Those who can justify their planned job change improve their prospects. After all, the human resources manager naturally wants to know why you want to be with him or her in the first place. Is it for the big salary? Or the status associated with the new job? Some arguments are understandable, others are bold.
Justifying the job change: It has to be done!
A trivial job change today is just a shrug. So what? Only those who change employers can make a salary jump or discover a whole new industry.
That brings us to two of the most important arguments for changing jobs. But should you also mention money as a motivation for a change? I’d rather not. But you should give the reason when applying for a new employer. Why do you want to change jobs? It probably interests him or her more than anything else.
If you don’t give a reason, it could raise the suspicion that you are about to be fired. Or that you don’t get along with your colleagues and superiors. Or that you’re really only interested in money. These are not arguments that will convince a human resources manager. So you have to find a good reason.
This happens more often when HR managers actively ask you to. Justify and argue, but don’t justify yourself! You will feel like you have a guilty conscience. Why should you have one? Even an anticipated apology is a common mistake that is tactically unwise.
What to do?
A job change usually leads to success if it is tied to a clear goal. For example, the goal of gaining a foothold in another industry or building a team. If, on the other hand, you’re running away from problems and just want to get away from your old job, it’s unlikely that you’ll get out of it as easily.
Of course, you may very well only want to change jobs out of frustration or dissatisfaction. But you should not use this as a reason. It devalues the potential employer, according to the motto: “The main thing is to get out of the old job!
It is better to look ahead and focus on the positive aspects of the new position. A possible formulation would be:
Your company is active in the niche I am interested in. The position you have advertised is exactly what I want and what I am qualified for. I see excellent opportunities to grow and develop your company with my expertise.
However, this wording is still rather vague. As soon as the employer has the impression that a candidate can help him/her in a certain task, his/her interest increases. That is why you should always tailor your application to the company in question. What are your ambitions and skills? How do you want to develop yourself in concrete terms?
When a justification is problematic
This is not the case with a fixed-term employment contract. On the contrary, your responsibilities are clearly defined here (e.g. representation of parents). There is often no development perspective. If you make big plans for the future, this can be a deterrent for the employer.
In this case, you should focus more on your current strengths and interests. For you, it’s important to get up to speed as quickly as possible so that you can contribute to the company’s success. It might look like this, for example:
I can fully apply and utilize my core competencies in the advertised position. I have many years of experience in the logistics industry. The specialized areas for which you are looking for reinforcements fit my profile exactly.
It is very important that your reasoning is adapted to the job in question. It must be consistent and precise – otherwise you lose credibility.
An important rule of thumb for candidates is: never blaspheme about your former employer! Even if it would be more than justified from your perspective, because you’ve done nothing but stupid jobs. Blame and bad words are absolutely taboo. It suggests a lack of character. Your future employer will think twice about shooting himself in the foot when hiring a blasphemer.
Justifying the job change: What if there are doubts?
You have decided to change jobs. Your reasons are irrefutable. Yet doubts may arise during the application process. Your skepticism may grow, especially if the change does not happen immediately. Your own confidence may erode – and you may even lose faith in your own reasons for changing jobs.
Justifying a job change: Here are 5 good reasons
There are countless reasons to change jobs. Some are good, some are not so good. Five classic reasons for job change are widely accepted by personnel managers. They are positive. They are these:
“I’m looking for a new challenge.” Five euros in the phrase “pig!” This phrase gets into the felt with every request and thus causes some to shrug. But still, it’s a good reason to change. However, you need to be specific about the type of challenge you are seeking. It may be staff or budget responsibilities, or it may be larger projects you want to take on, or you want to build a team or launch a product. If this information is lacking, the rationale only serves as a cop-out. You are obviously only looking for the new challenge because the old one is gone.
This is no longer a good reason just for academics: they want to work more internationally and gain experience abroad. “I want to work abroad”: That’s a good enough reason. It would be great if you could give one good reason why you want to change your job abroad. Maybe you bring specific knowledge and interest to your country (for example, because of a migratory background). Or maybe you speak excellent Portuguese and therefore want to work temporarily as an expatriate in Brazil. Because remember: jobs abroad are usually limited and highly sought after.
