Monday, August 27, 2007

Talk about Quitting Your Job

The job that I had was terrible after a few manager changes. I was tired of being constantly picked on when others were doing the same things. I would get in trouble and they would be let slide. I finally got fed up with it one day and just walked out.

Now I am looking for employment in the same line of work that I did at that job. I am worried that it will come back to bite me. What do I put on the application for my reason for leaving that job? I am also worried how to explain walking out and I do not want to bad mouth that company to the new potential employer. How do I approach that when asked in the interview?

Really need your help in Michigan

by Marc Effron, VP, Talent Management, Avon Products

For the application and interviewing process, the best policy is to be honest and to keep the discussion positive. Although you left because you felt there was unequal treatment, the consequence of that unequal treatment is what you should focus on. Did you feel that you wouldn’t be able to advance in that job or learn new skills because of that treatment? Would you not be able to get a fair salary/wage increase because of it? This should be what you put down on the application and can discuss in the interview.

Also, it will help greatly if you got along with your other managers and can explain that you were very happy at that job until the current manager started. We’ve all had a bad manager and your interviewer will hopefully understand that your quitting was just a reaction to the new manager.

In the interview, do not say that you were “constantly picked on” or that others were treated better than you were. This might be true, but it could cause the interviewer to feel that you would be a difficult employee if you were hired.

About walking off the job, there’s no easy explanation for that. On both the application and in the interview, keep your answers short, clear and direct when asked about the situation.

Be sure to practice those difficult answers in advance so you’re confident and calm when you’re asked. Always focus your answers on how you can serve this new company and how excited you are about the opportunity.

I hope that helps and good luck!

Marc Effron is Vice President, Talent Management for Avon Products. He has authored two books (including Leading the Way and numerous articles about leadership. He is a frequent speaker at industry events.

Susan Ireland’s Two Cents
From How to Quit Your Job:
You spend at least a third of your time — and maybe much more — at work, so it’s time to learn the difference between a job you ride out and one you need to leave.

The post moves into a full article by Elise Waxman from, in which Elise describes scenarios of two job quitters, why they quit, and how they handled their departures.

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