13 reasons to change jobs (With tips to explain job change)

Updated 28 March 2023

Changing jobs can be one of the most challenging situations in your professional life, yet it can be important for your professional and personal development. You may work for a company for a long time and become daunted by the prospect of leaving. Knowing the various good reasons for leaving a job can help you to decide if it's a worthwhile endeavour. In this article, we discuss common reasons to change jobs and share some tips to answer the 'Why did you leave your previous job?' interview question.

Reasons to change jobs

The reasons to change jobs may vary from personal to professional. Here are typical reasons employees may change jobs:

1. Flexibility

Some people may leave their jobs to increase flexibility in their professional and personal lives. This can be common when an employee thrives without micromanagement. Micromanaging is a technique that some supervisors use to monitor your work. This may lead you to seek greater independence in your new job.

Related: Job hopping: what are the benefits and drawbacks?

2. Recognition

Managers may make their staff feel more appreciated by providing positive feedback and appreciation. Working for a firm that rarely recognises you might make it challenging to stay motivated every day. Leaving your job and joining one where there's recognition for hard-working employees can help you feel more appreciated.

Related: Job role change: what to do when your responsibilities change

3. Higher pay

It may be time to look for alternative employment if you believe your employer is underpaying you for the work you do. Similarly, you might take on more tasks in exchange for a higher salary. Sometimes, such decisions may transpire from the desire to earn more money to cover your living costs as your lifestyle changes or responsibilities grow.

4. Feedback

Some people thrive in a less formal work setting, while others may crave a more structured environment. A common cause for a job change is feeling unclear about how your employer regards your growth and effort. Receiving timely feedback from the company you work for is an important element of enhancing your performance. Look for a position that has regular performance reviews.

Related: How to make a career change at 40

5. More resources

Individuals typically get a sense of value, self-confidence and accomplishment when they can apply their skills in the tasks they do. Employees are happier when they take part in projects that allow them to excel and utilise their abilities. Sufficient resources may lead to efficiency and employee retention.

Employees often want to improve their talents, so if their current job doesn't allow them to do so, they may look for one that does. Employees may go where they can find growth and advancement possibilities if their workplace doesn't provide them. They want to utilise their skills and improve at what they do. This may also mean getting ready for more challenging roles and, if they believe their abilities are adequate, they may accept it.

6. Challenge

After a long period at the same job, you may get a clear understanding of all your responsibilities. When there isn't much more to discover in your current position, you may feel ready for a new challenge. This is a normal element of professional development, especially as you become more interested to learn new skills.

Read more: 7 signs to change jobs: a guide to getting a new job

7. Job satisfaction

Professionals can frequently shift occupations to achieve a feeling of job satisfaction. A middle manager, for example, might apply for a top-level in an industry where their skills and knowledge might be useful in an upper-management role. Another example is someone who feels stuck in their current job with no room for advancement within the same industry.

8. Effective management

If a company's leadership doesn't assist managers in becoming leaders, they begin to lose employees and, eventually, the managers themselves. Employees who have already left because of a bad supervisor may not share any favourable opinions about that organisation, so the impact on hiring activities can last much longer. Leadership challenges can arise at any level and have a significant impact on employee productivity.

Related: How often should you change careers? (Benefits and tips)

9. Work-life balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance requires making time for friends, family and hobbies. You might find that your supervisor contacts you frequently outside of business hours or that they compel you to regularly complete extra work. This can eventually affect your free time and lead to burnout. Finding alternative employment that prioritises an employee's personal time may help you re-establish this balance.

10. Benefits

Many employees like a company that allows for flexible schedules and telecommuting. If the company you work for implements policies that make this challenging, there are many other companies that provide similar advantages. Similarly, you may discover that the organisation you work for doesn't have paid-time-off and sick-leave policies that meet your demands. This might be a reason to change your job and look for an employer that offers better benefits.

Related: How to get a second job (with tips and job Info)

11. Career advancement

If your current employer has limited promotions or learning opportunities, this might prompt you to look for a new job. Having room to advance in your career is important to feeling fulfilled. Employers who value their employees' development provide workshops, seminars, lectures and even tuition reimbursement.

12. Relocation

There are various reasons why you may want to relocate, such as to find locations with a lower cost of living or to enrol in an academic course. You can also decide to be closer to your family. Similarly, many people in cities may opt for jobs in suburban areas once they're ready to have a family. If your current employer doesn't allow you to work from home and you wish to move, you might want to look for a new position.

13. Fulfilment

Working for a firm with a clear vision is an important aspect of obtaining a fulfilling job. If the aims and mission statement of your current workplace is unclear to you, it may incline you to look for a company with more defined values. This way, you may see how your efforts are helping the organisation achieve its wider objectives.

Related: How to change careers

Tips for explaining your reasons for changing jobs in an interview

You can consider using the following tips to help you address the reasons for changing jobs during an interview:

Be transparent about why you're leaving

Take some time to list all the reasons you're looking for another job. If you're not sure what they are, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are your core beliefs?

  • What are your professional objectives? Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • What are your workplace requirements? What qualities do you seek in a job?

  • What aspects of your job do you enjoy?

  • How do you get along with your colleagues and managers?

  • What kind of business do you wish to work in?

  • Are you enthusiastic about the mission of the company you work for?

  • Is your current position consistent with these goals? Why do you think that is?

After you've written your answers, identify a few significant reasons you can share in your interview. You may choose reasons that are more professional rather than personal. For instance, you can state a layoff as the reason for a job change rather than saying it's because of insufficient pay or an inadequate manager.

Keep your response brief

Though it's important to respond to your interviewer's query in clarifying why you left a previous role, confine your response to one or two phrases. Bring it back to why you're the ideal candidate for the job. This creates more time for better engagement during the interview.

Be positive

Even if your decision to leave a job is because of unfavourable experiences, it's important to find a constructive approach to express your wish to move on. Employers need critical thinkers who can navigate through a myriad of challenges. Concentrate on the skills you've gained in your present position, any beneficial relationships you've had with colleagues and any positive encounters you've had with clients or stakeholders.

For instance, instead of saying, 'I don't like my manager', say, 'I've tried to speak to him, but somehow it appears that I need a new job' or ‘In my current capacity, I've learnt many new skills that I wish to develop further in a new environment'.

Be genuine and concise

You can answer this question in a clear, concise manner. There's always a method to convey your dissatisfaction with your current employment without slighting your employer. Maintain a focused and concise response and return to the topic of why you're enthusiastic about the changes ahead of you.

Remember that the organisation you're interviewing with may call your former employer, so ensure what you tell them matches what they hear from those interactions. If you're unemployed, be open and honest about your circumstances. If they call your former employer to validate start dates, pay ranges or other details, it might decrease your hiring chances if you provided false information.


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