Looking for a reason for leaving to give your boss or a prospective employer? When you’re moving on to a new position and applying for a new job, one of the questions you’ll need to answer is why you are leaving or have left your job. Your boss may want to know why you are resigning and future employers will want to know why you moved on.

You will need to list reasons for leaving on job applications and you will be asked why you left or are leaving your current job during job interviews. Before you start a job search, it’s a good idea to figure out what you’re going to say, so your reason is consistent on your job applications and in interviews.

Make Sure the Reasons Match

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s important that the reason you give matches what your previous employers are going to say. It’s a red flag for a hiring manager if the reason you give for leaving doesn’t match the answer your past employers give when they check your references.

Here’s a list of some good, and some bad, reasons for leaving your job.

Good Reasons for Leaving Your Job

These reasons all work well because they are all legitimate reasons an employee can decide to move on to a new position.

  • Limited growth at company
  • Good reputation and opportunity at the new company
  • Looking for a new challenge
  • Good career opportunity
  • Went back to school
  • Relocation
  • Change in career path
  • Company downsized
  • Company went out of business
  • Reorganization or merger
  • Long commute
  • Needed a full-time position
  • Position eliminated
  • Position ended
  • Offered a permanent position
  • Landed a higher paying job
  • Seeking more responsibility
  • Seasonal position
  • Not enough work or challenge
  • Stayed home to raise family
  • Not compatible with company goals
  • Retired

Bad Reasons for Leaving Your Job

Even if it’s true, there are some reasons you shouldn’t use. It’s not a good idea to bad mouth your past jobs, bosses or companies or to share too much personal information.

  • My boss was a jerk
  • Hated my job
  • My mom made me quit
  • Manager was stupid
  • Let go for tardiness
  • No transportation
  • Injured
  • Arrested
  • Rocky marriage
  • Didn’t like the schedule
  • Didn’t want to work as many hours
  • Let go for harassment
  • Childcare issues
  • Passed over for promotion
  • Didn’t get along with co-workers
  • Job was too difficult
  • Overtime was required
  • Bored at work