Is It Acceptable To Say “Personal Reasons” As A Reason For Quitting A Job?

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The short answer is “Yes!” It is acceptable to say “Personal Reasons” as a reason for quitting a job. In most circumstances, people quit their job for a better or different opportunity. It may make you uncomfortable to share this with your current employer and you should not have to do so unwillingly.

SOURCE: CNBC Why Millions of Workers are Quitting

So, You Made The Decision To Leave

Now that you have made the decision to quit, HOW you exit will be of great importance. You may or may not have been happy in your job but this is not the time to show unnecessary drama.

The “Halo Effect” applies to your Performance Appraisal and to your behaviour when you are exiting. We tend to have short-term memories, so keep your words and behaviours pleasant and positive.

No Explanation Necessary 

If you are on probation, no reason is required from your employer or from you, if either party decides to terminate the contract. If you are a permanent employee, you will be required to provide some notice to your employer in your letter of resignation.

The amount of notice should be stated clearly in your employment contract and may vary from two (2) weeks to three (3) months. This will depend on your tenure, responsibilities and the level of the position that you hold, that is, a staff position or a management position.

Still, no explanation for your decision is necessary. It may, however, be the polite thing to do.

Your Decision Is Personal To You

Always bear this in mind. A decision to resign from your current job is personal to you and to your family. 

Leaving a job should not be a knee-jerk decision unless it impacts your morals, ethics and personal values. The C-19 pandemic gave many people an opportunity to rethink their jobs and careers. Many front-line workers such as those in the medical and hospitality industries were hit the hardest when it came to working.

Many more evaluated the impact that their jobs were having on their health and lifestyles, (or lack thereof), and made a decision to quit. Reasons such as family, health and lifestyle are deeply personal ones.

Don’t Damn The Bridge When You Cross It

Don't Damn The Bridge You cross

Quitting your job is much like crossing a bridge. Your intention may be to keep walking, (or running), and never look back. However, life throws curved balls sometimes. You never know if you may have to cross that bridge again.

This is another good reason why it is acceptable to say “Personal Reasons” as a reason for quitting a job. It keeps you from sharing any information that may hurt you later on.

Personal Reasons” keeps things simple.

Later on, if you do decide to consider another opportunity with a previous employer, there is no need for apologies or embarrassment.

Stay True To Your Personal Reasons

People talk. People talk to each other. Some people enjoy creating conflict and making life difficult for others. If your stated reason for quitting is because of “personal reasons“, make sure that you stay true to those words.

The most damaging thing that you can do is to tell your Direct Manager you are leaving because of “personal reasons” and then engage in gossip outside of that discussion.

If that is the reason you stated, be consistent.

If you are not authentic the word will get around. That could be damaging to you and your reputation.

Closing Thoughts . . . 

I have made several job and professional changes in my career. Whenever I moved on, I tried my best to ensure that I left on good terms. Even when the environment or relationships that contributed to my decision were bad, I held true to my personal reasons.

On a couple of occasions, I did return to organisations that I left previously. Holding my reasons close to my chest meant that there was no room for ill will or animosity.

It was easy to slip back in and get down to business. Keeping it simple meant that there was little or no baggage to clean up.

What Are Your Thoughts?

What are your thoughts?

Do you agree or do you have different experiences or thoughts about the reasons you give when you are quitting?

Let me know in the comments below.

About The Author

Cassandra is an internationally experienced and qualified HR, OD and OB professional. She founded LaMP International Limited in the late 90s in New Zealand. The company has grown from strength to strength since then and today provides learning, management, coaching, change and development initiatives to companies and individuals around the world.

Most of the work is done virtually. This allows her to travel the world with her pre-teen daughter, enjoying music, dance, life while exploring cultures.

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