I’ve Asked Hundreds of Job Seekers Why They’re Looking for a New Role and Here’s What I Found

Over the last couple of years, I’ve talked with hundreds of job seekers. And all throughout, I learned a lot from those conversations. Our careers are so integral to our identities, which makes the stakes inherently high whenever there’s a change in our job status. There are typical stages a job seeker will go through, and a few major themes as to why someone is looking for a new job in the first place. Have you left for a similar reason? Are you in amidst the process now? Read on…

 
 The Process 
Deciding you’re ready to move onto a new job is a huge decision and there are usually a few broad stages people go through to come to the conclusion that it’s time to move on.
 
First, the thought finds its way into your head. You’re an ambitious woman and it’s not unusual for you to be thinking about your future steps. But this thought is much more tangible. You might even feel guilty for thinking it.
 
Next, the thought becomes a bit louder and starts to manifest. You enter the stage of passively looking by keeping your eye on job ads and revamping your resume. Maybe you start talking about it with your friends and family to get their opinions. A strange sense of anxiety fills you because now it feels like there’s no turning back.
 
Then you start applying, networking, putting it out into the universe. It starts to feel even more real and at this point it’s only a matter of time – you are now actively looking. You might get into a few interview processes that don’t shake out for one reason or another. It can be a daunting cycle of putting your all into it, being disappointed, learning from it, and then getting back in the game.
 
Finally, you get the job offer you’ve been dreaming of! You’re ecstatic, terrified, and now suddenly questioning if you should actually accept it. Taking the leap of faith with this new job means feeling out of your element for a while, having to adjust, and doubting yourself. But you remind yourself of the reasons why you started looking in the first place and know that if you’re not scared, you’re not growing!

 
Top Reasons
There are many nuanced reasons why people start to actively look for new roles, but these are the top three main reasons I’ve come across:

1. Last role has ended
Whether it was a contract position that’s been completed or an unexpected termination, more job seekers than ever are currently looking because their last role has ended. If looking for a new job was not an outcome of your choosing, all the feelings associated with the above process (and more!) are going to be happening all at once and in an amplified way. And that’s okay!
 
2. Management / company culture
People tend to dance around this one. I’ve heard candor about company politics, or management changes, or turbulence in general, but it all amounts to people being unhappy with whoever they’re reporting to and the culture that’s fostered on the team they’re in. 
 
3. No growth opportunities
Lastly, a big reason why people leave is because they don’t feel there’s any more progression they can make at their current company. They’ve hit a plateau and want to be able to see the impact of their labor or move into a managerial position. This can also include hitting salary ceilings as well. 

 
The Best Way to Answer in an Interview 
This should go without saying, but DO NOT air all your dirty laundry when in an interview. Regardless of how miserable you might be in your current role or how frustrated you are with being unemployed, when you’re asked why you’re looking for a new role, the best answer is positive and future oriented.
 
You can say something like, “I’m ready for my next challenge and it seems like this role at [insert company name] is a great opportunity for me to grow.”
 
Spin it however you want, as long as you show your enthusiasm for the role you’re interviewing for. You’ve got this, sis! 💪
 
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Why have you decided to look for a new job? Let us know by commenting below!

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