Tricky: You Were Laid Off
People get laid off for a host of reasons. Here’s a short list: an economic downturn, downsizing, the company losing a key client or contract, restructuring, a merger or acquisition, etc. None of those reasons have to do with your performance or value as a professional, and hiring managers understand that. In fact, they may even be sympathetic, especially if they’ve had to let go of valuable team players in the past.
Your strategy should be to make the reason for your layoff clear. Emphasize your accomplishments and contributions to the company. Be truthful but skip anything that makes your look vengeful, unprofessional, dishonest, or unmotivated. Here’s an example to get you started:
Unfortunately, I was affected by the corporate restructuring that happened after Company A was acquired by Company B. The new leadership decided to relocate all the technical support staff to the new corporate headquarters in Charlotte, NC. Those who didn’t want to move were laid off. I considered my options and decided to look for a local opportunity that could take advantage of my 10 years of experience as a team lead and an expert in XYZ technology.
How To Explain Being Fired
What if youre leaving because you got fired? If this is the case, first, you must know exactly what you can and cant say per your arrangement with your former employer. Check with your HR department to see how the company will represent the situation and what policies it may have in place for disclosing any information; you cant violate those policies at all, or else you risk financial penalty.
Then, be honest but not to a fault. For example, instead of saying I was fired, you can use a softer phrase such as I was let go or the company and I decided to part ways. Then, make sure you have a brief explanation of what happened.
Consider saying something like the following in an interview:
- Unfortunately, I couldnt live and breathe the product line, and it made it difficult for me to translate the value to new customers. I now understand that wasnt the right fit for me, and what Im really interested in is XYZ.
- I did not have the right skill set to succeed in that kind of role, so now Im considering opportunities that would play better to my strengths such as XYZ.
Whatever the issue, you must be able to explain the problem, highlight what youve learned and assure the hiring manager that it wont happen again.
Desiring To Travel Full
Sample answer: I left my last job because this job is full-time, and thats something Im seeking in my career. While I had many discussions about turning my freelance career into a full-time opportunity, I didn’t find the right fit. That’s what led me to this opportunity and why I’m choosing to pursue this business.
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What Are Reasons For Leaving
When leaving your current position and moving on to a new position, your current and future boss will likely want to know the reasons for leaving your job. The current boss is interested in knowing the reason for quitting your job, while the future boss wants to know the reasons for leaving your previous employment and may use that to determine your suitabilityThe Analyst Trifecta® GuideThe ultimate guide on how to be a world-class financial analyst. Do you want to be a world-class financial analyst?; Are you looking to follow industry-leading best practices and stand out from the crowd? Our process, called The Analyst Trifecta® consists of analytics, presentation & soft skills for the future job.
Typically, job applicants may be required to list the reasons for leaving their job on job applications, or they will be asked to explain their reasons during face-to-face interviewsInterview Tips How to Interview WellThis guide will give you a list of the top 10 interview tips, based on decades of firsthand experience from the CFI team interviewing hundreds. Job applicants should figure out how to state their reasons for leaving their current or previous position before they begin their job search to ensure the reasons are consistent from reasons given the current employer to the reasons mentioned during job applications and interviews.
I Dont Like The Hours At My Job
If the hours and flexibility of your next job will play a significant role in your decision to accept an offer, this may be a good detail to share with your interviewer. However, the way you frame this response is crucial. You dont want to come across as someone who isnt willing to work hard. Instead, give an answer that positions you as a responsible and mature professional who knows how to manage your time well:
I know that I do my best work when I have a healthy balance between work and life. The commitments I make to my managers and colleagues mean a lot to me, and I plan my days around following through on those commitments efficiently. Its important to me to work for a company that values my ownership of my schedule and allows for flexibility when appropriate.
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Youre A Chronic Job Hopper
This can be due to extenuating circumstances, but often, a sequence of these incidents will suggest a pattern to a potential employereven if it was all legitimate. The best thing to do here is to acknowledge your array of short-term tenures and emphasize that this job is the one you have truly been looking for.
EXAMPLE: As displayed on my resume, I have only been employed in my current position for one year, but I feel like I have reached the limit of my opportunities for professional growth with ABC Company. As for my previous position, I left after three months because I was presented with the opportunity to gain some management experience with ABC Company in addition to the work I was doing.
