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How do I address the question, Why did you leave your previous job?

 
 
Reply Sat 23 Apr, 2016 07:05 pm
On April 17th I had a meeting with our office manager. At that time I was presented with new job expectation I didn’t feel comfortable with. I felt these new job expectation fit my skill set, and were achievable long-term, but not in the time frame they were expecting, and were unrealistic to accomplish with my other duties. More to the point, these expectations were never discussed before, and were sprung on me. What was expected of me varied from day to day from acting as a consultant for the company to being a traditional employee. I am not afraid of a challenge, but what was presented was not possible. I explained this to the office manager. By the end of the meeting I had every reason to fear losing my job, if not immediately, in a short time to come. The next day the office manager requested another meeting where he proceeded to apologize for the way he presented these new expectations (in an extremely emotional capacity), but gave no real solution or clear direction for moving forward, which left me in an unsettling position. Over the course of the next week there were multiple, uncomfortable, positions I was put in regarding their personal and professional problems with another employee, the only other employee in the office. Overall, I was constantly faced with emotional responses on behalf of my employer to legitimate employee concerns I had, which made for an uncomfortable professional setting. After a final, uncomfortable, situation I was faced with regarding their personal and professional concerns with the other employee, I no longer felt comfortable returning to work. I sent a letter of resignation and received no response regarding my offer for two weeks notice or an exit interview. They also changed my password to my work email which indicates they have no intentions of having me back in. I am now concerned how I move forward presenting this situation to a potential future employer. It is important to note that our office consisted of two employees, including myself, and two bosses, 4 people total involved with the entire company. The office manager I mentioned was also one of my bosses, so there wasn’t anyone other than them to bring employee concerns to. The job I will be interviewing for is in a corporate setting, as opposed to the small business setting I was in. One of the reasons I am interested in this positions is to hopefully avoid situations such as the ones I faced on my continued career path. How do I address the question, "Why did you leave your previous job?" How do I address the fact that I wouldn't feel comfortable using my previous employer as a reference?
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 1,719 • Replies: 7
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jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Apr, 2016 07:12 pm
@Worker88,
It was not a good fit, and so I am now seeking new opportunities.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Apr, 2016 07:55 pm
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

It was not a good fit, and so I am now seeking new opportunities.

If that has worked for you, You've either had some very laid back prospective employers, or one hell of an in-demand skill set, or both.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Apr, 2016 09:08 pm
@Worker88,
Why didn't you explain to your supervisor that the time frame was too short to meet their expected goal, and offered your own time frame?
Why did you leave your previous job? Since you failed to negotiate the time frame, it's going to be difficult to give a good reason.
What's left is "personality conflict based on personal issues rather than professional ones."
In the future, never quit a job that you like working in. The most difficult thing in life is to find a job you love.

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chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Apr, 2016 10:38 pm
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

It was not a good fit, and so I am now seeking new opportunities.


This, and that is all.

Doesn't matter if the interviewer presses, you can simply rephrase.

I'd never say anything involving the word "conflict" anywhere in a reason, even if it was a time conflict such as "I couldn't work that shift"

If someone said "personal conflict" to me, my next question (in my head) would be, "how are you going to avoid ever working with people you don't have personal conflicts with"

If you former company has an HR dept. give that direct number. Give names and contact info of other people in the company that would give a good, or neutral reference.

The interviewer knows what "not a good fit" means.
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jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 06:10 am
@snood,
I didn't say it was so great for getting a job, but it does get you past the 'what do I say?' stage. As chai2 says, the prospective employer can read between the lines on that one.
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Worker88
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 09:29 am
Thank you for all the responses thus far. The one point that seems to be missed here is I was not emotional, my employer was, and by emotional I mean unprofessional. I am trying to keep my explanation as civil as possible here. Is this tolerable in the work place? Can't this even be considered bullying in some instance? This mostly pertains to pitting me against the only other employee when they attacked her for personal and professional reasons. In the many instances this happened I felt I had to agree with them to keep my job. Once again, there were only 4 people that worked for the entire company, two bosses, myself and one other employee. There most certainly was no HR department.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2016 10:35 am
@Worker88,
The answer is still "It wasn't a good fit. I decided to explore other opportunities"

Rephrase as necessary.

"It is a fine company."
"I enjoyed working with the people there."
"The position wasn't a good fit."

Do not talk about what specifically happened.
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