According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American holds 11 jobs throughout his or her professional career. With an average career span of 44 years, the average American moves onto another job every four years. That is plenty of experience for an American worker to create a list of reasons for leaving a job.
We move on to brighter professional pastures, but we must account for why we leave jobs. You have several scenarios for explaining why you left a job, with three scenarios unfolding the most often.
- During a job interview
- During an employment exit interview
- Answering an employment application question
The point is you can expect to explain why you plan to leave a job, and if you’re like the average American, you can expect to provide an explanation 11 times during your professional career.
Your Job Stinks
It sounds harsh, but many workers leave their jobs simply because the work sucks. You might have enjoyed the work when you first started at the company, but four years later, it’s the same mundane daily tasks. Most jobs become boring because of the lack of professional challenges offered by companies. You feel overqualified and/or under utilized. In other words, you spend most of the day tapping a pen on the desktop.
Better Opportunity Elsewhere
Another company comes knocking that sweetens the employment pot. You not only receive an offer for more money and enhanced benefits, you also assume a new job that presents more challenges and hence, a more vibrant work environment. Explain to your current employer that you received an offer from another company, but leave out the details, such as compensation.
Lack of Advancement
Of the eight reasons for leaving a job, lack of advancement appeals the most to prospective employers. This is much more than being mired in a dead end job. Lack of advancement means your company snubbed you for a position that offers more money and professional challenges. When the opportunity to grow professionally never materializes, the time has come to move on to a company that offers you a job that matches your professional acumen.
Meet the New Boss, Not the Same as the Old Boss
You spend years forging a cordial and highly productive working relationship with your boss. Then one day, your boss gives notice of leaving the company. The new boss arrives and guess what, you suddenly find yourself on the outside looking inside at a boss that doesn’t remotely resemble the old boss. You might not agree with the new boss or simply dislike his or her personality.
Downsizing: The PC Way to Say “Laid Off”
Mergers and company restructurings started the downsizing trend during the late 1990s. Downsizing, which in laymen’s terms translates to “Laid Off,” continues today, with a growing number of companies looking to find more ways to slash spending. Potential employers should not hold downsizing against you, especially if you possess the skills and acumen to excel in a new position.
From maternity leave to personal health issues, you can find yourself out of work for extended periods. You might have to take care of an elderly family member by moving to another city or undergo extensive surgery that keeps you out of the office for months on end. Leaving a job for personal matters should not put a blemish on your professional record.