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My current situation (time line)

  • Sep 2017 - Sep 2018: MSc Data Analytics
  • January 2019 - Current: Part time working (related to my field) in my spare time
  • May - Sep 2019: Full time working for Company A
  • Sep - Current: Full time working for Company B

I left company A due to unforeseeable circumstances of relocation and I want to leave company B as the relocation hasn't worked out as well as I had planned and my line manager (newly promoted) has treated me terribly since his new position was announced.

I left company A on a very good note and they are very happy to provide me with positive references. My old line manager for company B (still working for company B) is a very fair person and I have no doubt, he will provide me with a good reference. So references are not a problem.

My main concern is any company which I now apply to, will bypass my experience which I have gained so far, and throw my CV in the bin after reading my history.

This leads me to ask:

1.) Will employer's be able to look past my bad record

2.) And if so, what is the best way of explaining my bad history? I will be completely honest in regards to my relocation but I of course do not want to mention anything bad about company B.

Many thanks, in advance.

  • @JoeStrazzere I completely agree with you, but how much of the truth needs to be mentioned? Just the relocation aspect or my situation with my new line manager? – Ali Dec 8 '19 at 13:50
  • @JoeStrazzere Understood. I do believe I can clearly explain the matter. This all depends on the answer to my first question. If I have the experience and qualifications necessary for the job, will they want to hear me out? – Ali Dec 8 '19 at 13:53
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    It takes some time for new grads to find their place and most people understand that. Often the first job or two isn't a good fit. You're now in a better position to explain what happened and what you're looking for in a job. – teego1967 Dec 8 '19 at 13:57
  • I see, thank you very much for the advice, this will be extremely helpful in explaining my situation. Regards, Ali – Ali Dec 8 '19 at 14:00
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When I see someone with unusual work history my first question always is "why did you leave X, Y, and Z" and then let the candidate tell me a story. Ideally, this story will outline why they've joined each of those companies, what happened after joining that made them consider leaving, and if what steps they've taken to try to resolve it internally. If they can provide an honest account of what happened, and it doesn't stink, then there is nothing to hold against the candidate - as by leaving the company they've done the reasonable.

Problems begin when this story doesn't add up or is missing crucial bits. From real-life examples, I had many candidates who never attempted to fix an internal situation, but instead, at first sign of struggle (be it with management, coworkers, what gives) they decided to jump the ship, instead of trying to fix the issue first. That is something that will go on the very top of my notes, as I want people who care enough about their role enough to at least try to overcome the issues, not just give up right away.

So make sure that you have a good story to tell, one that is true, and makes sense, explaining your sound and solid reasoning behind a decision to leave, no a whim over a greener grass somewhere else.

  • One of the first things I tell new grad hires is that "This is no longer school". Your manager doesn't know "the answer". He didn't sit there to make up a quiz question. When there is a task at hand, the likelihood of someone knowing exactly what is needed to do is probably 0%. They may have experience solving this type of problem, but solving these problem is called "work". New grads that keep jumping from one problem to another may not have learned this yet, and may be expecting some amount of hand-holding. – Nelson Dec 9 '19 at 2:15
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Two jobs in short time after graduation is (in my experience) not bad enough to remove your CV alltogether. Even if it was, leaving the jobs alltogether from your CV would be worse. In an interview, you should be ready to tell a convincing story why you left the jobs (without blaming the other companies too much). Having "problems" in a job is a situation from which you can learn a lot (how you handle problems). Be ready to explain what you learned from that and why this wouldn't happen again. However, since leaving is kind of a nuclear(*) option, explain why you had to leave -- did you try to change the situation and it didn't worked out? If you can tell convincingly what you learned and why it won't happen again, you may have better changes then someone without this experience.

(*) (At least for me, it would be the nuclear option. I have seen many questions in this forum where people advised to leave a job for seemingly very small problems, so this may vary.)

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Will employer's be able to look past my bad record

Maybe. This depends in large part on the state of the job market. Right now, in US and European markets, there is a large unmet demand for software engineers and data science staff. That works to your advantage. If companies are having a hard time filling positions they will typically be willing to talk to candidates with imperfect resumes, listen to explanations, and give candidates a shot.

However, if you were in another line of work, or if the industry was contracting, there might be many qualified applicants for every open position. Companies get swamped with applicants, and anything "not quite right" about a resume will move it from the "interview" stack to the "discard" stack. You might not even get a chance to explain the reasons for your short tenures. In that sort of situation you should strongly consider sticking it out for a couple of years even in a non-optimal job.

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