I'm not sure if it's fair to directly say my ex-manager was not supportive. So I'll describe my struggles and feedback at my previous job first.

I changed jobs a few times after graduation to be able to get a more technical role to build up my foundation (along the way I also signed for a few courses) and finally I got to the buy side to do financial analysis from a marketing background. In the interview, I made it clear I had no financial modeling experience but I was really keen to learn and I passed the basic modeling test (I took online course). The fund manager gave me that job but in the daily work my direct manager's approach was to throw me different work assignments without initial walking through and previous example. She said she wouldn't hand in everything on a plate and I needed to think. I guess it made sense and so I started my work. I would consult Google if I can't figure out some formulas and did trails and errors to find out the best approach to do an analysis. Then I got the feedback that I was way too slow. When I explained my approach, she said why you didn't ask me questions in the first place but instead to go ahead and do trails and errors?? It's a complete waste of time. But for me, I did't even know what to ask in the first as I never did that before. I only figured out which parameters to look for when I tried a few times.

So this situation went on for a while until they officially let me know it's not a match for both sides and ask me to resign.

My questions are how should I explain the reason I left my previous firm in the interview? And should I keep looking for similar function or I better find a new function that I may be able to prove my value easier?

  • 6
    "ask me to resign" - don't ever do that; in many (most?) jurisdictions, that makes you ineligible for unemployment benefit.
    – Mawg
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 7:09
  • 1
    @Mawg you are correct. Make them fire you, at least in the US.
    – Neo
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


how should I explain the reason I left my previous firm in the interview?

Say that you could not see your career progressing as you had hoped, and felt that you were stagnating.

Tell the interviewing company what you hope for in your future career, and ask them if they can provide it. It's a two-way street, and they will know that if they can provide what you want then they will retain you for the long term, which is what they want.

And should I keep looking for similar function or I better find a new function that I may be able to prove my value easier?

Only you can decide that.

But, my advice would be to do what you want long term, rather than seek an easy short term solution. You will be working for more than 40 years, so "de-painify" it. When the alarm rings every morning I actually look forward to work. I can't imagine what 40 years (approx 8,000 days) of waking up to know that you have to go to something you despise would be like

  • Especially early in your career "I'd have liked to have learned more in this role" is perfectly valid.
    – Borgh
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 8:51
  • OP seems to feel that he is not advancing his career, which I interpreted as stagnation. I could be wrong (and usually am). TO my mind, it doesn't really matter how long he has held his job.
    – Mawg
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 11:52
  • Nor do I, which kind of proves my point :-)
    – Mawg
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 13:33
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    If i may add on to this a bit. During your next interview. Ask them what the first week of the job would look like for you, how will they acclimate you to their way of doing things. Then follow up with asking them what milestone they expect of a new hire at 6 months, and then a year. Also be sure to ask what the day to day functions of the job will be. Often they will give you a more detailed explanation than what they post in the job description. if they struggle to tell you how your first week will look, or cant explain how they will acclimate you to the position, it may be a big red flag.
    – jesse
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 18:16

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