This is the all-time classic. “I want to grow.” The answer sounds great, but it’s also very vague. So you might want to go into a little more detail. In what way – and where – do you want to evolve? Sometimes the answer comes naturally. For example, if you’ve been in your current position for three or five years, it makes sense to take the next step now – and move up. To grow, it doesn’t always have to be vertically, but it can also be horizontally. In other words, you don’t necessarily have to move up, but you can also step sideways or even backwards to learn or try something new. Today, in an age of flattening hierarchies and weird resumes, this makes a lot more sense than it did in the past.
This card also stings: your wife or husband has found a job in another city. So you need to move on and look for something new. No employer who doesn’t understand. The scenarios are many and varied: you may have just gone through a separation, or you may want to move in together, or you may want to work part-time because of your children, or… Just to be clear: this is your private business, not the employer’s, in principle. But if you want to be persuasive, you can do a great job.
- Change of scenery
If you’ve been active for years in a medium-sized company, it may be time to get a taste of the times. Or the other way around: you want to make a difference in manageable structures rather than drown in a thick ship. Or you want to move to the agile ship called Startup. Each company has its own criteria. The work environment and general conditions are different. One character is more interested in one thing, the other in another. This is always an understandable reason for a job change. But you should do some research beforehand: Can your potential new employer offer you what you are looking for? Can you find the environment in which you feel comfortable? If not, your reasons will create new problems…
By the way, there is a sixth very valid reason. “I want to change industries.” This is the trickiest answer. So we are dedicating a separate chapter to it. More on that later…
Rationale for an Industry Change: Here’s How It’s Done
Justifying an industry change is a particular challenge. After all, you probably lack knowledge and experience in the industry. And the step is often very large. A change in industry is often associated with a complete change in profession. You have no network, no references, you don’t know your way around, you can’t have a say. A big challenge!
That’s why you need to focus on your strengths and knowledge, which will also be useful in the new industry. Because a lot of knowledge and skills are transferable. What is useful in one industry can also be very useful in another. Choose the skills that you will score with. These can also be skills that you think are still largely missing in the new industry. If you can convincingly demonstrate how and with what you enrich the industry, the employer may take the bait.
This is of course easier if there is overlap between two sectors. The telecommunications and energy industries, for example, are very similar in part. In such a case, if you put forward your empirical knowledge, you can score points.
A good reason for a job change might be:
-In my industry, I have years of experience in XYZ and have already achieved such and such success. I would now like to use this expertise in a completely different sector and reorient my professional activity. I see a great potential and the right opportunity for a change of industry.
-Because passion and interest are good arguments for an industry change. But it’s best if you can offer added value to your new employer. The company is less concerned about your fulfillment and more concerned about their business benefits. It will if you can transfer the skills and experience from your old job to the new one. Internships or part-time jobs can help newcomers in their careers.
However, there is another issue: your previous focus and industry will, logically, be highlighted on your resume. So you need to emphasize your motivation to change in other parts of your application. To do this, you have these options:
Justify the change of job: Not like this!
There are good reasons to change jobs. But there are also good reasons to oppose it. Here are the top 3:
“I want to make more money.” No HR person likes to hear this. Of course, everyone is aware that salary is one of the main motivations for change. But don’t say it in such an obvious way! It betrays the fact that you’re not really interested in the job, but mostly in the money. Vocation or even love of the job? Probably not. Besides, your employer can’t expect to have a loyal employee. The danger of you leaving immediately with a better offer would be great.
If you are moving from a full-time to a part-time job, the temporal reason is obvious. Then you can say. “I want more time with my family.” But if you’re also working full-time at your new employer, that shouldn’t be your main argument. It’s humanly possible, but it suggests “I want to work as little as possible.” “I try to free myself from extra work whenever I can.” This suggests no ambition or commitment. That may be a mistake, but that’s how it is with HR.
You can do it, but to justify a job change, you have to put the employer’s attractiveness last. It shows: you are looking for status and recognition. It’s also very human, but it’s not a good reason. The employer needs a well-established personality and intact self-esteem. You are working to advance the company, not to compensate for your inferiority complex.