So, have you written your value proposition? Have you made a list of your skills and accomplishments? If you did, are you getting a clearer picture which is making it easier to talk about yourself! Isn’t that GREAT! We’ve done intense work, so let’s slow it down a bit and answer yourself this question: Why am I looking?
I know how you feel, you are dreading the question with friends, family or, most of all, in an interview. “Why are you looking?” “Why did you leave your last job?” It is very important to take some time to think about variations of this question and how you will answer.
You might have found yourself in one or any of these situations:
- You have a job but you’re passively looking for another job;
- You have been let go; or
- You have quit your job
The trick here is to keep it brief, and not overly personal. Here’s a framework (3 sentences) to get you started:
- What is your situation or the result of the separation?
- I’m exploring other opportunities for growth.
- My company went through a reorganization.
- I left to take time to reflect and look for opportunities like the one you’re offering
- Stay objective and put things in perspective
- I’ve been in my current position for over 5 years now.
- Over 1,200 staff were cut during the reorg.
- I’m looking for a career change.
- Put a positive twist
- I am feeling stagnant being at the same company and this position caught my attention.
- I can now explore opportunities with companies like yours.
- I believe my transferable skills will serve your company well
Now that you have your statement, I highly recommend practicing it with friends and family or even in front of a mirror. You need to be comfortable, to the point and move on so you can discuss what matters most.
What if it was performance or relationship based?
Be honest and take responsibility and show your maturity. Make sure you have great, strong stories of your accomplishments to divert from it. You could have been in a sales role where you had to make many cold calls, instead of working with existing clients which is more your forté. Or, you had a personality conflict with a new boss. It is always best to stay positive and NEVER bad-mouth your former employer.
If you would like examples send me a note and I will be happy to send you some.
We have now done our inward work and now we are ready to show ourselves. Next week we will talk about your overall brand including your resume, LinkedIn or any other platform where you have a professional presence.
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