Do you have to provide reason to leave a company?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 15th, 2019 2:36 pm
Aug 1, 2016
83 posts

Do you have to provide reason to leave a company?

I don't want to say why I leave the company, if they ask because if I tell the true I may burn the bridge (in case I need to come back in future).
Can I just tell them I don't want to say or is it better to make up a reason (I'm thinking to be closer with family, I travel a lot with this job).

Is it required to tell them the reason why I leave?
How many weeks I have to give them notice? ( I'm fulltime)
20 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 23, 2008
9906 posts
No, you don’t need to give a reason. If they press you, you might want to give a generic answer like you said, like spending more time with your family or a shorter commute. Whether that saves your “bridge” would depend on the employer... Some of them will hold a grudge no matter what, and some will see through your story if it doesn’t sound true.

As far as notice, you may want to post a location. Different jurisdictions have different rules. Might also depend on any contract you have.

Deal Guru
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Mar 9, 2007
11567 posts
Think of the Childre…
No, HR might have bunch of exit questions.

Deal Addict
Apr 21, 2014
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Cheapo-Findo wrote:
Apr 10th, 2019 2:37 pm
No, HR might have bunch of exit questions.
I never do exit interviews. All downside no upside
Deal Guru
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Jul 12, 2003
10475 posts
If your role is sensitive such as sales or executive management, they will ask you where else you will go work for. In some cases, you can be send home right away with pay. You will not have company entry or any company login access right after.
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Deal Fanatic
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Nov 6, 2010
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Montreal, QC
For the majority of cases no you won't need to provide a reason for leaving unless like MP3_SKY mentioned, it's a conflict of interest to your business (ex: leaving for a direct competitor) in which case they might ask you to leave immediately.

In 99% of cases, it's best to not get too involved in your own exit beyond the customary 2 weeks' notice and just generally being pleasant in helping the company transition your responsibilities over. Anything more will usually not do you much good but can do you harm. Exit interviews are a wash half the time and potentially may harm you if you drop names, but usually tend to be unactionable without names.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 29, 2008
8851 posts
Best thing to say is you love current company but were offered a great opportunity that you want to pursue. Never burn bridges.
Deal Addict
Apr 6, 2008
1801 posts
As long as you give your proper two weeks notice, and don't call in sick those last few days, you're leaving on good terms. If they push you, just say something generic like another opportunity. If they want to be jerks you can just not show up any longer...
Sr. Member
Jul 15, 2003
610 posts
GTA, Ontario
How is 'a great opportunity came up' a good answer? Isn't it clear that you were looking and that's how it came up (unless a recruiter found you)? So obviously you weren't happy with something.
Jr. Member
Sep 11, 2017
142 posts
You don’t have to tell them anything.

When I first started out my career I had some difficult organizations I worked for and when I left I always wanted to tell them exactly what I thought when I was asked ‘why are you leaving?’. I always ended up refraining because I was told ‘you don’t want to burn bridges’. After all, they were burning a bridge with me and I would never want to work with/for them again. In the 15 years since I’ve never looked back or come across any of those individuals or organizations. As I get older I don’t have the same tolerance level to keep my thoughts to myself. Their is something quite liberating to speak your mind but I suppose for one to feel this way, they should be established enough not to care if a bridge gets burned.
Deal Addict
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Feb 28, 2005
2974 posts
do the new thing

ghost em
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Deal Addict
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Apr 8, 2006
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They know the reason why you left most of the time if you were unhappy about something or have some conflict at work. The exit interview is just part of the procedure. So in some cases you will burn bridge anyway.
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Dec 8, 2007
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As many people have already said, you don’t have to tell them anything. Don’t ghost them either. Just give your notice and move on. No one really cares. If they ask for an exit interview, politely decline. If they press for a reason, you’ve decided to take some time off to travel and are considering post graduate education. Again, no one cares.
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