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Career-Life Times, Issue #44--How to Answer “Why Do You Want To Leave Your Current Job?"
January 11, 2008
Happy New Year

Issue 44, January 11, 2008

Ready to GET HIRED, GET NOTICED, and GET AHEAD? Read on...

I’ve got big plans for us in 2008: an exciting new project that will be fun—and extraordinarily beneficial—for participants. You’ll be the first to experience it! Stay tuned… more details will come in future issues.

OK, let’s get going with this month’s issue. To make up for last month’s very short edition, this one is jam-packed and longer than usual. Enjoy!

In This Issue:

  • How to Answer the "Why Do You Want To Leave Your Current Job?" Question
  • How Do You Feel About Your Current Job?
  • Best Careers of 2008
  • The Worst Boss Ever?
  • New Year's Job Hunting: It's About Time
  • The Shameless Guide to Kissing Ass and Getting Paid
  • Resources
  • Worth Quoting
  • Just for Laughs
  • Random Rants & Ramblings

    How to Answer the
    “Why Do You Want To Leave Your Current Job?" Question

    When answering the "Why do you want to leave your current job?" question, my advice is to be honest (to a point), positive and upbeat.

    There are many reasons to leave a job. Most people are looking for career advancement opportunities or new challenges. Sometimes companies get into financial difficulty and have to reduce their work force. Where I live, many people would leave their current job simply to have one with a shorter commute!

    Those are petty straightforward reasons that anyone would understand.

    Then there are people who want to leave because they don't like their job or their boss. But NEVER say anything negative about the company or people you are working for. If you do, the interviewer may think of you as a complainer who has a problem with authority or can't get along with others.

    So, even if the reason you want to leave is that you hate your job or don't get along with your boss, give a different reason for wanting to leave. You don’t have to lie; just be discreetly selective with your answer.

    Sample answers:

    "I've worked with ABC Company for five years, and during that time I've achieved all of the goals I set for myself. I enjoy my job, but my advancement opportunities there are limited. I’m looking for new challenges with a larger organization, like yours. With my experience in (whatever), I'm sure I could contribute to your company's mission (be as specific as possible here) and continued success."


    "To be honest, I don’t want to leave. I’ve enjoyed my work at XYZ Company and have had great success there. But the company is going through a tough time and is downsizing its staff, so it’s time for me to move on. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. I’ve admired your company for years and am excited to have this opportunity to interview with you. I feel my experience at XYZ Company will enable me to help you with…(whatever)."


    "I like my current job, but I'm interested in changing career paths. I'd like to broaden my horizons and find new ways to contribute to an organization's goals. This position with your company would allow me to do that by…(whatever)."

    Try to include specific information relevant to the company you're interviewing with. For example, if you know the company participates in community environmental events, mention that ("I'm also eager to work for a company that helps the environment.").

    The more you use specific information that shows you are knowledgeable about the job and the company for which you’re applying, the sweeter your answer will sound to the interviewer!

    How Do You Feel About Your Current Job?

    Do you love your job? Hate it? Somewhere in between? Wondering how others feel about their jobs?

    Stop by my web site home page, scroll down to the bottom to check out the one-question poll I’ve placed there. Cast your vote, and you’ll discover how others have voted as well. The results are pretty interesting so far!

    Here’s the link to that page:

    By the way, if you have any suggestions for future poll questions, just let me know. Thanks for sharing your opinions!

    Best Careers of 2008

    According to U.S. News & World Report, these 31 careers offer strong outlooks for 2008, as well as high job satisfaction:

    Biomedical equipment technician
    Curriculum/training specialist
    Genetic counselor
    Government manager
    Higher education administrator
    Investment banker
    Landscape architect
    Locksmith/Security system technician
    Management consultant
    Occupational therapist
    Physician assistant
    Politician/Elected official
    Registered nurse
    School psychologist
    Systems analyst
    Urban planner
    Usability/User experience specialist

    You can read the entire article, which includes profiles of each job, at this link: Best Careers.

    The Worst Boss Ever?

    (This is a guest article by Jack Francis)

    I am often asked for advice on the direction a person’s career should take. Rather than ask the questioner to describe their “best” job (which most people find hard to specify), I’ve found it of more benefit to ask them to tell me about their worst job—real or imagined.

    By analyzing what they find “bad” in these worst jobs, it’s possible to identify the qualities which they are really looking for in a “best” job. For example, if their worst job has a rigid dress code, then maybe they should be looking for an occupation where they can dress casually.

    Similarly, when advising managers on the qualities and skills they should develop, I often ask them to describe their “worst” boss. Highlighting the errors and faults of these bad managers provides useful guidance on the areas where a manager can improve and what they should aspire to.

    “G.W.” was my worst boss ever. Before you get too excited, let me tell you that this “G.W.” did not originate from the Lone Star state. This is not a revelation of presidential indiscretions or failings.

