I got a reply from a recruiter to setup a call later this week. I know one of the inevitable questions will be why am I looking to leave my current role.

Personally I want to leave because:

  • I have a junior role in the company and I don’t see a way of reaching a mid level here.
  • The targets for promotion are constantly moving. The managers have changed a few times over the past 4 years and so have the appraisal systems.
  • I haven’t been given any real projects since the last manager has started. Mainly whack-a-mole type security tasks. This is especially frustrating as I have worked on larger projects before then.
  • lots of senior engineers have joined, introduced a new product/application, and then left.
  • which leads to lots of firefighting and understanding how things were implemented due to the seniors poor documentation.
  • so I’m learning nothing on the job and I’m not working on anything special to talk about.

So would something like ‘looking for new opportunities’ be sufficient?

Ps. If you got this far, thanks for reading my rant. It has been locked away in my head for some time now.

  • hoodlem@hoodlem.me
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    10 months ago

    They don’t really care why, just don’t say anything that trashes your current employer or makes you look bad.

  • ShustOne@lemmy.one
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    10 months ago

    “I’ve gone as far as I can at my current job and am looking for a new challenge.”

  • samus7070@programming.dev
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    10 months ago

    The recruiter won’t care much about why you want to leave a job. Their primary focus is to get you into a new job in order to collect a fee from the employer. The recruiter will ask you some basic screener questions while very likely not understanding what it is they are asking. If this is an internal recruiter the questions likely came from the hiring manager. If it is a staffing agency, you’re lucky if the recruiter even has a direct relationship with the company. More likely they’re one of a dozen+ companies trying to find a warm body for to put in front of the company. I often receive several LinkedIn messages for the same job in my local area from various staffing firms.

    One thing you should do is take a look at your list of negatives and turn them into positives that you have to offer a new employer. For instance, the item about many senior engineers joining and leaving can be turned into, “I have been exposed to a broad range of coding styles and architectures from working with many codebases built by knowledgable developers. Supporting and maintaining them in a production environment has allowed me to see what works well, what doesn’t, and to better my own style.” Be prepared to give one or two examples of how you were influenced by the good and the bad. If I were interviewing you, I would ask for them.

    Regarding your first two bullet points, you probably shouldn’t be interviewing for junior positions with four years of experience. Make sure that you’re interviewing for mid-level positions. It’s rare to be asked why you want to leave your current position. If it happens just say that your company is in a hiring freeze and that you’re doing the work of a mid level programmer but are unable to be promoted and that you need the extra income to purchase a house.

    • fmstrat@lemmy.nowsci.com
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      10 months ago

      I disagree with some of this. The reasons OP gave are good reasons in and of themselves. Senior developers having a short tenure is a red flag, and likely brought on the other bullets. If a candidate read those to me, then said “I want to work somewhere where I can own a challenge and grow” I would be pleased with the response.

      And totally agree on mid-level target.

    • thisisnotgoingwell@programming.dev
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      10 months ago

      I don’t think it’s necessary to give a reason for ambitions, such as financial goals. If it’s not true, a good interviewer will sniff it out and catch you off foot. Self improvement should be part of basic intuition for any professional. It’s also not necessary to elaborate on why you’re leaving, this is risky territory for a young professional. I’d answer this by focusing about what initially excited me about the role, how much I’ve grown my skills and expertise, and what I’m looking for in my next role. That speaks for itself without trashing your company. I agree with everything else you said.

  • MajorHavoc@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    I just say, “It’s time, in my career, for the next thing.”

    We ask because It’s a chance for the candidate to say something truly horrifying, like:

    • the boss and I can’t agree about Hitler
    • I think they’re about to figure out that I’m embezzling
    • I’m thinking about stealing my coworker’s monitor, and I’ll probably need a new job after I do

    These are exaggerations of what I have heard. But they’re not huge exaggerations…

  • MagicShel@programming.dev
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    10 months ago

    You’ve got a lot of good reasons here, it’s just about how you phrase it.

