Nice way to say I didn’t like my job!

Thursday, April 30th, 2009 - career change, career management, career transition, CV Help, CV Tips, how to make a cv, How to Write a CV, Job Application, job search

I didn’t like my job

Marmite bear
Creative Commons License photo credit: Sarah G…

Laura asks: I recently left a marketing job as I was very unhappy in the company and with my role – I was so unhappy and stressed by it all that I really did not feel that I could stay any longer.  I wanted some time out to re-think my career options as I am considering pursuing teaching.  I will soon start voluntary work in a primary school, with a view to apply for a PGCE to start in September 2010 but in the meantime I am trying to find some part-time temporary work. I am aware that in looking for this temporary work (and perhaps in my PGCE application) I am going to be asked why I left my marketing job.  I was wondering if there is a way to explain my reasons professionally – I don’t want to put a potential employer off by seeming to be bitter about it or appearing to be someone who leaves a job for no reason! I’d be really grateful for any advice you might have as to how to explain my situation.

In answer:
I don’t think that there will be any problems, as you don’t need to tell any lies. You can truthfully say that at a certain point you realised that you were more suited to the challenges of teaching / you had a passion for teaching, and you re-thought your career options and decided to apply for a PGCE. You could even say that you weren’t particularly happy in marketing, and that when you critically assessed your skills and strengths you realise you’re more suited to teaching.

Whatever you do, resist the temptation to bad-mouth your employer or the job itself, as that does look unprofessional. If necessary, think about the good things to come out of your marketing job – even better if they are the sort of aspects you will face in temp jobs or in teaching. (For example, you could talk up how you like researching, managing your own workload, coaching and mentoring others etc).

Employers are only interested in job applicants, once they accept you have the skills (functional requirements), that you will fit their team. If you are changing careers at the same time, and thier job will be your first post in this new market, then they want to know you are passionate about that new career and them, and hence assured you will stick at it.

You have made this switch easier for yourself by picking a career which is recognised as a “passion” choice over a monetary, power or management choice. Make sure you focus your CV, application and interview efforts into communicating that passion for teaching, as opposed to creating focus on the why you left marketing. If you create enough forward momentum, they won’t care about the past.

Good Luck!

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