Leaving a job can be daunting as you step away from the known into something new. However, it can also be exciting, empowering, and enriching.

Focusing on the positive aspects of this change is vital when asked that inevitable question as you interview for your next role: “Why did you leave your last job?”

Your response can help your potential new employer to better understand what you want out of a job, what they can expect from your workplace attitudes, and what you simply cannot abide by a company. This is why honesty and positivity are so important when answering this question.

Here are 17 valid reasons as to why you might have left your previous position.

1. You found no enjoyment in your role

Every job has its ups and downs, but if you’re failing to find any ‘ups’ at all, it may be time to move on to a role where you can walk away with fulfillment and satisfaction at the end of the day.

2. A promotion is not on the cards

The potential for being promoted into a more desirable or beneficial position is often a real motivation for many workers. However, if you have been working hard throughout your time at your current company and there is no option for promotion, you may look to other companies where this reward and room for growth is a possibility.

3. Family comes first

There can often be times in a person’s life when their family simply must come first. Whether that’s caring for an unwell loved one or leaving to spend time with the kids, looking after your family commitments is a valid reason to go.

4. You have reached the salary ceiling at your company

If you have spoken to your employer and already learned that there is no room for a salary raise, it is understandable that you may look elsewhere to improve your income.

5. Your manager has left the team

Whether they have been promoted to a new role in the company or left altogether, the loss of a great boss can create change within the team dynamic. You might see this as a sign that it’s your time to find a new company as well, or perhaps you are concerned about the new management that is stepping in to fill the role.

6. You or the workplace has moved locations

Moving locations is often necessary, and if it makes it too much hassle to commute to and from the workplace each day, you may wish to find something closer to home.

7. You are overqualified for the role

If you accepted the role knowing that you were overqualified for the work, it may not be long before you search for something more suitable that challenges you and helps you learn new skills.

8. You have created new goals

Who says you can’t retrain for a new career at 35? Or go travelling around the world at 45? If you have set new challenges or goals for yourself and need to leave your job to pursue them, this is a valid reason for moving on.

9. The role is not what it was promised to be

You may have been promised projects in your area of interest and ended up with entry-level menial work, or perhaps the company assured a healthy work-life balance in the interview and you’ve ended up spending all your free time at the office. Whatever the case may be, if the discrepancy between what you expected and what was delivered is too high, you have a valid reason to look elsewhere.

10. A new job offers a better deal

Benefits, a higher salary, a more senior role, more opportunities for further training – there are numerous ways in which a new job can offer a better deal than your past one.

11. Your job has overtaken your private life

It can be easy to slowly slip into the habit of cancelling after-work plans in order to stay late and finish up that project, or to stay in over the weekend and catch up on emails rather than spend time with friends and family. If this is the case, you may need to search for a role with more balance between your work life and private life.

12. You seek the stability of a traditional job

Contract and freelance work certainly offer multiple perks, but stability is not usually one of them. If you have been working from home or as a contractor/freelancer, the appeal of a stable role with a fixed income and hours is a valid reason to apply for a new company.

13. You are completely burnt out

High-stress jobs can leave employees feeling burnt out. You may even notice that your company has issues retaining staff for longer than a year or two. If you reach this point and have worked on ways to bring back your enthusiasm for the job to no avail, you may be better off starting afresh somewhere new.

14. You left your last position to create a business

Starting your own company takes determination, hard work, and business know-how. Whether you are now looking for a new job because you have sold the company or couldn’t get it off the ground, your interviewer will recognise the positive traits it takes to try.

15. Your company is undergoing a restructure

When a company restructures, it often means layoffs, and always means change. You may wish to leave before this time of upheaval begins and ensure the security of a new position.

16. Your last company fired you

It can be an uncomfortable conversation to have with an interviewer, but honesty and positivity are key. Explain the mistake you made, how you plan to move forward and avoid similar issues in future, and that you don’t hold any resentment to your past company for the incident. This will show that you have learned from the event and are prepared to move on in a mature and confident manner.

17. The time simply feels right

You may have been with the company for a while now, and it simply feels like the time to go. If your gut tells you that there may be new opportunities worth exploring, you have every reason to see what’s available.

 Ready to move on to a new role? Speak to one of our consultants today.

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