I am asking this on a throwaway account, since I have not notified anyone of my decision, and am somewhat cautious about posting here.

I am planning on leaving the current workplace in the near future, due to medical issues that are tied to the job (I had about 150-200 hours of sick leave in the last 6 months). The reasons are specific to the job, so they should not impact me at my next role. I also plan on explaining to my current employer, that I am willing to wait a certain amount of time (maximum 1-2 months) for a person to come and replace me and for me to train them.

I am currently learning the skills for a new job during my free time, and am considering taking time off to learn them fully (at a non-enterprise level). I have the funds to be able to take time off, I'm only worried how it will look on a resume

Will this negatively impact my job search and/or interviews, if I state the medical reasons, and if I take a "break" from employment? How honest should I be to not leave a negative impact in the interview? I can guarantee them that the same medical reasons will not apply in the next role.

  • How long of a time off are you planning on taking? How similar is your current job to web development?
    – stannius
    Mar 21, 2019 at 14:58

3 Answers 3


Leaving your last job - and the reasons why you did - is only ever half the story. The fact that you're leaving for job-specific medical reasons is hard to respond to because we don't know the details. But that's probably okay, because - honestly - I think the second half of your story is much more compelling for a new employer.

You're showing initiative to plan out and execute a change in careers, complete with the self-motivation to learn a new skill set, on your own time. You're showing that you can make a long term plan and then execute it. You're showing that you're teachable. These are all great characteristics and your potential new employee will likely be impressed by them.

So - as much as you seem to be focusing on the reason for leaving your last job, that should just be a footnote, not something you focus on. Be ready to talk about your future, versus focusing on the past.

  • Wouldn't the employer be concerned that either the medical condition will not go away? I don't have a doctors writting that it is job related or anything, but the symptoms I am having, are 100% tied to the job. Mar 21, 2019 at 14:17
  • 1
    In a sense, that depends on the details of the condition I suppose. But the more important thing is, they will only know what you tell them. I wouldn't suggest to hide anything, but if you're switching careers/job skills, that's a good enough reason to leave your last job. You don't really need to emphasize the medical condition (or potentially even mention it at all). "I'm leaving my last job doing X because I really want to do Y. And here are the things I've done to prepare myself for Y" is fine enough on it's own.
    – dwizum
    Mar 21, 2019 at 14:35

If you make it clear that the medical issues were specific to the previous job and not something that will be an issue in the new one I can't see it having negative impact. It actually provides a great answer to the inevitable questions about why you left your old job and made a (presumably non-trivial) shift in role.

  • Will the blank in the resume be a red flag for employers? I mean, I will be teaching myself (web development). Mar 21, 2019 at 14:16
  • @throwaway12345 Not automatically no - as JoeStrazzare's answer points out gaps are never ideal, but with a decent/valid reason there shouldn't be too much trouble, make sure you explain in your cover letter etc that you were re-training to switch careers. If you can "fill" the gap with some more formal education or training that would be better but obviously you might not be doing this.
    – motosubatsu
    Mar 21, 2019 at 15:47

Will this negatively impact my job search and/or interviews, if I state the medical reasons, and if I take a "break" from employment? How honest should I be to not leave a negative impact in the interview? I can guarantee them that the same medical reasons will not apply in the next role.

Leaving a prior job without having a new job to go to is always a negative. In my experience, employers want to feel that work is important and intentionally being unemployed sends a signal that it isn't. If your goal is to learn new skills in your time off, you would be better served by doing that while still employed.

One must always be prepared to answer the question "Why are you leaving your current job?" as it is almost always asked during interviews.

In your case, you need to be able to express the reasons why you are leaving, why the medical issues are related solely to your last employer's workplace, and why they will not be an issue in your new job. It might be handy to have a report from your doctor.

  • Is it negative even if it's for medical reasons? Surely future employers would not expect you to work sick, or be glad that you are missing roughly 20 working days in a six month period. Would that not be seen as positive, to not burden the current employer? Mar 22, 2019 at 6:49
  • Sorry, not a native english speaker, so I'll try to explain a bit more. I am already pursuing the path to software development during my free time (still on payroll), but since it's not so easy that I could learn it in a month to get a full-stack junior role, and I don't plan on staying for longer than 1-2 months at my current company, I thought I could dedicate my time fully to learning. Another option would be searching for a new job, but I think it will look better on a resume that I just took "time off", instead of 2 months of employment just to fill the blanks. Mar 22, 2019 at 12:55
  • I haven't been asked why I left my last job in over a decade. The idea of not having small gaps is antiquated, both the recession and changing mentalities of younger generations have made them far more common. Taking a year off might be odd, but a few months is unlikely to even be asked about. Mar 22, 2019 at 19:18

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