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March 6th, 2015

People often ask me what they should say their reason for leaving is, and when I get asked this, I always get a little concerned. Surely you just need to be honest, right? On the whole, yes, just tell the client the reasons for you being there today, fine, BUT, there are ways to package these so that they come out as intended:

Being made redundant: this is perhaps the most common reason for leaving in recent times as the economic client is such that companies are facing financial difficulties.
If you are being made redundant, please note that this is different to there being the ‘threat of redundancy’. With redundancy, you would have gone through a consultation period and have a definitive end date. If you are being made redundant, you should check to see if you can get out sooner should you find another role. The most important thing with redundancy is that you should act quickly. You have to remember that there are probably other people within your company (or ina similar position) who are facing exactly the same as you. The longer you sit around, the higher the chances are that other people will get to the jobs sooner than you. Remember, there are only a finite number of jobs, and the longer you are out of work, the harder it is to get back in.
Just remember, it is important not to talk bad of your current company. Even though you are being made redundant, and might not like it, talking ill of your company always gives a bad impression to the interviewer.

Threat of redundancy: So, you’ve heard ‘through the grapevine’ or have been told that there may be redundancies, and so think it is time to start looking for a new role. Not a bad decision really, as in most cases, redundancies usually come in one or 2 rounds, and so if there is a threat, and it turns into reality, there is a high chance that there will be more than one round. The most important thing to bear in mind with a threat of redundancy, is that it could be nothing or it could be something. As before, it is important not to talk badly of your current company. The interviewer will be interested in how many other people are in the same job role as yourself, and what the likelihood is that you will be made redundant. Why you think it will be you and also, if you don’t get made redundant, will you stay or still look to move.

Lack of progression: If this is your concern, then you need to know where you want to go and where you want to be in realistic timescales (2, 3, 5 years). If your current company doesn’t allow you to reach your goals, then you need to be able to communicate to a new company, exactly what those goals are, why you want them, and by when do you want them. If you don’t really have an idea, then the chances are that you are saying you want progression, but really, you are just looking for more money (2 very different things).

Money: if you are looking for a better paid role, that is fine, but you need to have a figure in your mind, and be aware that you may be counter offered when you hand your notice in. If your current company matches or even betters any potential offers, will you stay or still leave? Obviously money is the main factor for us going to work, and if we don’t have enough, then it is only natural for us to look elsewhere but if you ask for too much of a jump, then this may come across as being greedy. Most companies today do pay around the same, and so if you feel you are being underpaid, then you have to be able to justify to a new company, why you thing you are worth an increase.

Change of scenery: if you have been working in the same company for a long period of time, it is quite normal for you to literally just want a chance. You may be bored, you may have seen lots of people come and go, and so just feel that it is now your time to move on. You have offered the company everything you can, and now want a fresh challenge. That is all fine, you just need to be aware that the client say across the desk interviewing you, may be thinking ‘Will they be thinking the same of me in 5 years time?’ You need to therefore communicate what it is that you are ‘bored of’ so that any new company will be able to basically keep you interested for longer.

Dismissal: So, you have been fired. ‘Oh no, I’m never going to get another job’ – Not the case atall. In these circumstances, you will have gone through a period of consultation, or in the case of gross misconduct, may have been told to leave immediately. The most important thing here, as with everything, is to be 100% honest. It will give you so much more credibility and morality if you are honest, than if you try to skirt around the issue or even hide it. You have to remember that most clients will know each other, they may have worked together in the past, and ever thought they now work for different companies, may still get on and talk to each other, and so are only ever a phone call or e mail away from finding out why you are leaving or what you did wrong. You just have to convince the client that you have learnt from any mistake that you may have made and reassure them that you won’t do it again.

As mentioned above, it is vitally important to remain professional and to not talk badly of your current company. If you do so, the interviewer will more than likely be thinking: ‘If they are talking like this of their current boss, what will they say about me should they decide to leave, or if I decided not to offer them to job’.