Reasons for leaving a job: What to tell your employer

Ok, so you’ve just had ‘the call’…

Your interview was successful and the start date for your new dream job has just been set. Mixed emotions of accomplishment, excitement and gratitude fill you up, but there’s one big niggle in the back of your head – ‘How am I going to tell my boss?’

We’ve already covered some terrible reasons to quit, but to help you soften the blow, here are some great reasons for leaving a job – and what to tell your employer:


I found a job with better career progression

Maybe one reason you decided to look elsewhere is due to a lack of opportunities within your current organisation.

If that’s the case, an honest, open discussion with your employer about how your ambition has led you to seek new opportunities is the best way to go.

Not only will it let them avoid the same situation in the future, it’ll also help to ease tension whilst you work your notice period.

Five tips to guarantee career progression


I need a new challenge

Essentially, the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ approach.

This is usually most suited to those who have worked in the same position, or been with the same employer, for quite some time. Especially if an upgrade in responsibilities or more variety in your role hasn’t been particularly forthcoming.

Explaining that you want new challenges shouldn’t leave things too awkward with your employer. Just make sure you have real examples to actually back it up.

If not, it will only come across as generic and insincere – and might result in you permanently burning bridges.

Eight signs it’s time to resign


I’ve been offered a better salary

Let’s face it, money talks.

Luckily, it talks in a language we can all understand. So if you’ve been offered a higher salary elsewhere, it’s highly unlikely that any further explanation would be required.

Set up a meeting with your manager to discuss your decision, and let them know the basic details. And if you feel comfortable giving a number, go for it. Even if it’s just a ballpark figure.

That way, they know what wage you’re looking for – and could even offer to match it, if they’re desperate to keep you on.

Five things to consider when you receive a counteroffer


I need more job security

So, you’ve been worrying about how safe your role is.

It could be that your company is downsizing. Rumours of redundancy might have been going around, or the nature of your work requires shifts that aren’t always guaranteed.

Everyone has bills to pay, and finding a position with more stability is a perfectly acceptable reason to find something new. However, it can be a problem if your conclusions have been based on hearsay alone.

If job security is your main concern, always speak to your line manager or someone in HR about it before you move in. They may be able to tell you more, or at the very least, put your mind at rest. And if you’re still not sure, make sure you give the reason during your exit interview.

It may be too late for you, but the company might be able to address the problem before some of their other employees jump ship.

Voluntary redundancy: what are my rights?


I wanted more flexibility

As times progress, so does the nature of working hours.

Employers are increasingly offering means of flexible working to accommodate demand; with people putting more emphasis on working to live, not living to work. But not all companies are quite this progressive.

As a result, if you have children, care for a family member, or perhaps study or take a course in the evenings, then your new career path may have been chosen to accommodate those needs.

If this is the case, tell your employer that you’ve found a role which allows you to fit work around your schedule. However, it always works best if you’ve already brought the issue up with them beforehand.

You never know, they just have been more open to the option than you realise.


Final thoughts

Whether your true reasons for switching career are listed above or not, never underestimate the importance of leaving on the right note.

Even if you’re moving into a completely different industry, you’d be surprised at how quickly word can get around. Especially if you’ve left it until your last day to vent your frustrations.

Once you’ve taken the plunge and handed in your notice, all that’s left to do is prepare for your exit interview.  But remember: bitterness is never a good look. It’s always best that you leave with your professionalism (and your reference) intact.

And finally, there are a lot of valid reasons to leave a role – but there are also a lot of bad ones.

So before you make your decision, try reading our guide on terrible reasons for leaving a job.

You know, just in case…



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