This answer doesnt invite additional questions regarding the circumstances of your resignation and emphasizes your drive to land a position that offers you room to grow. But the truth is, the average person has a total of 12 jobs throughout their career. People dont work for just one company for their entire career like they once did. Employers have decreased their sense of loyalty due to the abundance of competitive job candidates, and layoffs are prevalent during times of recession.
What To Tell Your Current Boss If You Are Leaving
This can be one of the most uncomfortable situations that you could face in your career. I know that Ive had several tough talks with different superiors for a variety of reasons, but at the end of the day, the one thing that was common was that it needed to be done.
Unfortunately, sending an email or a text message isnt going to cut it, as you run the risk of being viewed as spineless or even worse, unprofessional.
So think of it like a band-aid rip it off all at once!
Walk into his or her office and ask for a moment of their time.
Close the door and sit down.
Look them in the eye confidently and
Let them have it!
Trust me, it always seems like it is going to be a lot worse than it is. ;If you remain calm and professional, 99 times out of 100 your boss will totally understand. ;In fact, the majority of the time they will have seen it coming already.
They are bosses for a reason, meaning they have a pretty good idea of how their subordinates are feeling.
Now there are certainly exceptions to this rule. ;Some bosses are jerks , and their reception isnt always going to be hugs and kisses like some of the nice bosses out there. ;They could yell and scream or say something derogatory about you
Dont sweat it.
All that should do is reaffirm your reasons for leaving. ;After all, do you really want to stick around in a position where you have to put up with that kind of behavior? ;Probably not.
So keep these tips in mind when you walk into the office:
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It’s Time To Frame Your Answer
This next part is critical: Avoid bad-mouthing your former employer or boss. Even if you feel that you were underpaid, overworked, or not given fair opportunities, you must stick to the facts and do your best to make your explanations positive. Every coin has two sides, and every professional has a hand in what happens to them. Own your part, frame it in a positive light, and shift the conversation towards your value.
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Be Clear On Your Version Of The Events
Process what happened and get honest with yourself. Why did you leave? Why did the layoffs affect you, not others on your team? Why were you fired? Your early answers will be raw and not ready for prime time. Still, take note of them because they carry the truth.
Next, think about what you’ve learned about yourself in the process. What’s most important about a position to you? What do you need in your next job? What did you like the most about your last job, and what did you dread? How would you describe your relationship with your co-workers and boss, and how would you want it to be different next time?
Your Last Job Did Not Turn Out As Advertised
Sometimes, organizations hire employees for a particular job responsibility, and sometimes down the line, the employee realizes that their job is entirely unrelated to the original job responsibilities.
Well, this is a good reason for leaving a job. Just make sure when you answer the question “Why do you want to leave your current job?”, do not say anything negative about your current employer; instead, come up with a positive answer such as:
“I’m redefining my career goals right now, and looking for opportunities in SaaS as a project marketing manager.”
“I’m looking for an opportunity in SaaS project management because it matches my interests, skills and also long term career goals.”.
Some organizations are not structured in a way that is suitable for growth. It might also be challenging to change departments. In that case, you may want to leave your current job and look for another one.
Here’s an example of an answer to the question, “why are you leaving your current job?”:
“I love working with xxx organization, but unfortunately, in my organization, there are no growth opportunities for my role. That is why I’m looking for an organization that can help me grow. Can you tell me briefly about the growth opportunities in your organization?”
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Get Our Why Did You Leave Your Last Job Cheat Sheet
BONUS PDF CHEAT SHEET:Download our “Why Did You Leave Your Last Job PDF Cheat Sheet” that gives you:
- 5 word-word-for-word answers;to this tough interview question;including the following scenarios:
- You didn’t enjoy the work
- You needed a change
Lets Get the Heck Out Of Dodge!
Jobs end for a whole multitude of reasons.;; If youre a freelancer, it could be youve completed the task you were hired for and its time to move on. If youre a full time salaried employee, it can be a bit more difficult.
