Advice

Courage to change careers – reasons how you can explain your change to your new employer

You have decided to change your career. This decision was certainly not made overnight by you, but gradually various aspects will have contributed to the decision to start a new career. Now you have the courage to change and reorient your career.

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Changing and optimizing your (professional) life

For many employees, it takes a long time to admit the desire for a career change at all. For many, wanting to reorient themselves professionally means having to change their own lives. This often worries you because you don’t know what the future will look like with another employer and whether it will be any better.

However, if you have decided to change your career and are already writing applications for a new, more exciting, or more suitable position, there is only one small thing in the way of starting a new career: how do you explain the reorientation in your job to your future employer? Because the question of why you want to change jobs is guaranteed to be asked.

Justify the professional change

The question to this answer often allows conclusions to be drawn about your previous, still existing employment. The fact that you did not get along with your colleagues or the supervisor is usually a rather bad reason and may give the HR manager to think about during the interview – what if it is the same in his company and you back down on small problems in the team?

We, therefore, want to name and explain five understandable (and frequently occurring) reasons for reorienting your career. Perhaps one of these also applies to you, so that you can better explain your motive for changing with our tips. Or you can at least describe the problems with your colleagues and state that you would like “more challenges in a larger company”.

Either way, the HR manager with whom you will conduct your interview is also just a person who can certainly understand the individual reasons for changing jobs – if you can explain them clearly.

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You want to develop yourself further and take on new challenges

It is the case with many employees that at a certain point you get the feeling that you can no longer develop yourself in your own company. Perhaps the highest possible position for you has already been achieved. This can especially be the case with flat hierarchies with few hierarchy levels. If you notice that you are not making any further progress, although you want new challenges, the desire for a career change is very understandable. In the interview with the potential employer, make it clear where you want to go professionally and why your previous professional position is not enough for you. It should be clear which development opportunities you would like in the future, what you want to learn, and why you believe that this can be possible for you with this potential new employer. What do “new challenges” mean for you personally?

You want to work in a different work environment or industry

Another common reason for changing jobs is wanting a different work environment or industry. Perhaps you would like other sizes or structures and would like to switch from a small/medium-sized company to a corporation or a start-up. You might also want to work more internationally. Or the same job in another industry just looks more attractive to you.

In these cases, prepare for the interview by considering why the potential new employer can offer you this. What will you gain by changing employers and starting a new career in this company?

You don’t want to commute as far

You actually enjoy your job, but the long drive to work annoys you. A reason that everyone can understand. If your current employer does not offer a (more frequent) option to work from home or suggests a transfer, only a career change that affects the place of work is an option.

Your private life will change for the better if, in addition to the reduced commuting times, you have a new, attractive job that offers you exciting tasks. Your potential new employer will definitely understand this reason. Just make sure that the shorter travel time can be guaranteed, or to what extent you would be available for optional business trips.

You want to spend more time with the family

The impetus to change jobs and to reorient yourself professionally in order to be able to spend more time with one’s own family is often related to the point mentioned above. You don’t have enough time for your own family because you commute so long. But for other reasons too, it can be possible that you do not have enough time for your private life. Maybe because the working time is 40 hours a week, and you would like to reduce it, but you can’t do that with your old employer. Or because, for example, you have shift work that also covers the weekends.

A career change with a new employer can create an improvement in terms of personal work-life balance. In such cases, however, play directly with your cards open. If you are having a conversation with the HR manager and do not address such change motives, it is possible that you will find yourself in the same situation afterward as before. Clarify accordingly when and in what period the working hours must be performed. Perhaps they will also offer you a home office day per week, or a reallocation of working hours to the days of the week.

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You want to earn more

Sometimes a reorientation in your job is necessary because you are absolutely not satisfied with your current salary. Or you know that nothing can be changed about the current salary – for example, because you have reached the last salary level, although there is still room for improvement at your own discretion. When looking for a new job, you should state your desired salary directly in such a situation and also address this in the conversation. Sometimes you will have good reasons to expect more money.

Maybe your previous employer just couldn’t pay anymore. At another company, depending on the industry and size, it can look quite different for the same position in terms of content. Make it clear why you expect this salary and why you think that your competencies mean that you should be entitled to an X sum. Sometimes the company has fixed salary levels that you can find out about in advance.

Still, you always have to be a little careful with this reason. A certain salary is certainly necessary in order to be able to live well. But a higher salary doesn’t necessarily have to do with having fun at work. If you can earn more money elsewhere but are actually otherwise satisfied with your position and work, you should think twice about switching. So prepare plausible explanations for the interview. Why do you think you should be earning more? Why do you think you should achieve this with this company?

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