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The Best Reasons for Leaving Your Last Job

When you interview for a new job, one topic that's likely to come up is your employment history. In particular, interviewers may ask why you left a previous job. While it's always important to be honest, some answers are better than others if you want to help your chances of getting a new job.

Lifestyle Change

If you left your last job due to a lifestyle change, talk candidly about it with your interviewer but don't give out too much unnecessary personal information. For example, if you left your job to stay home with a new child or care for an elderly relative, make this clear without going into medical details or your complex decision making process. Lifestyle needs are widely understood as legitimate reasons to leave a job, and your action may even indicate to the interviewer that you understand the importance of finding a work-life balance.

Restructuring

Fewer workers spend an entire career with one employer compared with a generation ago. If you lose your job due to widespread layoffs during a restructuring at your previous employer, this is an entirely acceptable reason for leaving. Mention in your answer that you were among a large group of people to lose their jobs, and point out any recent performance recognition you received to indicate that you left your last job with a strong performance record and due to forces beyond your control.

Looking for a Change

If you left your last job voluntarily, one of the best reasons you can give to an interviewer is that you are seeking a new challenge or variety in your work that your former job couldn't provide. Employers value workers who seek to learn new skills and better themselves on the job. If you've gained any new skills or certifications during your period of unemployment, include these in your answer as evidence that you are prepared to take on a challenging position with greater responsibly.

Wrongful Termination

It's possible that the reason you're at a job interview at all is because you were a victim of wrongful termination. If your last employer dismissed you due to discrimination or as retribution for your decision to report an illegal activity at your workplace, you may be able to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit to seek damages. Only tell an interviewer that you are a victim of wrongful termination if you've spoken to a lawyer and plan to take action, not just because you feel your dismissal was unfair.



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