There are jobs where you leave because you want toand then there are times when you leave because you have to. Neither is an easy situationbut it also doesnt have to be an impossible one
Anyway, when faced with having to answer the question, Why did you leave your last job? its understandable to have a moment of trepidation and uncertainty. The last thing you want to do is give any possible employer any reason at all to question hiring you.
Luckily, were going to show you that this question isnt anywhere as scary as you think it is.
Brace Yourself, This Question Is Coming
The first thing you want to do is make sure you think about how you answer this before you even get to the interview.
Now would be an excellent time to read Job Interview Questions and Answers 101, the absolute best interview question resource available on the internet. We give you our formula for answering any job interview question perfectly, including Why did you leave your last job?.
Another Company Offered You A Better Deal
Leaving a former employer to take on work with a new employer should never affect your application status. If you left one job to take a position with another company for an increase in pay, a promotion, or simply because you wanted to work for a different company, those are all very valid reasons. When answering this question, you dont need to list those reasons, simply keep it short and sweet:
- I was offered a position with another company and accepted.
- I was offered a promotion with another company and accepted.
Short, sweet, and without too many details. You dont need to tell the potential employer how much your raise was, or what the promotion was
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Why Are They Asking These Questions
The best place to begin your prep is by understanding what makes Why did you leave your last job? an important question. Time in an interview is always too short, which means an experienced hiring manager or HR professional doesn’t waste a single minute on things that don’t matter.
There are three big reasons why hiring managers need to understand why you left your last job:
To evaluate your reason for leaving. Professionals change jobs; there’s nothing inherently wrong in that. The secret sauce is in how and why they do it. Did you just wake up one morning and decide you were done? Was the reason reasonable? What does it say about your values? Sure, the hiring manager wants to know what happened, but the real opportunity here is in getting insight into who you are as a person and as a professional.
To establish whether you made the decision to leave or were let go. If you were laid off, the hiring manager needs to understand whether the reason was related to performance or integrity. They are also trying to gauge your attitude. Can you take responsibility for your side of what happened, or will you put all the blame on the employer?
Did you leave on good terms? Your ability to build and keep relationships says a lot about your diplomatic intelligence. So, if your former boss is your champion and a prominent reference, your candidacy automatically gets a boost. ;
Is There An Acceptable Time Frame For Employment Before Switching Jobs
Employees typically work for a company for approximately two years. However, it is important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to stay that long if you don’t feel like it’s the right job for you. Further, professionals with frequent job changes may receive more skepticism from employers than those with just a few frequent changes.
For example, if your resume depicts that you only stayed at a job for one year, but stayed with other employers for multiple years, this may not be as big of a deal as someone who switches jobs every year.
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Common Reasons For Leaving
Some reasons will be straightforward and easily accepted, like:
- Career focus changed
- Position was part-time, contract, or temporary
- Went back to school on a full-time basis
In other cases, you may have had a less concrete rationale like:
- Caring for a sick family member
- Coping with an illness yourself which has passed
- Moved to be closer to family
- Spouse transferred to a new city
- Stay-at-home parent for young children
Of course, you will want to mention reasons which don’t reflect negatively on you whenever possible. This is where giving yourself the benefit of the doubt can come into play. For example, say you were laid off from an employer that was experiencing financial difficulties. Even though a secondary reason for your termination might have been that you were a lower-performing employee, it is fine just to cite budget cuts.
Decide What Reason Youll Give
There are endlessand perfectly acceptablereasons for leaving a job. But you dont want to get caught off guard in an interview when they ask you why youre quitting your job. Thats why you need to know your exact reason ahead of time.
Here are some good reasons for leaving a job that might apply to you:
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Tips For Listing A Reason For Leaving On A Job Application
Whenever youre filling out forms or preparing documents for a job search, its important to be honest. That’s because prospective employers may contact your former employers to;verify that the reason you listed is accurate. If it’s not, you may be removed from consideration for the job.
You will also want to provide a reason that puts you in a positive light. So, if you left a job because you were bored with your day-to-day work or simply;hated the position or the company, you might want to rephrase your reason as something like “looking for new challenges.
You may not need to include;every job youve ever held on the application. Read the instructions carefully and follow the directions that tell you how much work experience you need to list.