    My “G.W” was the manager of the audit group I was assigned to when I first started training to be an accountant with one of the major accounting firms.

    My most enduring memory of “G.W” is of his lack of cheer and good humor. I don’t think I ever heard him laugh and have no recollection of him even smiling. He was such a miserable man.

    If there is any event that should bring a smile to your face, it’s the arrival of your firstborn. I was in the office on the day “G.W.’s” wife gave birth to their first child. On the day in question, we’d anticipated the happy news because “G.W.” was untypically late in arriving.

    So did “G.W.” come into the office beaming with an unusual smile? Did he regale everyone in sight with the wonders of his newly born daughter? Did he chuckle over recollections of how cute she was? He did not.

    “G.W.” just walked into his office as usual, without making a remark to anyone. It was two or three hours after his arrival and only after his assistant asked him a direct question that we received confirmation of his good news. Just the basic facts though; gender, time of birth, weight etc. And still not a smile!

    So, are humor and cheerfulness qualities that managers should aspire to? I would argue that they are. There’s a lot of talk nowadays about how we, as managers, can improve our staff’s commitment and loyalty to our organizations. There is a call for us to be leaders.

    Surely a first step can be as simple as having a regular smile or revealing our humanity in the form of humor. I am not suggesting that managers become office jesters—not at all. But if we are as cheerless as “G.W”, how can we expect our team to believe that what we are doing is worthwhile, that we enjoy our work and that they can find it fun and worthwhile too?

    Certainly “G.W” did not convince me and I transferred to another accounting firm to complete my training.

    Why not take some time and write down a description of your worst boss? Go into some detail and give examples of the qualities and behaviors which made them a bad manager.

    Consider what you need to do in order to avoid being rated a “worst boss.”

    Jack Francis is a management consultant. He and his business partner, Elizabeth Best, co-founded The New Managers Club. The Club is a great source of advice and training materials for anyone new to management. Click here for more information: The New Managers Club.

    New Year's Job Hunting: It's About Time

    (This is a guest article by Kevin Donlin)

    Among New Year's resolutions, finding a new job is right up there in popularity with losing weight, reducing debt, and spending more time with loved ones.

    If you've resolved to find a new and better job, you can do it faster by using your time more effectively. Here are three suggestions ...

    #1: Find Extra Time

    If you're not working now, treat your search as a full-time job, requiring at least 40 hours a week. If you are working, devote at least 20 hours a week to your search -- the equivalent of a part-time job.

    Here's how to find some of those extra hours you'll need:

    1) Get up one hour earlier each morning (that gives you 5 extra hours per week).

    2) Give up all TV, including news, reality shows, etc. If you can't quit the boob tube completely, limit yourself to one hour per day (10-15 extra hours per week).

    3) Take 30 minutes of lunch hour to eat and spend the rest of the time on your search (2-3 extra hours per week).

    4) Work on your search for one hour after dinner (5 extra hours per week).

    Total per week, not counting weekends: 24-28 extra hours. And if you put in 4-8 hours on Saturday, you can boost that total to 28-36, to get even more done in your job search.

    Now, before you start griping about your life getting out of whack with all this extra time devoted to your job search, remember two things:

    1) This regimen is TEMPORARY, until you find a new job.

    2) The faster you find a job, the faster you can go back to watching TV every night and pigging out during lunch hour (although you may not want to!).

    #2: Take Time to Reflect

    The new year is a great time to look back on what you've done and plan to achieve more in the days ahead.

    When you analyze your job-search efforts, from networking with old friends and polishing up your resume, to answering Internet job postings and everything in between, ask yourself three questions:

    1) What's producing results?

    What have you done that has led directly to job leads, interviews or callbacks from employers? Resolve to do more of that.

    2) What's not producing results?

    What has failed to produce job leads? Example: If you've emailed 101 copies of your resume to postings from and no employers have called, that tactic is not working. Resolve to change -- revamp your resume or apply for different jobs, for example -- or stop doing it – like visiting other Web sites.

    3) What's next?

    After you decide what to do and what not to do, take 10 minutes to plan today, tomorrow and the rest of this week. You'll save at least 2-3 hours of wasted time this way. Then, at the end of the week, ask yourself these same three questions again. Keep correcting course and soon you'll zero in on the job of your dreams.

    #3: Take Time to Improve Your Resume

    Your resume is often the first impression you make on potential employers. And the better your resume is, the shorter your job search will be.

    So it pays to make sure your resume is as powerful and as targeted as possible.

    While there isn't space here to cover the essentials of resume writing (Google "Kevin Donlin resumes" to find my past articles), you can improve your resume in just a few days by asking your friends for help.

    Specifically, try emailing your resume to at least five friends whose judgment you trust. Ask for their input. What do they like? Dislike? Is anything missing or unclear in your resume? Revise and improve your resume accordingly, based on what they tell you.

