So you’re thinking about the reasons for leaving a job you’re in right now, but you’re on the fence about whether or not they’re legitimate.

You may wonder if you’re just being selfish or spoiled or if the things you dislike hold enough ground for you to embark on a new path. Similarly, you may have a job interview coming up, and they could ask why you left the previous position.

Well, we’re here to help!

While reading this article, you’ll have a chance to go through 15 good reasons for quitting and see why they’re valid, and you can compare them to your own.

Let’s dive right into it!

Key Takeaways

  • If you fear you might burn out and the company doesn’t offer a solution, it’s better to leave the job.
  • Some people leave their jobs due to relocation, but employers can prevent this if they offer remote work.
  • There are two examples you could use to explain why you left your job—getting laid off and pursuing your education.
  • Three signs that may indicate you need to quit your job are underusing your skills, lack of motivation, and improper fulfillment of tasks.

15 Legitimate Reasons for Leaving a Job

There can be many reasons why you want to quit your job, whether they’re of a personal or professional nature. As long as your motives for leaving are reasonable and you remain ethical, there’s no need to feel guilty. With that in mind, let’s check out a list of 15 legitimate reasons for leaving a job.

#1. Better Compensation

reasons for leaving a job

When the interviewer asks, ‘Why do you want to work here?’, candidates rarely say it’s because they’ll get better compensation and benefits elsewhere. However, changing jobs for better pay is an entirely legitimate reason.

You may be overworked and underpaid at your current job, which may put a strain on your mental health, as well as your performance. Otherwise, it’s logical that you’ll go for a job offering significantly better compensation for the same responsibilities.

On top of that, if the company doesn’t have a program for occasional promotions or raises, they may face higher fluctuations within their staff. No one likes feeling underappreciated, especially if they’re top performers.

#2. Bad Management

Dissatisfaction with the way management treats their employees may arise in any organization. However, in large corporations, this may occur more often because the managing team is responsible for a larger number of people.

One of the reasons why a professional would leave their workplace is because some managers may find it hard to receive feedback from their staff and because they may seem cold and dismissive.

Whatever the reasons, one of the crucial points of mutual satisfaction needs to be a professional yet kind relationship between the managers and those under them.

#3. Relocation

If you must move to a different city, region, or even country, you may have to submit your resignation letter. No matter how good you are at a job and how happy your superiors are with your work, the only solution would be a remote job within the same organization, whether it’s the same position or not.

On the other hand, if the company moves offices somewhere too far from your home, it’s not sustainable for you to commute for hours to get there.

#4. Toxic Workplace Environment

No one benefits from a  work environment that’s toxic. Office gossip, passive-aggressive hostility, and rudeness in any sense are clear signs you need to leave.

You don’t want to wake up with a gut-wrenching feeling every morning because you dread going to work.

Although these problems may sometimes be fixed with proper efforts from HR and the staff members, sometimes this can’t be helped. In such cases, start looking for other jobs, and when you leave, try your best to remain professional without passing the blame onto anyone from the office.

#5. Burnout

If you come to a stage where you, or the others, notice you’re near to burning out, it may be time to say goodbye to your employer. Of course, that is if they don’t provide any solutions, such as some time off to take care of yourself or any other measure that can reset and regain your strength.

Such actions can include a paid gym or spa membership so the employees can unwind and be ready to go back to work fresh and rested.

Burnouts in the workplace are exceptionally dangerous, as they can take a toll on your mental and physical health, and the recovery may take months.

#6. Company Acquisitions and Merges

When one company acquires another or the two companies merge, there may be duplicates of employees, and the redundant ones often get laid off. It’s necessary to start looking for a new job so that if such a scenario happens, you have a net to fall on.

When you first hear that the company you work for may be merging with another one or that another company acquired yours, ask your manager to tell you more about it. Still, don’t mention you’re preparing for job hunting.

#7. Company Is Downsizing

Downsizing may occur for various reasons. The company sometimes can’t afford certain employees for positions they deem no longer necessary, or they’ve devised a cost-efficient strategy of another nature.

With the first hint of the company’s potential intention to downsize, begin looking for a new position. Sometimes, even the employees who do decent work get fired, and who can guarantee it won’t be you?

You can rarely find another job during the two weeks or a one-month notice they may give you, so start preparing your backup plan in advance.

#8. Career Advancement

So you’ve been stuck in one position for years, and there’s no sign of you climbing the company ladder anytime soon. Almost no employee would be happy with this situation.

If you see that your dead-end status won’t change, start polishing your resume and a cover letter. Failure to progress can seriously affect your performance and eagerness to be proactive and bring new ideas.

Whether it’s the company’s practice not to assign staff with more responsibilities and better roles, or it’s just that your manager doesn’t see you as a fit for promotion, maybe you might have better options elsewhere.

#9. Professional Development

Some people are fine following instructions and leaving the office after the duties are completed, but others need more. Those who are eager to learn can be unhappy with the lack of training or mentoring opportunities.

This reason is more than valid, as many other companies will satisfy your hunger for knowledge and professional betterment.

#10. Career Change

Whether you no longer enjoy what the current industry offers or find that your talents are better suited for another career branch, it’s your right to pursue your passions.

Although it’s a bit scary to leave your comfort zone and delve into a new field, your employer should understand that this is the best choice for you. Besides, they don’t want to have a teammate who does the work while dreaming they are somewhere else.

#11. Health Reasons

This one’s quite simple. If you had a medical intervention or your general health is slightly deteriorating for any reason, you come first. No company is worth your well-being, and there shouldn’t be much discussion about whether you should stay.

