Print Story "So why do you want to leave your job?"
Working life
By Big Sexxxy Joe (Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 03:53:42 AM EST) Ask Husi, job interviews (all tags)
I'm looking for new jobs because I'm being paid less than 2/3 my value and my boss is a total immature asshole, who is too young and not even close to being ready to manage.

Anyway, all the books on interviewing tell you to always be positive and never speak poorly of your present employer.

Of course, many employers ask me why I want to leave my job after a little more than a year.  I don't have a particularly good answer.

I usually just say it's not challenging enough.  I don't know if that's a great answer or not.  After all, I have to convey that I'd be perfectly happy to shovel shit in exchange for fair pay and the basic respect.  (By basic respect, I mean what anyone who has been allowed to manage for more than 3 years or so will give you.  A nice boss would be great but that's not essential.)

Now many potential employers, are savvy enough to either not even ask why I want to leave or to not take the "not challenging enough" answer very seriously.

However, some employers seem to believe that I'm being sincere and ask follow up questions.  And some try to get me to say bad things about my company.

Anyway, if you have any advice I'd certainly appreciate it.  I'll try to write less whiny diaries in the future.

P.S. If I can't leave, I'd like to extract more money from my employer.  They would have to dump clients if I left, so it should be easy, but the owner of the company doesn't actually know what I do anyway.  If you can advise me on that one, it would be great too. 

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"So why do you want to leave your job?" | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden)
Have you asked your boss by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 03:58:24 AM EST
to cut his hair and turn that music?

Seriously, you accepted this offer a little over a year ago, right? I understand being forced to take a job and if the market has opened up since then, great. But it seems about the same from what I've heard, which really does raise the question of why what was acceptable then is unacceptable now.

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline

Fair enough by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 05:38:44 AM EST
Well, I assumed they'd give me a considerable raise after a year.  I suppose I was wrong, live and learn.  If I do get another job, they will almost certainly pay me more.

Furthermore, my boss is uniquely unqualified.  When I started, I had a different supervisor, but it was decided that he was over-worked.  My new boss is here primarily because he is friends with other people.  He is 24 years old and not right for management.

Also, there's no oppurtunity for advancement and that wasn't clear when I started.

In short, I'm sure any job I get will be better.  What better reason to leave is there?

I'm like Jesus, only better.

[ Parent ]
Job market by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #16 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 07:33:25 AM EST
My impression is that the tech job market is a lot better now than a year ago.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Thats about as good an answer by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 2) #2 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 04:00:28 AM EST you're going to get I think. The books correct; right or wrong, someone who comes in and bashes a current/former employer raises red flags with the interview team.

Also remember, you spent every summer in college doing whatever it is the company you're interviewing with does, and your greatest weakness is that you're a workaholic.

Interview answer by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 04:17:53 AM EST
"Neither the job nor the environment are what I was led to believe they'd be. There work actually given to me hasn't been in any way challenging and advancement prospects don't appear to exist."

I've been writing and rewriting a bunch of diplomatic shit today.

If I think of a nice way to answer the blackmail request I'll add it later.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

I dunno, by blixco (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 04:26:47 AM EST
that sounds a bit sarcastic.  "The work I've been given has not been challenging, and the prospects for the future aren't what I expected" would be more neutral.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
Even bettar. by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 2) #5 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 04:42:13 AM EST
Sorry. I can only do so much diplomacy in a day.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
The should do the interviews like catholics do by cam (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 04:45:40 AM EST
confession. Because you get HR people who want a company to really mean something to an individual, they project their wants onto the interviewee.

Everyone knows that the work environment is more Hobbesian than ever. We all also know that once people get a better deal, even slightly, they will leave the company at the drop of a hat.

I dont know why we play these polite games of tippy-toeing around in the office or at the interview stage.

Capital and labor now fly around with impugnity. Globalisation baby.

Doing the interview with someone who is half asleep behind a curtain and couldnt giving a flying toss will probably stop the ducking and weaving from both sides.