    • lack of opportunity for advancement
    • frequent leadership turnover is disruptive
    • you’re not challenged by your current role and you’re looking for something more challenging
    • excessive technical debt prevents establishing forward momentum

    Looking for new opportunities is extremely bland. It makes it sound like you’re bored or fishing for more pay. By being clear about what is wrong with your current environment, you demonstrate an understanding of what makes an effective team, and you feel you are ready for more responsibility. All good things.

    Just don’t say anything about personality conflicts or you can’t stand your boss or call them all idiots or anything that sounds angry or overly emotional. Frame anything you have to say in positive or neutral terms. Like frequent leadership turnover makes it difficult to have consistent goals and direction vs. I hate constantly getting new bosses and each one is dumber than the last.

  • varsock@programming.dev
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    10 months ago

    my go to is “I have a very broad exposure in my current role but im mostly interested in XYZ and want to specialize in it”

    where XYZ is the subject matter for the role you’re interviewing for.

    I try not to give my real reasons, especially if negative

  • Ijustwannapost@programming.dev
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    10 months ago

    So would something like ‘looking for new opportunities’ be sufficient?

    Yes. They don’t really care. It’s just something fluffy to get ya talking. You’re a junior so just say something about having gained some experience and looking for new challenges, opportunities for growth.

  • Milx@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    The truth, in a way that isn’t overly critical of my current employer and emphasizes what I hope to get from a new opportunity. I take it less as “what’s wrong with the company you’re leaving” and more “what are you looking for from a company you’re interested in jumping to”, which has very similar answers but focuses on the positive and also gives them actually relevant information that they can use to help you. They can connect the dots that the reason you’re looking for that is because you’re not finding it there, without you having to trash a company yourself.

  • William@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    Every recruiter (and employer) knows you’re changing jobs because you think you can do better.

    If the recruiter is any good, they want to know what you want to improve so they can find jobs that will help you with that. There’s no point in them sending you a job with more flexible PTO when what you really want is more money, or a higher position. Tell them what you’re looking for and it’ll be fine.

    I’d avoid bad-mouthing the company, though. It gives a bad feeling, no matter how true it is. Just say what you want, and avoid talking about how bad the company is.

    • thisisnotgoingwell@programming.dev
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      10 months ago

      Totally agree. It’s important to remember that good recruiters sell good stories, not resumes. You want your recruiter to say “wow, this kid is ambitious and well spoken. Sounds like he’s a prime candidate for this role.”

      That helps the hiring company too. It signals that they can get tenure from this potential hire and that they’ll be eager to start contributing ASAP. I’ll take an ambitious, eager professional over a grumpy, grizzled veteran any day.

  • Badass_panda@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    Take the time to give that information, briefly but politely. It won’t burn bridges and it’s helpful for leadership to know.

    • toasteecup@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      “I have concerns about the direction of my company and the ability to promote to a more senior position”

  • JokeDeity@lemm.ee
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    10 months ago

    They’re paying me what I made 20 years ago for the most back breaking work I’ve ever done and I’m quickly drowning because of it. I don’t think it’ll be hard to explain.

  • thisisnotgoingwell@programming.dev
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    10 months ago

    You can talk about what you’ve previously worked on that excited you, what kind of role or technologies you believe you’d excel in, and how you feel you’re ready to transition into a role with more responsibilities. You can tell the truth without speaking negatively about your employer. Even the worst job is something to be grateful for, you got experience and were allowed to (for a time) grow into your responsibilities. The need to complain comes from a desire to “get even” so it always looks very negative.

    Also, four years is a long time to spend at a company that isn’t helping you meet your goals. Part of maturing professionally is knowing how to ask for more responsibilities, how to make sure you’re credited/rewarded as well as communicating properly with your leadership so they can help you meet your goals.

    If you get some “down the road” platitude, then start thinking about other options. If you’ve been excelling in your duties for more than a year and you’re no longer being challenged, that’s about when it’s time to move on.

    These days, you should probably be either getting promoted or changing jobs every 2 years at most, 1 to 1.5 years depending on how ambitious you are and how strongly you can demonstrate your skills.

    Good luck