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Reason For Leaving Job | 10+ Common Reasons in 2024


Jane Ng 20 December, 2023 18 min read

Looking for personal reasons for leaving a job? Leaving a job can be a challenging decision for everyone. However, there are many reasons why we quit our current jobs to look for new opportunities.

Maybe it’s because there are no longer chances for career advancement, or we’re no longer satisfied with the work environment. Sometimes, the reason can also come from our health condition or concern for family and loved ones. Whatever the reason, quitting a job is not easy and requires a lot of preparation.

So, if you’re having trouble explaining your reason for leaving job to a prospective employer with questions like “Why did you leave your previous job?”, this article will give you ten suggestions with answer examples.


What is the #1 reason for leaving a company?Poor Pay
What is the best answer for reason for job change?Looking for better professional growth
What is the impact of employees leaving?Decrease Productivity
Overview Reason For Leaving Job

Table of Contents

Reason For Leaving Job
What should I say when being asked ‘What is your reason for leaving’ | Reason For Leaving Job Examples

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Top 10 Reasons For Leaving a Job

Here are the top 10 most common reasons why people leave their jobs.

#1 –Reason For Leaving Job – Seeking For Career Advancement Opportunities

Looking for career growth opportunities is the most common reason for leaving job. 

If employees feel that their current position no longer provides enough chances to develop their skills, knowledge, and experience, looking for new opportunities can help them access new abilities. 

In addition, finding a new job also helps them avoid passivity and deadlock in their career. Instead of staying in the same old position and nothing has changed, new opportunities can help them move forward and achieve new goals.

Good reason for leaving a job – Lack of Career Advancement Opportunities is the most common reason for leaving job. Image: McKinsey & Company

If this is your reason for leaving job, you can answer the interview as the reason for leaving job examples below:

  • “I am seeking employment that offers opportunities for personal and professional growth while allowing me to make a significant contribution to the company’s goals. Although I enjoyed working at my previous job, I felt that I had outgrown the challenges and opportunities available there. Now I need a new position that will allow me to continue to develop my skills and work towards new achievements.

#2 –Reason For Leaving Job – Changing Career Path

It’s truly a positive reason for leaving a job. As it’s not easy for people to find their careers. So it may take some time for an employee to discover that they are not interested in the field or industry they are working in and may decide to explore a different career path.

Upon realizing this, employees may seek to achieve new goals and passions. It is the reason for leaving job so that they can continue to learn or train to develop new skills and knowledge in a new field or another profession.

Here is an example answer for the interview:

  • “I left my previous job because I was looking for a new challenge and a change in my career path. After careful consideration and self-reflection, I realized that my passion and strengths lie in a different field, and I wanted to pursue a career that aligns with my goals and aspirations. I am excited about the opportunity to bring my skills and experience to this new role and make a meaningful impact.”

#3 –Reason For Leaving Job – Dissatisfaction With Salary And Benefits

Salary and fringe benefits are considered essential parts of any job. 

If an employee’s salary is not sufficient to meet the necessary expenses of living (cost of living, healthcare, or education costs), or if employees feel they are not being paid fairly compared with their peers or the labor market, they may feel dissatisfied and want to look for new jobs with higher wages with better benefits.

Here’s a sample interview answer for candidates:

  • Although I loved my time at my previous company, my salary and benefits were inconsistent with my experience and qualifications. I had several discussions with my manager about this, but unfortunately, the company could not offer a more competitive compensation package. As someone committed to my career development, I needed to explore other opportunities that appropriately compensated for my abilities. I am excited to be here today because I believe this company offers growth potential, and I am eager to contribute my expertise to help the company achieve its goals.”
Best reason for leaving a job – Reason for leaving job. Image: freepik

#4 –Reason For Leaving Job – Pursuing Higher Education

If employees feel that taking an extra major or getting a higher degree will help them develop their career, increase their chances of developing their career, or do the things they love, they can decide to do so. 

If this is your reason for leaving your job, you can answer the interview as the example below:

  • “I left my previous job to pursue higher education to improve my skills and knowledge. I believe it’s important to keep learning, staying competitive, and up to date with the latest trends and practices in the industry. Going back to school not only helped me advance in my career but also enabled me to contribute more to my future employers.”

#5 –Reason For Leaving Job – Better Work-life Balance

Leaving a job for personal reasons such as physical health or mental health can be reasonable. This is because spending a lot of time at work can affect an employee’s personal life, causing stress and burnout. This can lead to a desire to find a new job with a better work-life balance, as this helps create a comfortable work environment and helps employees improve their quality of life.

A better job will allow employees to spend time with their family, friends, and hobbies while still being able to meet work requirements.

You might question how to explain leaving a job for health reasons. Here is an example answer for the interview:

  • “In my previous role, I was consistently working long hours, including evenings and weekends, which made me couldn’t maintain a healthy work-life balance. And I knew to be successful in the long run, I needed to prioritize my personal life and well-being. I took some time to consider and understood that finding a company that valued work-life balance was critical. That’s what brought me to this role – I see that this company cares about its employees’ well-being. So I’m looking forward to contributing my talents and experience to this.”


#6 –Reason For Leaving Job – Poor Management

Poor management in an organization can affect employee motivation levels and is a major cause of employees leaving their current jobs.

When poor management practices are rampant in an organization, it can reduce employees’ motivation and enthusiasm, inevitably leading to poor performance, and leaving them feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied with their job responsibilities.