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
A: "I don't particularly want to leave." by Rogerborg (4.00 / 4) #7 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 04:51:59 AM EST
"Now, why should I want to come and work here?"

Adding "Pigfucker" is optional, depending on whether you're being interviewed by a hot broad or not.

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.

Also, by ambrosen (4.00 / 4) #9 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 05:15:31 AM EST
dependent on whether you like watching attractive women having sex with pigs or not.

[ Parent ]
I suppose I could say that by Big Sexxxy Joe (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 06:13:31 AM EST
Then they'd feel they have to pay a lot to get me.  Assuming I leave off the pigfucker part.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
Be honest. by miker2 (4.00 / 2) #8 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 05:04:44 AM EST
I had an interview last week for a job that I'm accepting today and honesty was a large part of that interview.  When they asked me why I was leaving my job of 6 MONTHS I was truthful but not sarcastic or bitter in conveying the bait-n-switch job descriptions, lack of challenging work, and management hell bent on driving the company into the ground.

I have to agree by theantix (4.00 / 2) #11 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 06:02:14 AM EST
If you can convey what you mean in a non-whining fashion, I think that potential employers will be far more interested in the real reasons why you are leaving rather than some made up BS.  Having the opportunity of being at your current employer while you are still looking should help to structure it positively instead of negatively -- "I'm looking for a company with a better management and work environment" rather than "I left because the managers sucked and the work environment was crap".  The former makes you seem like a discerning employee who wants to improve his situation, the latter like a punk ass whiner.

Meh.  Good luck, Joe.

You sir, are worse than Hitler.

[ Parent ]
Actually, that might work by Big Sexxxy Joe (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 06:14:32 AM EST

I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
IAWTP by lm (4.00 / 1) #20 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 07:54:28 AM EST
I've been helping interview new candidates for the past week. When a candidate gives me an answer that sets off my BS detector, I mark the question I asked as being unanswered. The only thing I hate worse than a vague, BS answer designed not to offend are vague, BS answers designed to hide that the candidate doesn't know the answer to the question.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
bah by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 03:39:14 PM EST
Most interview questions don't deserve a real answer, a vague BS answer is better than laughing in the HR person's face.

[ Parent ]
I'd rather have the laughter by lm (4.00 / 1) #22 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 04:45:19 PM EST
I'm speaking as someone that just interviewed a candidate for a position this afternoon.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Right On by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 2) #14 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 07:18:21 AM EST
It's all how you phrase things.


"As it turned out there was a misunderstanding as to what my actual job duties were going to be"


"The fuckers lied to me about what my actual job duties would be"

The HR people know how to read between the lines.

Also, make sure you show up on time.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Yeah by Big Sexxxy Joe (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 07:39:52 AM EST
Actually, I find H.R. people love me (or I just don't see through the brown-nosing).  The managers are the ones that seem to like me less.  I'm not sure why.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
[ Parent ]
I've never particularly followed that rule by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #15 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 07:32:06 AM EST
I never say anything bad about the people I work with, but I have often answered that question by describing my current project. In other words, don't say "my current company is run by blithering idiots". Just describe, in as neutral terms as you can, the idiocy. In other words, something like "Well, they wanted to convert all of the server code to brainfuck, and I don't enjoy working with that language".
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
I put it pretty straight by MillMan (4.00 / 4) #17 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 07:35:09 AM EST
I said the expectations didn't match our resources and that I was underpaid. Don't be afraid to say you are underpaid - if it's true it won't bother them, and if it does, they can fuck off and die.

Everybody still hates me in this city and I hate everybody.

My favorite answer by lm (4.00 / 1) #19 Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 07:51:26 AM EST
I'm tired of working sixty hour weeks because upper level management consistently ignores the estimates for length of effort given to them by their directors and senior managers.

But it helps when the employer in question is also in the process  of laying off thousands of workers.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
"So why do you want to leave your job?" | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden)