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Ask Erica: “How Do I Explain Why I’m Leaving My Current Job in an Interview?”

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Q. I’m starting the process of looking for a new job and I know that I’ll inevitably get the question of why I’m leaving my current position. How do I answer this question without sounding like I’m complaining? I’m really unhappy with a lot of things at my current job and want to make sure that the same things don’t happen in my next position.

No need to trash your current company to get a sense of whether or not this new company is for you. You’re job hunting, so the hiring manager already knows you want to leave your current job, but what she doesn’t know is how you want to advance your career, or what your dream job is, or what new skills you want to learn. Those professional development areas are what you should focus on the most. So if someone straight up asks you, “Why do you want to leave your current job?” You can say something like: “I’m really interested in managing relationships with clients [insert job responsibility that excites you the most], and I want to explore opportunities where that is my main responsibility.” To make sure that this new company is a place that will make you happy, ask questions yourself. Get a feel for the culture by asking about the values and mission; learn what your job will really entail by asking what a typical day in the position is like; ask what types of personalities thrive in their work environment and think about if you’ll fit in. Good luck!

Missed last weeks #AskErica? Read: “I Want to Switch Careers. Should I Take an Unpaid Internship as the Next Step?”

Do you have a pressing career question of your own? Message me on my profile and ask away!

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