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”
- First of all, they want to know whether you left your job because you were fired, let go or left voluntarily.
- If you did leave voluntarily, they want to know the reason to see whether it was valid and rational. You see, if your reason is not good enough, it could mean that you are impulsive or not professional enough to work long term.
- If you left involuntarily, they want to see whether it was due to your underperformance or disciplinary action or the company’s cost-cutting, merger, or other reasons.
- They want to know whether you left your previous organisation on good terms or not. You see, if you still have a good or cordial relationship with your last employer, it means that you are a good and professional employee.
It can be challenging to explain the reason for your job change, and as “Why did you leave your last job?” is one of the trickiest questions to answer during an interview, choose the correct answer, practice it enough and say it with confidence and conviction.
We hope this article helps you ace your upcoming interview.
We will leave you here with our best wishes.