    Bonus: You are networking with and flattering potential references at the same time as you're getting free editorial help from them. Pretty nifty, huh?

    Just be darn sure you return the favor and take the five friends on your "editorial board" out for a celebratory dinner after you get hired.

    Here's hoping these tips will help you use your time wisely and find a new job in the new year!

    Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 10,000 people. Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Radio and others. Check out his latest product, The Instant Job Search System.

    The Shameless Guide to Kissing Ass and Getting Paid

    (Jon Morrow wrote this excellent article on his blog and gave me permission to include a portion of it here.
    Just follow the link at the end to read the entire post at his blog.)

    Kissing ass, sucking up, brown nosing.

    We have lots of terms for trying to make someone like you, almost all of them dirty. It’s seen as a manipulative, shallow, and dishonest.

    But damn if it isn’t effective.

    If you master the art of charming people, everything becomes easier—making the sale, getting the promotion, keeping your job. You’ll make more money, create more friendships, and feel more secure.

    The key is doing it right. Kissing ass has gotten a bad rap because so many people are bad at it. They’re like amateur magicians that the crowd boos because their tricks are obvious.

    Unfortunately though, the technique is light on training materials. You can’t take “Brown Nosing 101” in college or browse through the Sucking Up section at the bookstore.

    What we need is a guide for how to kiss ass effectively… which is why I’ve written one...

    [Please go to Jon’s blog to read the rest of his post. It’s quite long, but well worth reading! I provides truly valuable advice and I think you’ll enjoy it. Just click on this link:]


    More Articles. You can find more articles on my website by clicking on Article Index.

    Here are four new articles you might enjoy:

  • The Benefits Of Using A Placement Agency

  • The Pros and Cons of Contract vs Permanent Positions

  • How to Laugh in the Face of "Get Rich Quick" Schemes

  • 5 Simple Steps to Achieve Your Career Goals

    Check Out My Fun New Forum!. Do dumb things at work drive you crazy? Dumb jobs, bosses, coworkers, policies, customers? Don't get yourself into trouble by expressing your frustrations at work—do it anonymously at my brand new forum! You'll feel better if you vent those frustrations. And who knows? Maybe others will offer advice on how to deal with all the dumbness. The forum is appropriately titled “Dumb Things at Work.” Please check it out when you get a chance. (It’s free.) Then vent to your heart's content! Here’s the link:

    How-To Videos Galore: SuTree. This is an excellent site that offers thousands of how-to videos (for f*r*e*e!) on all kinds of topics, including careers, job search and interviewing. They recently appointed me their “field expert” for the Jobs & Interviews subcategory of the Business & Career section. The site has a nice social networking element (i.e., it's fun as well as helpful!). If you visit the site, please be sure to stop by my page and leave a note on my blackboard (you’ll understand when you go there). Here’s the link to the site:

    F*R*E*E Self-Help Ebooks. This site allows you to read online—or download—several self-improvement ebooks and articles at no charge. Click here:

    Job Interview Success System. Would you like a great new job in 2008? Start preparing for it now with my guaranteed step-by-step system for helping you ace a job interview. See the details here: Job Interview Success System.

    The FOREX Killer. Are you interested in supplementing—perhaps even replacing—your paycheck? Quite a few people are doing that by investing in the foreign exchange (FOREX) currency market. I know nothing about that myself (no desire to learn it), but if YOU are interested, this product is supposed to be one of the best at teaching you all about it. Click here for more info: The FOREX Killer.

    Blogging to the Bank. Lots of people are enjoying blogging these days. Few are e*arning m*oney as a result. Why not do both? This book spells it all out. Click here for more info: Blogging to the Bank.

    Worth Quoting

    "Even if you are on the right track,
    you'll get run over if you just sit there."
    (Will Rogers)

    Just for Laughs


    A tour bus driver is driving a bus load of seniors down a highway when a little old lady taps him on the shoulder. She offers him a handful of peanuts, which he gratefully munches up.

    After about 15 minutes, she taps him on his shoulder again, and she hands him another handful of peanuts.

    She repeats this gesture about five more times.

    When she is about to hand him yet another batch, he asks the little old lady, "Why don't you eat the peanuts yourself?"

    "We can't chew them because we've no teeth," she replies.

    The puzzled driver asks, "Why do you buy them then?"

    The old lady replies, "We love sucking the chocolate off them."

    * * * * * *

    Business Time. I first heard this song on my car radio while stuck in traffic on my way home from work about three months ago. Anyone who saw the huge grin on my face probably wondered if the clogged California freeways had finally driven me insane. Here’s the link to the video on YouTube: Business Time.

    Random Rants & Ramblings

    I think this issue is long enough without me adding any rants or ramblings, don’t you? Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

    So, what did you think of this issue? Any suggestions? Topic ideas? Questions?

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    I really appreciate your feedback. Please send me a note at

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