Why did you leave your company?
I sometimes wonder why people are so sensitive to this question. When looking for another opportunity, job, or even if you were headhunted you will be asked this question. Unless you have something to hide, but that is another can of worms for another time.
One of the general answers I get is career growth. Ehm… What does that mean? You wanted the managers’ job? Or I get dished up some vague description of the situation.
Do you actually know yourself why you are sitting in front of the recruiter?
Rule number one – be honest. It is normal to want to leave your job at one or other stage, so there is really nothing strange about it.
Here is a list of 10 reasons why people quit their jobs:
- Understaffing. Long hours, unrealistic workload day after day without respite or hope for a better future.
- Poor communication. Is the communication open, transparent and timely?
- Lack of challenge. Do you want more responsibility?
- Lack of empowerment. Can you make the reasonable decisions to do your job effectively?
- No recognition. Even the tea lady needs recognition for a job well done.
- Limited work / life options. Flexi-time, maternity, paternity and leave options
- Poor company culture. A conflict of ethics.
- Life situation changed. You just got married or just had kids.
- Questionable promotional practice.
- Its just not fun anymore.
While some of these reasons can be related to attitude, environmental factors etc., truthfully, these are the most common real reasons for leaving I have come across.
The first question often is – have you tried to change the situation by addressing it with your current employer? That is if it’s not an ethical dilemma. Usually I find that candidates have often not thought about addressing it and opted for the perceived easy way out. Another job. However if you are truly valued member of the workforce there is little that the fair employer won’t do to keep you happy and productive. Especially considering the effort, time, money and pain it takes to replace you.
And if not? Well then you know why you are sitting in front of me now don’t you?