I had worked at my previous employer for 13 years as a Staff Analyst/Developer. A new manager and I did not see eye to eye on many recent projects as she was a professional manager and non-technical. I was called into an office on Monday and told in a meeting with her, my VP and an HR rep that I was being terminated but that due to my long years of service I would be given the opportunity to resign. I felt punched in the stomach and did not know what more to say other than to agree to resign. I even found out later that my manager went around saying that I had resigned unexpectedly.

While that scenario is unusual I am less concerned with the past and more concerned with how I get over it and move on with a new employer. What should I say during interviews as to why I 'resigned unexpectedly'? How do I explain when they call my previous employer that I am ineligible for rehire? This is in the US, specifically Colorado.

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    I'm not very familiar with US rules, but how come that you preferred choosing for a resignation instead of being terminated? And how come this is an "opportunity"? Finally if that is so usual, then I guess explaining it to your future employer shouldn't be too much of an issue...
    – Laurent S.
    Aug 13, 2017 at 15:20
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    It would be considered an opportunity as being terminated is viewed very poorly by any new employer.
    – SDH
    Aug 13, 2017 at 15:44
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    Possible duplicate of In a job interview, how do I explain why I was fired?
    – mcknz
    Aug 13, 2017 at 16:11
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    Termination (without cause) in most cases allows you to file for unemployment benefits. When you resign you may not be eligible for those benefits. Depends on state law.
    – mcknz
    Aug 13, 2017 at 17:04
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    @mcknz he wasn't terminated he resigned, there is a difference. Aug 14, 2017 at 17:41

3 Answers 3


I had something similar happen to me. I explained at my next interview that the residing supervisor and I did not see eye to eye and for the company's benefit, as well as mine, we decided it would be best that my talents were used in another capacity.

While it may not be an ideal answer, it should give you the opportunity to explain the situation without casting blame one way or another.


You could answer: your previous workplace did not give you the opportunity to develop your career and responsibilities in a way that you were happy with. When being asked why, you can tell that your current skills were not something the company was interested to develop, since the management changed and reevaluated in which direction they want to develop the department/team.

The solution that you resign is actually a win for both: you, since you are not fired, and your old company because there is no risk that somebody asks why you were fired. I actually think it is a good sign that your manager states that this was your wish, this is very professional.


What you need to do in the future is be honest.

Tell the next employer that your reason for leaving is that you and the new management did not see eye to eye on a technical level and it was mutually decided that you would resign.

That is basically what happens when someone offers you a chance to resign. They are giving you a chance to mutually agree that you would probably be a better fit somewhere else. The flip side is, if you don't see eye to eye with them, you will almost certainly be fired. Use the gift (I use that term loosely) they gave you as a way to get hired somewhere else. If they just fired you, it would be much harder to get a job.

As dim as the bright side is here, they did do you a very small favour by allowing you to resign.

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