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I am currently looking for a new job and graduated last year with a Bachelors in Management. I left a 5 year Medical Accounts Receivable job for a Collections position with better pay at another company. However, I resigned after 90 days because I did not like how the company treated their employees and unrealistic expectations.

On applications and interviews, I stated the position was not a good fit and wanted a position outside of collections. Basically, I am seeking a career change. However, I went to a temp agency last week to see about a Temp to Hire position. The representative told me that no one would understand my explanation.

Is my explanation too vague? I do not want to bury my past employer.

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    Could you elaborate what you mean by fit? Are there positions outside of collections in AR? – JB King May 8 '14 at 1:19
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    What's AR? Accounts Receivable? – Bernhard Barker May 8 '14 at 1:23
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    So, you worked in Accounts Receivable and you didn't want to make collection calls? Interesting. – Vietnhi Phuvan May 8 '14 at 3:12
  • "On applications and interviews, I stated {something that wasn't true}" - not a good way to start, wouldn't you agree? – AakashM May 8 '14 at 8:05
  • @AakashM Just because it's not the reason for quitting doesn't mean it's necessarily false. There's nothing wrong with saying "I left because [alternate contributing factor that is much more diplomatic than main reason]". – starsplusplus May 8 '14 at 14:22
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Position was not a good fit and wanted a position outside of collections.

"Not a good fit" is a bit too broad - that could literally mean any reason why someone would want to leave a job (so it's like saying "I left because I wanted to leave"). You'll need to explain why the position wasn't a good fit, or at least what would make another position a good fit.

I don't work in this domain, so I can't really comment on "a position outside of collections" - but it's worth thinking about (and being able to answer) why you specifically don't want to work in collections, and perhaps using this as the reason instead, or including that reason as part of saying you don't want to work in collections.

I did not like how the company treated their employees.

Some may see this as a fairly reasonable reason, as long as you can justify it when asked.

Although others may view saying bad things about a current / previous employer negatively.

So, a reason that focusses more on "different" (or "better for you") rather than "bad" would probably be best.

What is the actual behaviour of the company? If it includes lack of advancement and/or low salaries, you could consider something like:

I didn't feel like there's a lot of room to grow professionally.

There is, however, a fair amount of risk involved here as it coming across as you just wanting more money.

If the behaviour is mistreating employees, you could consider something like:

I had a personality clash with management.

This one may be a bit more difficult to justify honestly and without saying bad things about the company, and it may also make it come across like you're difficult to work with.

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AR means Accounts Receivable in the software applications world, but a lot of people would be mystified even by the term Accounts Receivable. If you're working for a company collecting from deadbeats, then you're in one of those nasty environments that pays well because no one will work there otherwise - obviously including you. However, if you were working for a medical clinic you're mostly dealing with insurance companies or benefits agencies - thus this is 'collections' but it isn't screaming at people over the telephone.

It's appropriate to create a picture of what kind of environment existed in the first company and compare that to what existed in the second. This doesn't involve much detail - the first company 'processed utility payments' and the second company collected 'over-90-day' invoices for medical professionals, as an example. Most employers could pretty much figure out why you would burn out in the latter role.

Emphasize that, as a manager, you like to create a productive but comfortable environment - this is your style. Provide examples of how you get stressed people to settle down, and how you set up a fallback when a customer gets nasty. There are a lot of employers that would appreciate a manager that can do that.

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