Best Answers to “Why Are You Leaving your Current Job?”
Not too many years ago, I considered resigning from my first manager-level job. Why? It mainly had to with the office I worked out of; it was situated in a rough area of Chester, Pennsylvania. It was the type of environment where wild accusations about sword-wielding maniacs and drug-dealing ice cream trucks were far closer to reality than anybody was comfortable admitting. The job itself was enjoyable, and I appreciated the company of my colleagues. If I had to do it again, I’d take the job in a heartbeat, but that didn’t stop me from prioritizing my own safety ahead of my own job.
It didn’t take long for the collective anxiety of the office staff to materialize in a few bullet holes in the building. Yes – bullet holes. Having recently acquired my first smart phone (iPhone 4), I took a stroll down the hall and snapped a picture of one of the acts of vandalism. As a matter of fact, the building managers didn’t remove the bullet casing, or even attempt to fix the damage; there was a strange sense of “it’s not a priority.”
I knew the recruiter (let’s call him Rick), whom I was still in contact with, would be hesitant to help fill in another position as I had only been there less than a year. With photographic evidence in hand (or in phone), I dropped the recruiter a line. Sure enough, he seemed skeptical about why I was looking to make a move so soon. In all honesty, he should have been skeptical. I promised Rick that I would follow-up by email and, if I recall correctly, ask him to take a look at the attachment that I was sending along.
The next day I received a call from Rick, who, upon seeing the picture and realized that my office was being shot up, was genuinely concerned for my well-being. There was also an apologetic tone to his voice about his skepticism towards our conversation the prior day. I still recall his exact words: “We gotta get you outta there.” God bless him.
Shortly after my conversation with Rick, I took a transfer out of the Pennsylvania office down to the Florida office. The possibility of finding myself the victim of a stray bullet virtually dropped to zero despite Florida’s high crime rate.
It wasn’t long after my move down to Florida that I received another call from Rick. Apparently, the picture that I snapped with my iPhone was making the rounds at the staffing firm as the best (or most comical) response to why someone would leave their job. In fact, it was the best they had ever come across. He wished me well, and suggested a few places in the area worth checking out.
While this isn’t a typical response to a very common interview question, it sure is effective. Part of me wishes that I had the opportunity to bring the photo to an interview and show it off. If your office building is being shot up, I highly recommend using your smartphone to document the damage for your next interview.