If this is your reason for leaving job, you can answer the interview as the example below:

  • I believe that a strong and supportive management team is crucial for the success of any organization, and unfortunately, that was not the case in my previous job. That’s why I’m excited about the opportunity to join a company with a reputation for valuing and investing in its employees.”
Reason For Leaving Job Examples – Imgae: freepik

#7 –Reason For Leaving Job – Unhealthy Work Environment

An unhealthy working environment is one of the main reasons why employees feel tired and need to quit.

An unhealthy work environment can include toxic work culture, toxic relationships with colleagues or management, or other negative factors that create stress or discomfort, anxiety, or stress – they affect employees’ mental and physical health.

Moreover, if employees do not feel passionate and enthusiastic about their work, their performance can be affected. Therefore, they cannot find a solution to the problem in the working environment or improve mental health at the workplace, leaving the job can be a good choice.

If this is your reason for leaving job, you can answer the interview as the example below:

  • “Well, I found that the work environment at my previous company was not very healthy. This created a lot of stress and made it difficult for me to be productive and motivated at work. I value a positive and respectful work environment, and I felt that it was time for me to move on and find a company that aligned more with my values and beliefs.”
Reason for leaving job – Reasons for leaving a company. Image: Freepik

#8 –Reason For Leaving Job – Family Or Personal Reasons

Family or personal reasons can be the main reason for leaving job. 

For instance, employees who have a baby or a loved one with a health issue that needs special care may need to resign. Additionally, some employees may relocate to a new region or plan to immigrate to another country, which may require them to seek a new job. 

Sometimes, an employee’s personal life can be challenging, such as going through a divorce, coping with the loss of a loved one, experiencing family stress, or other mental health factors that can distract them from work or put pressure on them, leading to the decision to quit to address personal problems.

Here is a

If this is your reason for leaving job, you can answer the interview as the example below:

  • “I left my previous job due to some personal reasons [your reason], and I wanted to make sure I could provide the best possible environment for our family. Unfortunately, my previous employer could not offer any flexibility with remote work or options. It was a tough decision, but I had to prioritize my family’s needs at that time. I’m now excited to start a new chapter in my career.”
Reason for leaving job. Image: freepik

#9 –Reason For Leaving Job – Company Restructuring Or Downsizing

When a company undergoes restructuring or downsizing, this can lead to changes in the way the company operates and reallocation of resources, sometimes including a reduction in the number of employees or a change in existing job positions.

These changes can cause pressure and instability and make employees face problems such as losing their job or moving to a new position that doesn’t match their skills and interests.

Therefore, leaving a job is one of the good reasons for leaving a company and also a reasonable choice to seek new opportunities and avoid negative impacts on career and personal well-being.

Here is an example answer for the interview:

  • I left my previous job due to company restructuring that led to the elimination of my position. It wasn’t easy, as I had been with the company for several years and had developed strong relationships with my colleagues. However, I understood that the company had to make tough decisions to remain competitive. With my experience and skills, I am eager to explore new challenges and opportunities to become a valuable asset to your team.”
What is the best reason for leaving a job? | Great reasons for leaving a job. Image: Freepik

#10 – Belonging To The Wave Of Layoffs

Sometimes the reason for leaving job is not entirely by choice but rather due to circumstances beyond an individual’s control. One such is belonging to the layoffs in the company. 

According to Forbes’ layoff tracker, over 120 large U.S. companies conducted massive layoffs last year, cutting nearly 125,000 employees. And not only in the United States but the wave of layoffs is still happening worldwide.

Employees who belong to layoffs may choose to leave their current jobs for new opportunities. They may feel that staying with the organization could place their career trajectory at risk, especially if it lacks stability after the downsizing exercise.

Here is an example answer for the interview:

  • “I was a part of a wave of layoffs at my previous company due to. It was a challenging time, but I used it to reflect on my career goals and decided to seek new opportunities that align with my skill set and interests. I am excited to bring my experience and skills to a new team and contribute to their success.”
What to say reason for leaving job – Reason for leaving job. Image: freepik

How To Prevent People From Leaving Their Jobs

  1. Offer competitive compensation and benefits packages that are at or above industry standards.
  2. Create a positive workplace culture that values open communication, collaboration, and mutual respect. 
  3. Provide opportunities for employees to learn new skills, attend training programs, and take on new challenges in their roles. 
  4. Recognize and celebrate the achievements of your employees by offering bonuses, promotions, and other forms of recognition.
  5. Offer flexible schedules, work-from-home options, and other benefits that help employees balance their work and personal lives. 
  6. Conduct regular employee surveys to gather feedback and identify areas for improvement.
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Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why an employee may choose to leave their job, it is a common occurrence, and employers understand that. As long as you can articulate your reasons clearly and positively, it can show that you are proactive and strategic in your career development.


Frequently Asked Questions

Need to prevent employees from leaving their positions early? Check out a few question samples below

It’s important to focus on the positive aspects of your previous job during an interview. You can mention a specific element of the job that you found challenging but also highlight how you learned from it or how it helped you develop skills.
This question is often asked to gauge a candidate’s career aspirations and goals. You can provide specific career goals and how you plan to work towards them, emphasising your flexibility and openness to new opportunities.
It’s essential to provide an honest answer but also show that you are working to improve. You can talk about your weakness but also highlight steps you have taken to overcome it.
If you left your previous job for a positive reason, such as pursuing higher education or seeking a better work-life balance, be honest about it and explain how it aligns with your career goals. If you left for a negative reason, such as poor management or an unhealthy work environment, be diplomatic and focus on what you learned from the experience and how it has prepared you for future roles. Avoid speaking negatively about your previous employer or colleagues.