Are You Leaving a Job Because You Have to or Because You Want to?

Professionals quit their jobs for a wide variety of reasons. In some cases, they leave out of necessity, as circumstances beyond their control make heading out the door a must. In others, the decision is completely voluntarily and is often a reflection of their desire to move on to something better in their eyes.

Understanding whether you are leaving your job because you have to or because you want to can help you plan your exit better. Additionally, you’ll be prepared to handle the situation properly when you ultimately give your manager notice or submit a resignation letter. If you aren’t sure which category you fall into, here’s what you need to know.

Leaving Because You Have to

There are instances where quitting a job isn’t much of a choice. At times, it is merely a necessity, and you have little control over the situation. For example, if you have to move to a new city, take time away from the workforce to become a primary caregiver for an ill family member, or deal with your own health issue, those reasons may all not be optional.

Additionally, if your workplace is hostile to the point of being dangerous or significantly damaging to your mental health, or is genuinely unsafe and any attempt to get the issue resolved don’t work, quitting might fall into this category.

Often, leaving a job because you have to is an easier situation. Your reasoning typically isn’t up for debate, so you may feel more confident about making the switch. Plus, it is often simple to explain these circumstances to potential employers, as many of these reasons are easy to understand. The only point where you need to remain cautious is if you are moving away from a hostile or dangerous environment, as badmouthing a former employer is rarely a good idea, even if there is some justification for your feelings on the matter.

Leaving Because You Want to

Leaving a job because you want to is usually a bit different. You may be heading out the door to pursue a better opportunity, seek out new challenges, or simply because your current role isn’t a good fit. If you clash with the company’s culture, but it isn’t inherently dangerous or abusive, that commonly qualifies in this category as well.

It isn’t uncommon to feel conflicted if you are leaving because you want to and not out of necessity. The situation is less concrete and typically isn’t dire, so it is easier for doubts to creep into the equation.

However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good reason to quit. If a new opportunity comes with higher pay, more professional development opportunities, a better culture, a shorter commute, or anything that can benefit your life, it can be the right choice.

You do have to be careful when you explain your reasoning to prospective employers. Avoid discussing any shortcomings you have encountered in your current (or last) role. Instead, focus on how finding a new position can help you move toward your goals, highlighting what the prospective employer has to offer and how the opportunity better aligns with your objectives.

Ultimately, leaving a job because you have to or because you want to are both reasonable justifications. Just be aware of how you talk about your reasoning, as that is more likely to influence the hiring manager’s opinion of you than anything else.

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If you’d like to know more, the team at TRC Staffing Services can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our staff today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

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