How to Explain Why You’re Leaving Your Job in Less Than a Year

Low pay. Horrible commute. Boredom. Bad boss. The list goes on for reasons why you want to quit your new job in less than a year but how will it be perceived by potential employers?

According to J.T. O’Donnell’s post on LinkedIn, it’s not so much the length of time you spent at the employer. Potential employers are looking more closely at why you want to leave. The CEO and founder of writes”

“When we choose to leave a new job before our year anniversary, it sends the message, “Something’s wrong. Terribly wrong.” Especially, in the current economic climate where unemployment is higher and people are clamoring for jobs. That means, you better have a really, REALLY good explanation as to why you need to leave. In my experience, saying the work was great but you didn’t like management or the pay won’t go over well with employers. To them, it sounds a bit selfish and needy. Not to mention, they’ll question your ability to be patient or be a good team player. So, you are wise to be concerned about how leaving this soon will appear.”

New employers will be wondering how soon you’ll want to jump ship after they hire you. It’s critical to market yourself by highlighting your concerns by staying. For instance, indicate if you stay in your current role any longer and you’re reactive rather than proactive, you’re concerned won’t be able to easily move your career forward.

She surmises, “In short, show them you are a business-of-one who knows it’s up to you to stay relevant and employable long-term. That’s something they can respect (and pay good money for), regardless of how long you were at your last job.”

Present your current situation as dead end. You can add that if you stay, you’re concerned your skills and abilities won’t be taken to the next level. “Focus them on your desire to be better, not on your desire to get more and you’ll present yourself in the right fashion.”

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