30+ Best Reasons for Leaving a Job (+ Bad Answer Examples) 
When an employee decides to resign from their current employer and seeks new employment, there are a few places where the job seeker and job candidate will be asked what the reason was for leaving their current position. The job candidate might be asked in a job application, in the job interview, and then lastly when the candidate goes to resign from their current place of employment.
The first place a job seeker is going to have to refer to their reason for leaving a job is during the interview. A hiring manager may ask the interview question, “Why did you leave your last job?” The job seeker may still be employed with their current employer during this interview. The reasons the employee and job seeker choose should align with the reasons they are going to use for their resignation process. This will come after accepting a job offer and needing to resign from the current place of employment.
When choosing a reason for resigning during an interview, it’s important to mention a legitimate reason. As a job seeker, the interviewer will be able to sense when the reason is false. For example, if the job candidate mentions their reason for leaving is organizational changes, but there’s no news of layoffs; this could create problems. Choose a valid reason.
Certain reasons should be avoided. For example, a common reason can be working conditions with the previous employer (or current employer/current role). While this is a valid reason, it’s one of the reasons that should be exempt from mentioning to your interviewer or prospective employer. In the event the potential employer contacts the previous employer, this could be an issue. Pick professional reasons for leaving even if they aren’t entirely true to your own point of view.
When resigning from a current job and submitting a resignation letter, the employer (upcoming former employer) may mention their reasons for resigning or leaving. The reasons should align with the ones mentioned to the future employer and job opportunity (the new job).
Tip: Resigning in a professional manner and being considered a “good employee” during the resignation process (resigning with ample notice period and reasons) leaves the door open for resignation letter requests and job reference opportunities that can be very impactful to a job seekers career.
Reasons for Leaving a Job
Below are good reasons for leaving a job. All are considered to be an acceptable reason and professional reason for resignation from a current employer.
- Company restructuring and layoffs.
- Organizational changes, resulting in layoffs to a specific department.
- Company downsizing
- Change of job description and no longer being passionate.
- Company decided to outsource the job title.
- Being laid off for “good cause” during annual budgeting.
- Feeling a need to make a change after a number of years of employment.
- Needing to relocate due to family reasons.
- Needing to relocate due to spousal reasons.
- Feeling the need to retire.
- Desiring to travel full-time and seeking only part-time employment or contract work.
- Looking for a job with a more flexible schedule.
- Getting married and needing to reevaluate career paths.
- Desiring to make a career change and career path change.
- Desiring a new challenge after a number of years of employment.
- Desiring to be exposed to new types of work and functional areas.
- Leaving due to high salary or better benefits.
- Being offered a permanent position if part-time.
- Being offered a full-time position if a seasonal position.
- Seeking career growth and upward mobility.
- A job opportunity that aligns with career goals more acutely.
- Wanting to fill an employment gap.
- A better opportunity to advance specific skills.
Back to School
- Desiring to go back to school to receive an MBA.
- Desiring to go back to school to receive a Bachelor’s Degree.
- Needing to stay at home for an upcoming birth from a pregnancy.
- Needing to stay at home after a birth and pregnancy.
Family & Health Issues
- Personal health reasons and needing to focus on that.
- Family health reasons and needing to focus on that.
- Parental health reasons and needing to focus on that.
The best reasons for leaving a job are those that support the reason without much detail. Each positive reason above is going to be received as professional and cordial with both the new employer and current company.
Example of a Bad Reason
Below are a few examples of a bad answer to the job interview question or reason for resigning from a current job (an upcoming previous job).
- Finding a “dream job” and needing to pursue those passions.
- Unhappy with the work conditions.
- Unhappy with the way work is being accomplished.
- Unhappy with the work culture.
- Unhappy with the supervisor, boss, or manager.
- DUI or other legal problems.
- Filing bankrupty and needing to focus on that.
These are a few bad reasons for resigning from a current position. While they may feel valid to the job seeker, it is best not to share these personal details with the employer as they display differences in the company culture and the employee.
Resignation Letter Resources
Additional resignation letter resources.
By Job Title
- Maternity Leave
- Board Resignation
- Personal Reasons
- New Job
- Better Salary and Benefits
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