How should I explain job searching after only eight months?
May 29, 2012 5:43 PM Subscribe
Eight months into a one-year contract, I'm aggressively searching for a new job because of a horrible boss. How should I explain my short stay at the company to recruiters and potential employers?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
From a potential employer's point of view, it's probably surprising that I would be searching now. First, I've stayed at my past jobs between three and five years (and I can give concrete reasons for leaving, such as moving to a new city). Second, I work for a big corporation that's known for high salaries and excellent benefits. Third, it's legally challenging for me to change jobs because of my work permit situation (I'm an immigrant). And finally, they might wonder why I'm trying to leave before the end of my contract, when the end is relatively near. (Even if they don't explicitly ask me, most people will guess that I'm working under a one-year contract, based on normal hiring practices where I live.)
Trust me when I say that my working environment is bad enough that I can't finish the contract and I need to get out as soon as possible, for my emotional well-being. But I need to secure a new position first.
I want to get my story straight so that:
- I have a coherent explanation for wanting to leave
- I don't blurt out something unprofessional (in my secret desperation to get out)
- employers don't worry that I'll do the same to them (I'm definitely looking for a place where I can stay many years, but of course all applicants will say that)
- it's clear that I'm not being "unofficially fired" (my coworkers and intermediate managers are very happy with my work; the boss is terrible to everyone, not just to me)
- I can field probing questions about my situation (last time I was job hunting, I tried to keep it vague to avoid saying negative things about my employer, and that inevitably led to more questions because recruiters/interviewers were curious)
- I still communicate that I'm good at my job, I'm professional but friendly, and I'm not a complainer or someone who needs to be handled with kid gloves (all true - I'm just in a situation that's not working for me and is not going to change)
I'd love to hear advice from people who have experience job hunting in such a situation, and from hiring managers and HR employees who have evaluated applicants who are looking to move on after a short stay at a company.