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Please help me find a reason for leaving my job - context in OP

29 replies

UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 12/06/2019 06:38

I posted yesterday about my situation, however I have made this post to be a bit clearer.

In a nutshell I may have to leave my job without another job to go to. I need to find a good reason to put on application forms/say in interviews as to why I've left, that won't cause a problem for me finding another job.

I'm leaving due to my manager's awful behaviour, incompetence and bullying. Several other people have already left in the team for the same reasons (actually it's just me left so it's gotten worse). Some colleagues had jobs to go to and some didn't. Management support the manager and it won't get better, so not looking for advice in that respect.

I have worked for the company for 5 years, about a year in this particular role. I could get a general reference from work and a personal reference from another colleague, probably my previous entirely reasonable and nice line manager. No issues during my employment, I am good employee. No financial concerns. Temping is of course an option.

What can i put as a reason for leaving to justify my "career break" without putting the real reason and without damaging my chances of getting another job?


OP posts:
RustyNail · 12/06/2019 06:40

Took a break to care for ageing / sick relative.

EleanorReally · 12/06/2019 06:47

good luck with finding another ob quickly.
career break might be a phrase you could use?

Sleepyquest · 12/06/2019 07:02

I've been in your position and waited it out until I got another job but felt rather desperate. Good luck with the search! Could you say you accepted a new job but it fell through? Or you were going to move out the area but that fell through? Or be honest and say the job and culture changed and you didn't enjoy it

UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 12/06/2019 07:04

Ooh really good suggestions thank you!

OP posts:
BelleSausage · 12/06/2019 07:35

i Would be honest with them. You don’t have to give them chapter and verse. Just say that you are leaving because the work environment is difficult. You don’t have to mention names. Just say it isn’t the place for you anymore.

They need to know this. And the fact you are a good employee who is leaving because of this will be a bit of a shock.

I did this when I left my last work place. I didn’t name names. I just quietly handed in my resignation and when the head asked why I was clear that I felt the position wasn’t working for me anymore for a variety of reasons that couldn’t be changed. I also told him that I was taking a career break to decide if I wanted to change careers.

He still asked me to consider coming back to do cover work though!

KnittingSister · 12/06/2019 09:01

Domestic responsibilities. Keeps it open and bland but they won't be able to ask you any more news about it. Flowers

KnittingSister · 12/06/2019 09:01

Not news, don't know where that came from!

Bluebluered · 12/06/2019 09:03

Family commitments. They can’t push you on it.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 12/06/2019 17:36

Thank you, all great suggestions.

I would really like to honest - like you say, the role/work environment changed and didn't suit, but would be concerned this would reflect badly on me. If I were the interviewer I wouldn't necessarily think that, but you never know.

OP posts:
Needallthesleep · 12/06/2019 17:40

I would definitely ignore the pp suggestion to be honest. This will do you no favours, and ring alarm bells (obviously unjustified alarm bells) for a potential employer. It’s a tough market out there.

Agree that you keep it vague, ‘domestic/ caring responsibilities’ sounds as good as anything.

Bravelurker · 12/06/2019 17:58

In the exact same situation as you OP and I am going to go with honesty. The reason is because the relentless bullying has taken its toll on me in such a way and has left me a shell of the person I was and that needs to be explained.
I have found that people are generally sympathetic and in extreme circumstances many people need to leave a job before finding another because it's that bad.

TheBlessedCheesemaker · 12/06/2019 18:00

I do lots of interviews.
“ I was becoming a little too comfortable in my role and it had limited career options internally, so I decided to broaden my experience by doing some temping, in order to gain more knowledge and face new challenges”

koolaider · 12/06/2019 18:02

I left my previous employment without another job, I couldn't stand it any longer. I was honest in my interviews as to why (I work in finance) and my new employer had no issues with my honesty. It also set the tone for how wanted to work and my ethics do used it to my advantage.

GreenTulips · 12/06/2019 18:03


You misunderstoodOP means what does she say to the next employer - NOT the resignation letter

MitziK · 12/06/2019 18:25

Taking a break = I had to leave or be sacked.

Caring Responsibilities = I'm likely to walk out of my next job or take time off regularly to look after children/parents/grandparents as I'd become so unreliable I had to leave or be sacked.

Unpleasant working environment = I had to leave or be sacked.

Broadening experience/training for career development sounds far less like you had to leave before you were sacked. If you enrol on a few courses (maybe through your current job) available online, that doesn't cost much - sometimes L2s are free - and backs up the statement. Or an evening class.

Loopytiles · 12/06/2019 18:28

Much, much better to resign only after getting another job.

And if you’re leaving anyway work no overtime and cut corners. Job seek on your phone in work time if you can.

Guiloak · 12/06/2019 18:42

I recruit and I would never advise caring responsibilities.

Any chance of an internal move? If you have been there for 5 years having a break for 3-6 months is fine.

Have you got a long notice period. If you have resign and look for a job and the new job may never know!

I would explain that lots of your team have left and let the recruiter draw their own conclusions.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 12/06/2019 18:43

The Blessed Cheesemaker - “ I was becoming a little too comfortable in my role and it had limited career options internally, so I decided to broaden my experience by doing some temping, in order to gain more knowledge and face new challenges” excellent suggestion thank you, I think I will go with this!

Mitzi has suggested the things I'm concerned about and what I'd think they'd think. I have a job interview tomorrow, am really hoping to get this job, but if I don't I think it will likely get to the point I'll have to leave. I would love to be honest without being unprofessional, but I don't want to be seen as a problem employee.

My notice letter would just be really basic, but I would tell the truth in their exit questionnaire!

OP posts:
UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 12/06/2019 18:45

Guiloak - yes I have an interview tomorrow and getting this would be the best outcome. Has the job market gotten even worse over the last five years do you think, in that it's harder to get a job now? It was bad enough 5 years ago!

I could take a break for 3-6 months potentially. I could also explore working part time in my current role to give more time for job hunting, but unlikely this would be approved.

OP posts:
Singlenotsingle · 12/06/2019 18:48

Say that any career progression was limited, and you wanted the time and freedom to apply for fresh job opportunities elsewhere.

Bluetrews25 · 12/06/2019 18:48

Good luck at the interview.

museumum · 12/06/2019 18:50

Can you get some agency work? Or find a course to study / training or an exchange or internship? Either would then work as a “reason”.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 12/06/2019 18:50

Thank you!

Single not single - thank you I like it!

OP posts:
Singlenotsingle · 12/06/2019 19:43

Good luck for tomorrow. Flowers

UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 13/06/2019 06:55

Thank you!

I thought of (I hope) a good reason last night when I couldn't sleep, that is the truth but not the whole truth.

Short answer: seeking new opportunities

If pressed: There is a restructure going on at work, and there was a possibility that I could lose my job. Therefore I've been seeking employment elsewhere. However because of operational reasons I've been unable to take time off to attend interviews. I decided to do some temp work whilst looking for something permanent, and have the added bonus of being able to start immediately.

This is all true, but hopefully put in a way that makes sense of my decision and doesn't look like they want to sack me.

OP posts:
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