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I'm just wondering, but let's say you are working in financial industry for a big corporation, where there is room for growth, management encourages personal development, pay is good but employees still decide to leave.

At my current job I work with individuals that have worked at some of the big corporations in the area, doing the same thing pretty much. Every few years they go to another company.

I just wonder, when asked at the interview, "Why do you want to leave your job", what do these people say? Like what are some of the reasons for leaving?

I understand if someone wants to leave a small company for big corporation because of stability or something along those lines. But other than that, what can possibly be the reason to leave one corporation and go to another, in the same industry?

What would you say if asked at an interview why you want to leave a job? I understand people want to make more money or get bored but this is not something you would say to an interviewer, is it?

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  • "I just wonder, when asked at the interview "why do you want to leave your job", what do these people say?" Why do you wonder this? What is your goal here? – Uchiha Madara Jan 2 '20 at 17:01
  • Higher Salary, Hate their current boss/coworkers/office/whatever, More Responsibility, Shorter Commute, More Prestigious Name, Different Team/Business Area/Industry, there's a million different potential reasons. Higher Salary is by far the most common though. – Kaz Jan 2 '20 at 17:01
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    @Kaz you wouldnt say this at the interview. I want to know how you would explain it to interviewer basically. If younwork at a company that offers a lot of the things people typicaly say they want in career (growth, stability blah blah), what other reasons you can give interviewer for wanting to leave? – Koosh Jan 2 '20 at 17:40
  • @UchihaMadara how do you reply to a why do you want to leave? Especially if you work at a company that offers a lot of the things people usually use as an excuse to leave – Koosh Jan 2 '20 at 17:41
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    @Koosh "how do you reply to a why do you want to leave?" I reply to it with the reasons why I want to join the new company, without explicitly stating that I don't have those things at my current company. "Especially if you work at a company that offers a lot of the things" If the "lot of things" they offer does not include the things I would like to have, then I will look for them elsewhere as soon as it becomes practical. It is still not clear what you are looking for here. The short answer is "people give the reasons why they want to leave" but you clearly already know that. – Uchiha Madara Jan 3 '20 at 3:51
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In my field, I am lucky to get a 2% cost of living raise yearly, even with good to excellent performance reviews, but can get a 5-10% raise by switching jobs, even at the same title/level. I value other things, including stability, somewhat more than strictly maximizing salary at all costs, but it's pretty widely known that a good segment of employees will bail after 2-3 years for the primary purpose of getting a salary increase. Most people don't come right out and say "because you're stingy with the raises" at exit interviews, but it's generally understood.

Other reasons that I, or someone I personally know, have left an otherwise good job:

  • Boredom
  • Too much responsibility or too much stress
  • Not enough responsibility or a feeling of stagnation
  • Found an opening in a more desirable (for prestige or just personal preference) company
  • Personality conflict with manager or team
  • Wanted to work in the Big City (or wanted to avoid the big city)
  • Wanted to obtain a specific benefit (like remote work or flex hours, short commute, educational stipend, etc), or better benefits in general
  • Wanted to change careers or industries
  • Moving. Wanted or needed to live in a different area, for family reason or just preference
  • Opportunity to work with someone they like/admire, a former coworker, friend or an expert in the field

Although these reasons vary in how 'good' they sound when leaving an employer, I think what you really wish to know may be better covered by question about What to say in an exit interview.

In general, exit interviews are very little to no benefit to the departing employee, and only marginally more to the company they are leaving. The usual guidance is to be positive, brief and vague. Focus on how much you enjoyed and/or learned from your current job, and that you got another offer you just couldn't refuse (no explanation of why is needed). If you like, you can name a manager or coworker who really made your time at the company pleasant or productive or educational, but you should avoid out-the-door complaints in most cases.

If you are leaving for a reason like outright abuse, ethical concerns, etc, you may wish to mention this on exit, but it's not a good idea to air minor grievances.

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what would you say if asked at an interview why you want to leave a job?

The truth.

There is a reason why I'm looking at this opportunity, otherwise I wouldn't get the question. Could be something particular attractive about the new gig or something detracting about your current job. Could also be just curiosity. A perfectly good answer is

"I'm quite happy with my current job but your opportunity looks interesting and I'd be open to explore this a bit".

This gives you a very strong negotiation position since you are signalling the new employer that they need to make it worth your while.

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Job searching is an instant market evaluation

Large companies often have limits of raises and promotion opportunities. Take my company/government for example. Because of economic and political conditions, they decided that there will be no raises this year. I don’t know when performance reviews are, but the fact that I have no idea after 4 months is telling. Things are stuck to a timeline and it is difficult to break free from that timeline, except by leaving.

Anyone who wants a raise who works here will either need to wait a year at least or leave. Plenty of software engineers here have done just that.

None of this matters to me yet as I am a new grad and the starting salary is good, but devs only last 9-15 months here despite good benefits, good pay, paid development, and some growth.

They do it to grow on their own timeline, not a rigid enforced timeline.

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