You’ve probably heard those stories of “the Great Resignation,” where over 4 million workers left their jobs in February 2022. While it still is very much an employee’s labor market, it’s wise to consider these three good reasons for leaving your job (and one bad one) before handing in your resignation.
Quitting: Reason One—No Opportunity for Advancement
If you feel you’ve gone as far as you can go in your current job, it might be time to look around for something with more potential. Hiring managers understand and appreciate the urge to advance. Make a compelling (and concise) case in an interview that higher-level roles were unavailable to you only because company structure couldn’t support your promotion.
Quitting: Reason Two—More Money
Perhaps your company froze raises two or three years ago, in the throes of a downturn. Now things are looking up, but you haven’t heard a peep about raises. With experience and a history of excellent performance, you may be able to find better pay elsewhere in your industry.
However, don’t name money as your primary reason for leaving during an interview for a new job. Cite the challenge of taking on more responsibility, and list the expectation of better compensation as just a contributing factor.
Quitting: Reason Three—Flexibility
Most employers have figured out by now that if they don’t provide flexibility or predictability in scheduling, they’ll have a tough time retaining current employees. Employers who accommodate the lives of their employees improve their retention rates.
If flexibility is your reason for leaving, cite a poor work-life balance, and explain how your productivity soars when an employer affords that balance.
One Bad Reason To Quit—Personality Clash
While “It was a bad fit” is an interview answer you can usually get away with, detailing your inability to get along with other employees won’t get you far in your career.
Employers sometimes value collegiality above competence. One super-performer with a toxic personality can sour an entire team, while a well-liked, sunny personality who is just a so-so performer can inspire a team to do well.
That’s why saying you’re leaving due to a personality clash is not among the three good reasons for leaving your job—it’s the one bad one. Badmouthing your manager will only make you look unprofessional and whiny, no matter how big a jerk your boss was. Fall back on it being a “bad fit” or a divergence in values, goals, or structures that made the work environment unenjoyable.
Things are different if you’re thinking of leaving your job because your manager or employer tolerates harassment, they’ve retaliated against you for complaining about unlawful activity, or they’ve altered your working conditions in a deliberate effort to cause you to quit. You never have to put up with harassment or other violations of your rights as an employee.Instead, consult a lawyer who specializes in discrimination and wrongful discharge law to assess your situation and provide assistance or guidance.