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May 16, 2021

Employees quit jobs for pretty strange reasons

“Why did you leave your last job?” is a question can strike fear in even the most confident job seeker. But you're definitely going to hear it during your next interview.

A stronger economy often gives workers greater courage to change jobs, but the reasons for people leaving vary sharply, including the simply wacky, according to a new OfficeTeam survey.

When pressed, here are just a few of the truly lame reasons people offer before packing it in: 

  • "One person left because she lost her cell phone too many times at work."
  • "An employee said it was his routine to change jobs every six months."
  • "A guy said he was making too much money and didn't feel he was worth it."
  • "One person left because she didn't want to work so hard."
  • "Someone quit because work was getting in the way of having fun."
  • "The worker told us he just couldn't get up in the morning."
  • "An individual did not like the sound of file cabinets being slammed."
  • "A person quit because he hated the carpet."

If you are going to leave, at least do it properly, OfficeTeam recommends. Be sure to

Give proper notice. Tell your boss about your departure first so he or she doesn't hear it through the grapevine. Providing two weeks notice is standard, but if your schedule is flexible, offer to stay longer to train a replacement.

Get things in order. Supply written instructions to team members on projects and make sure they have access to the tools and information needed to complete assignments.

Stay positive. Take the time to say goodbye and thank you to colleagues. Provide your contact information and reach out to those with whom you'd like to keep in touch.  

Don't slack off. Use your last weeks on the job to complete as much work as possible on outstanding projects. You want to be remembered as a strong contributor to the end.   

Talk before you walk. Participate in an exit interview if it's offered. Be honest with your feedback, but keep it constructive and professional. Your comments and suggestions could potentially help to improve the workplace.  

Realize also that before you turn in your notice, you need to do some cleaning up and clearing out, says job-search expert Susan Joyce. Aside from your desk and personal space, collect your old performance reviews and other personnel records and take them home.

What prompted you to leave your last job? Did you walk out in a huff or take the time to set the record straight?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...