Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
ZeSrowAway
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:20 pm

Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by ZeSrowAway » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:03 am

Hi,

I started a new job (in City B) about a year ago. I absolutely love my job, company and co-workers. I moved to city B from city A, where I had a terrible career-killing job (to the point that I wanted to quit), but my wife and I both had family and friends in city A. Living in this new City B (which neither of us are big fans of) has not been easy on our relationship. We have a toddler (2 y/o) whom we don't want to raise in city B beyond kindergarten.

Our plan from the start was to live max 5 years in city B, and go back to city A (where we both want to live in long term). I had promised myself that I won't even look at job postings in city A, but I cracked and looked just recently. And of course, I saw a few positions that I couldn't resist. My thinking was I don't know how long the strong economy will last and our timeline is somewhat arbitrary. What if I can't find a good job in City A when we are ready to move?

My question: When I'm asked in interviews why I want to change my job again (and in such quick succession), what can my answer be? Bringing up family (the honest answer) is easy as I won't have to bend over backward to justify the quick jump professionally (although can do that to a degree - my new job is not in my ideal field). How do people approach family-related relocation in a balanced way that doesn't negatively affect your professionalism and dedication to your job?

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 3202
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by FIREchief » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:13 am

ZeSrowAway wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:03 am
How do people approach family-related relocation in a balanced way that doesn't negatively affect your professionalism and dedication to your job?
Hiring Managers are actually real people too!! A sincere desire to mix family priorities with career priorities might not be perceived as a negative.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

User avatar
Stinky
Posts: 1253
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:38 am
Location: Sweet Home Alabama

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by Stinky » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:47 am

You want to be nearer to family, and you want a job in your chosen field. It sounds like that will be your answer to the “why wanting to change” question.

Further, it sounds like that will be your answer in 2019, and also in 2023 (end of your five year period in City B). Same question, same answer.

Why toil for up to four more years in a city and career you don’t love? Life is too short. Take the plunge.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

OnTrack2020
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:24 am

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:13 am

Why wait 5 years if you want to live in city A now? There's nothing wrong with saying you have family in city A and want to live in city A long-term, a city that you really like. I think it would be easier to hire someone who has family living in the same area as there is a support system in place.

FederalFIRE
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:40 am

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by FederalFIRE » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:17 am

Also consider that if you're applying for a job in City A and tell the hiring manager that you took a new job in City B, found out you really didn't enjoy the location and wanted to back in City A, that could be a positive for the hiring manager. It shows that you like the area in City A and would be likely to stick around. It also shows that you have already done the "grass is greener" move for a different job and found out it wasn't for you.

chevca
Posts: 2472
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by chevca » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:21 am

ZeSrowAway wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:03 am
What if I can't find a good job in City A when we are ready to move?

My question: When I'm asked in interviews why I want to change my job again (and in such quick succession), what can my answer be?
Well, don't get ready to move until you have a job lined up answers the first one.

Be honest answers the second one.

You took an opportunity in City B, it has worked well for the career but not the family, and you want to move back to City A for the long term with a job you would enjoy. What are you worried about sounding bad in any of that?

carolinaman
Posts: 3693
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by carolinaman » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:44 am

You have valid reasons for seeking to move back to city A. Honesty is always best. Hiring companies can usually see through BS reasons.

Topic Author
ZeSrowAway
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:20 pm

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by ZeSrowAway » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:44 pm

Thank you all for the responses. It's good to see the unanimous "go for it" vote.

The main reason for hesitation was that I have just started in City B (less than a year). So moving back would mean a fast switch, and in absence of a good reason, I'm under the impression that it doesn't sound good (you don't want to hire a "jumper"). That's why I was wondering if family is a good reason.

I'll go ahead with the job search.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 16522
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by Watty » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:44 am

ZeSrowAway wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:44 pm
The main reason for hesitation was that I have just started in City B (less than a year). So moving back would mean a fast switch, and in absence of a good reason, I'm under the impression that it doesn't sound good (you don't want to hire a "jumper"). That's why I was wondering if family is a good reason.
It was a bit different but I once started looking for a new job after just one month in a job I took. There were lots of problems with the company that they had not revealed in the job interviews, and they would not allow me to try to address the problems. I quit that job to take a different job in less than three months. (The company that had the problems was out of business within about three years.)

The short time in that job was never an issue in future job interviews since I could explain it and there was no pattern of doing that repeatedly.

If you had any paid relocation or signup bonuses be sure to look at the details of those since you may need to pay them back if you leave that job before a certain date.

Barsoom
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:40 am

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by Barsoom » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:18 am

It may actually be a plus to say that you moved to city b and decided that city a was really where your heart was for raising your child.

This will tell a hiring manager that you're not likely to suddenly move again, meaning you'd be a stable reliable resource for the company.

-B

imyeti2
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by imyeti2 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:25 am

Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:18 am
It may actually be a plus to say that you moved to city b and decided that city a was really where your heart was for raising your child.

This will tell a hiring manager that you're not likely to suddenly move again, meaning you'd be a stable reliable resource for the company.

-B
This.

I always want employees to be happy personally so they can be productive professionally.

e5116
Posts: 441
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:22 am

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by e5116 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:29 am

Watty wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:44 am
ZeSrowAway wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:44 pm
The main reason for hesitation was that I have just started in City B (less than a year). So moving back would mean a fast switch, and in absence of a good reason, I'm under the impression that it doesn't sound good (you don't want to hire a "jumper"). That's why I was wondering if family is a good reason.
It was a bit different but I once started looking for a new job after just one month in a job I took. There were lots of problems with the company that they had not revealed in the job interviews, and they would not allow me to try to address the problems. I quit that job to take a different job in less than three months. (The company that had the problems was out of business within about three years.)

The short time in that job was never an issue in future job interviews since I could explain it and there was no pattern of doing that repeatedly.

If you had any paid relocation or signup bonuses be sure to look at the details of those since you may need to pay them back if you leave that job before a certain date.
This may depend on field/industry, but while "job hopping" used to be viewed universally in a negative light, these days it's common and accepted in many industries, especially for high performers who want to get ahead. So, some hiring managers view it positively (or at least neutrally) because they think it shows that you're a go getter.

ohai
Posts: 824
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by ohai » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:29 am

OP, being close to family is one of most accepted reasons for job change. In fact, it can add to your career credibility, as they will be more likely to believe that you will not move to a different location eventually. This is especially true in satellite cities where there might not be any other apparent reason to be there over somewhere else. Your story as it is sounds fine. Good luck.

ssquared87
Posts: 980
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:54 am

Re: Career advice: How to phrase job-change for family reasons?

Post by ssquared87 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:30 am

Just be honest and tell them what you explained here. You’re overthinking it though, they may not even ask. I was interviewing recently and none of the interviewers even asked why I wanted to leave my old company, they phrased it more like “what interests you about coming to my company”

Post Reply