In that sense, the employer should suggest you take some time and tend to yourself, even if it means you’d have to leave your job for good.

#12. Family Reasons

For many, family comes first, and nothing can come in the way of that. Leaving a job may be necessary if you’re going through a divorce or one of your children is facing challenges that require your direct help and attendance.

This can quickly be addressed, and the employer may understand that your presence at home is more important than at the office.

To remain professional, you may share details about why your resignation is taking place so they won’t hold a grudge against you.

#13. Lack of Challenge

When you get too comfortable, your work day can be unstimulating. You’re going from one task to another and feel like you’re on a treadmill where you don’t need to use any mental power.

For some, this is enough to find another company in which they would be more stimulated.

This scenario typically happens with over-achieving employees or at jobs where tasks are repetitive and mundane. A helpful strategy for overcoming business fluctuations is assigning more dynamic, small tasks to those who like a challenge, which may help them feel productive.

#14. Company Culture Differences

Your values and those of the company need to align. However, you may sometimes feel the company culture is different from one that matches your ideals. While this may occasionally be overlooked, it can often be a breaking point.

If your core principles are different from the set company culture, it may feel unpleasant to stay with the employer. Investing time and effort into a company that stands for things you do not support or find irrelevant can affect your performance, and you may not feel at home in such a workplace.

#15. Work-Life Balance

an image of a person signing documents

You’re working overtime because it’s unlikely you’ll finish everything during the day, and you feel like you’re spending your entire day at the desk. When you find yourself in such a situation, it seems like you’re wasting away your free time and giving it all to the company.

No one should dedicate their entire weeks to a job, as everyone needs time for hobbies, friends, and family as well. That kind of stress can impact both you and the company you work for.

You can have a talk with your supervisor and see if something can be done to balance out the issue, and if not, maybe look for less overwhelming opportunities.

How to Know if You Should Leave Your Job

Several signs may present as reasons for resignation. While it’s pointless for you to continue working for the organization in which you’re unhappy, it’s equally important that the company also finds a fit that will contribute to the business and be satisfied with the job.

Here are some circumstances that should make you consider another company.

Underusing your skills may be the first red flag. While it may seem easier to flow through the day and finish your work without pushing yourself too much, underusing your skills can have a greater impact. When you don’t employ some of your core skills, you may quickly ‘get rusty,’ and it may take a lot of time to refresh them.

In general, this is bad for your career, regardless of the company. For that reason, if you feel as if you’re constantly underusing your skills in your current job, maybe it’s better to look someplace else where you will be able to make the most of your strengths.

Lack of motivation may be another sign it’s time for a goodbye email. If you lose the joy and motivation to do your job, try your best to regain them. However, if you don’t manage to accomplish that, every day will be a chore, and your performance will suffer. At that point, it would probably be best to submit your resignation letter.

Improper fulfillment of tasks goes both ways. If you’re not doing the job well, you should be fair to the company and leave so they can find a better fit. Either way, no one will be happy if things stay as they are.

How to Explain Why You Left Your Job During an Interview 

If the position you’re applying for is not your first one ever, rest assured the interviewer will ask why you left the previous job. They expect a number of reasons you may give, so you won’t surprise them much, but the way you explain why you left is of utmost importance.

Let’s take a look at two sample answers regarding the reasons for leaving a job.

#1. I Got Laid Off Because of Company’s Financial Hurdles

Some people leave companies the moment they sense that their financial situation is no longer favorable and that things may go downhill very soon. Others who are optimistic may end up being laid off if the company closes down due to poor management of assets.

If the company shuts down and you’re laid off, here’s what you should say:

Sample answer: During the final months, the company was losing a lot of capital, and while focusing on bringing in more assets, they lost focus on the optimal organization of funds. Due to improper investments and storage of the money we were receiving, the organization started losing capital even more quickly.

While it was really unfortunate that I got laid off, I didn’t take any offense because the entire management tried their best but sadly didn’t succeed in bouncing the company back.

#2. I Went Back to School to Get My Degree

This is one of the legitimate reasons someone would leave a job—they want to invest in their career. When you give this answer, stress how important education is for you and how you plan to apply it at your new job. Here’s how you could put it:

Sample answer: I knew that, at one point, I’d have to go back to university and get my Master’s degree because it’s necessary for further development within this career. I shared that with my employer the day I got a job offer, so there were no surprises. Now that I have it, I think I’m a way better fit for any company within this field.

How Not to Answer Why You Left Your Previous Job

Although you may feel tempted to share every bit of dissatisfaction you had at your previous job, don’t do it at the job interview. Here are some of the don’ts that have no place while talking to the HR manager.

If your performance at the previous job was poor, don’t mention it. It goes without saying that this piece of information won’t cast you in a favorable light. It may even lead to more follow-up questions that could easily cost you a chance at this position.

On the other hand, even if you were great at what you did, never talk ill of your previous coworkers. If you had difficulties with a particular person at your work, don’t mention the things they did badly because it may seem like you’re not that great of a team player.

The same goes for your boss. No matter how demanding or nit-picking your last manager was, don’t reveal negative information about them. No employer wants to hear this, especially because their first impression may be that one day, you’ll talk about them in the same manner.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what the 15 legitimate reasons for leaving a job are and you have specific examples and sample answers on how to explain why you left the previous one, your decision to stay or quit should come more smoothly.

Equally important, you are also equipped with knowledge about how you should never answer questions regarding why you’re no longer working for your former company.

At the end of the day, if you decide to resign from your current job, apply these tips to find a better fit. Good luck!