TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
In response to: "Why do you want to leave your present job?" Try
something like the following in the cover letter you provide with your
"My present job has always felt temporary. I'm in it for the
long haul, if possible. I'm looking for a job that offers more security
such as a written contract."
When I worked in a large documentation group at a predominately Mormon
division of a large company, I had a Mormon manager who would only
promote and give good projects and raises to his friends who were
faithful Mormons. The manager continually marginalized me by giving me
difficult, highly technical assignments which no one else would take.
His unfairness backfired on him, though, because as a result, he lost
his best editor/project manager, several competent writers, and me. I
rose to the assignments, learned HTML and Java on my own, and
transferred to a more prestigious group where I was appreciated,
promoted, and paid more for my technical prowess.
My point is, power to the people!
Keep hanging in there. Have you thought about transferring to another
area of the same company? If your manager has made you an enemy, then
he/she has probably made other enemies too.
Now Happily Employed at a Small Startup in the Pacific Northwest,
Senior Technical Writer
From: Eric J. Ray [SMTP:ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM]
Sent: Sunday, February 15, 1998 11:20 AM
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Subject: FWD: Employment Interview Questions
Name withheld upon request. Please reply on list.
I know this may be a bit off-topic, and I would like to thank
Eric for posting this note.
I've been dealing with an extremely uncomfortable situation at
my job and have decided to begin my search for a new position. I've
been reading the archive and would like to thank all of you who have
posted resume suggestions. I've incorporated many of these suggestions
into my own resume, but now I need your help on one more issue.
I feel I can present myself well in an interview, but I'm
bothered by one inevitable question: Why are you wanting to leave your
present job? I've been at my present job for only a year. I know not
to go into specific details (it would take hours!); I'm also somewhat
uncomfortable using the well-worn phrase "I'm looking for new
challenges." In a nutshell, there is a personality conflict with my
manager that I know won't change. I know if I don't leave on my own, I
will be fired in the near future. I don't have a written contract with
this company and my employment can be terminated without cause. There
is no legal discrimination I can prove.
I hope those of you who are hiring managers or writers who have
faced the same dilemma can give me some suggestions or can refer me
somewhere where I can get more information. I'm also interested in any
advice anyone can give me about how much information my manager is
allowed to give a new employer.