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    Worker88's Avatar
    Worker88 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #1

    Apr 23, 2016, 05:55 PM
    How do I address the question, "Why did you leave your previous job?"
    On April 17th I had a meeting with our office manager. At that time I was presented with new job expectation I didnít 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 wasnít 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?
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,506, Reputation: 1860
    BossMan
     
    #2

    Apr 24, 2016, 12:24 AM
    Truthfully
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692
    Expert
     
    #3

    Apr 24, 2016, 01:09 AM
    In the future, if and when your bosses tell you, a change in work duteis, the correct answer is OK.
    They do not really ever want to know how you really feel. They are just telling you what is changing and when.
    Also often those changes never really happen or change for a reason.

    So you really ended your job, when you decided to argue about changes to your position.

    Changes in job duties may be a good answer, but in reality, if they call your last place the answer they will hear, you were unwilling to accept changes. Not a good thing to have in your work history
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #4

    Apr 24, 2016, 03:39 AM
    Wait a minute. In the US, employers may not discuss details of a former employee's history except for dates worked and salary, and these days, many will only give dates.
    You don't say where in the world you are.
    Also, I don't agree with the response to answer truthfully. Most people tell little lies to smooth over troubles. As long as you aren't too far from the truth, it's best to keep such topics short and as pleasant as possible. I would most definitely NOT say anything about the new duties being sprung on you! That is fraught with implications that you won't take on a new challenge, even if you say you are. Small companies are more likely to do this as they grow, and many people suffer through those growing pains in the hopes of a string of higher positions as more employees are hired.

    My idea for a little lie is to say that you weren't sure about their ability to grow, and want a more established company. ONE sentence, with a positive spin!

    You are a bit wordy and also VERY naive. "....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." That's not how it works! It's customary to hand in the letter in person to the person in charge of hiring, say what it is, and stand there talking out the details of two weeks notice or leave now. Of course they changed your password - most companies will escort you out of the building and literally block you from any computer. And an exit interview is irrelevant. Many small companies don't bother.

    Employment is like being arrested or being in court. The less said, the better.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #5

    Apr 24, 2016, 06:23 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    Wait a minute. In the US, employers may not discuss details of a former employee's history except for dates worked and salary
    Actually that is not true. There is no law that prevents a former employer from discussing details of a former employee's time with the company. What is true is that many employers have a policy against providing more than a confirmation of employment period for fear of a lawsuit. An employer is not prevented from telling the truth about the former employee.

    A small office like the OP's probably does not have such a policy. If they responded to an inquiry by stating the employee resigned over a disagreement over work assignment, that would be the truth. While it wouldn't shield the employer from a lawsuit, it would be a valid defense.

    I would tell a future employer that I left because they were making changes in my work assignments that were not part of my original job and goals that I felt were not achievable.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,328, Reputation: 10855
    Expert
     
    #6

    Apr 24, 2016, 07:01 AM
    I have worked in many job settings and the bottom line is get the job done, and deal with any emotions and discomfort so unclear of your reasoning here. The point is you quit, and that's never good no matter the reasons. I can see your reluctance to share this with another future employer.

    The answer to why you left your previous job is ALWAYS for bigger and better growth opportunities, but it never works well to quit the old job before you have a new one in hand, as you only put yourself in the uncomfortable position to answer even more pointed questions. Look how you search and stress to find a way to cover up your own work history that didn't suit you.

    Your only hope is don't reveal this quitting, AND HOPE a background check doesn't reveal your LIE of omission. You put yourself in this position by reacting emotionally to your previous job situation instead of thoughtfully. You did not rise to the challenge, you ran from it and that's never a recipe for building a career, and no amount of excuses or spin can change that.

    Your best chance I think is to be truthful and explain you wanted to broaden your career chances, so you quit to explore a better career direction with a BIGGER, BETTER company. I warn you though you may be in for more drama from the corporate setting than you had in the small office you were in, so don't think you can run to the boss to help you deal with emotional, and uncomfortable situations you may find yourself in.

    I hope you rise to this new challenge of getting a better job, despite the obstacles you have created for yourself.
    Worker88's Avatar
    Worker88 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #7

    Apr 24, 2016, 08:25 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.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5646
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    #8

    Apr 24, 2016, 08:45 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    Wait a minute. In the US, employers may not discuss details of a former employee's history except for dates worked and salary, and these days, many will only give dates.
    I have to respectfully disagree. It is allowable, and appropriate, for a prospective employer to ask a previous employer where or not a candidtate is considered a re-hire or a no re-hire. The caviate is that if the candidate is a no re-hire, they are not obligated to disclose the reason why the candidate was placed in a no re-hire position.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #9

    Apr 24, 2016, 09:25 AM
    I was partly wrong - in the US, laws if any go by state. State Laws on References and Statements By Former Employers | Nolo.com
    Virtually all employers I had in Massachusetts divulged only dates worked, and sometimes salary, by policy, even one man operations.

    Worker88, bottom line is that you are describing situations that are basically subjective opinion. What happened is no longer the point; what you should say in interviews is.
    I have had over 30 jobs in my life.
    I KNOW what an interviewer will note in your file, if reading your description above, no matter how right you are:
    Doesn't take on new assignments easily
    Doesn't work well with others
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,328, Reputation: 10855
    Expert
     
    #10

    Apr 24, 2016, 09:25 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Worker88 View Post
    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.
    Lets be real here. There is always risk going against the office politics and culture.maybe it's NOT fair, or to some degree unreasonable. You always have to Cover Your Own Arse in these situations whether you like it or not especially in such a small work setting when you are low man on the totem pole and have no recourse or good options to address these kinds of issues, and it's your word against the BOSSES. If there is no higher authority then you are stuck between politic and career and JOB.

    I go back to the idea of rising to the challenge, as what benefit is quitting and explaining it later to another BOSS you wish a job with, in another, bigger office that may or may not have a better office culture/politic and may not even be a better situation.

    You better learn how to handle difficult jobs/bosses/co workers, and situations in the future or kiss your career good bye, because quitting and hoping for the best is a lousy option, and whether you are justified or right, or wrong is a mute point since proving it is a difficult endeavor indeed.

    Doesn't seem fair, and probably isn't, but that's the whole challenge of life, and reality you must rise to.

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