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Everyone quits -- something sometime!

It's been breaking news -- presidents quit, ministers resign, managers' shift -- and as you come a few notches down the ladder, your prior job and the terms on which you quit acquire great significance when it comes to getting a new job.

However easy it was convincing the previous employer to let you go (and suddenly at that), it is somehow inversely proportionate to the difficulty one has in explaining the same scenario to a prospective employer.

All of us, at some point, have had to tell the prospective employer why we quit the previous job. But usually it's the suddenness that the prospective employer latches on to and like a diamond cutter he or she examines the fineness of your character (absurd as it sounds, people do form judgments based on that, and frankly if the cover story doesn't do justice, it doesn't matter what lies inside).

Madhatters quitting ads
If you work in an industry where everything is based on projects, then the question of a sudden resignation is treated differently. But take for instance the advertising industry -- an industry based on constant change, famed for its 'zing', is somehow infamous for sudden resignations. You hear of more writers on breaks than good writers writing.

Mostly, the reasons for resigning may not involve medical or travel, time, space or any other profoundly sane explanation. It might just take two words like 'thank you', and 'shalom'! Coming first-hand from a copywriter who had to explain the BIG reason why he needed to resign from a perfectly settled career, creative claustrophobia was a valid reason. However, with the exception of those on creative teams, all of us might not be so lucky to get away with.

The BPO syndrome
People working at BPO outfits are far ahead of others with respect to resignations. With competitive pay packages, here it's mostly money that plays the devil's advocate. While process may not differ, the packages and incentives are surefire motivators for any employee to come up with '100 Reasons WHY I Quit' and '110 Reasons YOU Should Employ Me'.

But honesty gets you places and lying to your prospective employer (at least not about this) is not a viable alternative. There also may be many other reasons why you quit -- the ever-changing shift timings, travel, work environment, work pressure, and the very bestseller the good ol' medical reasons.

4 expected reasons for that sudden resignation
Forget the 'Errr, I was feeling --', whatever your reason. HR departments are famed for the sleuthing and spade work they carry out. Yes, they will call your previous employer, and they will try to find out as much as they possibly can about you. So be smart. Be honest and neither you nor your employer need be surprised or shocked later.

My family needed me: Of course leave is an option, but as most tales go, family emergencies abide to the clauses set by nature and are usually accompanied by panic and pandemonium. Mostly, this response evokes a sense of empathy from the prospective employer, unless of course, you plan to work for the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz (and even he was looking for a heart).

The doctor said I shouldn't do that anymore (or for some time at least): Clap, clap, clap. This one's a winner! Not too many people will debate medical reasons. So you got one base covered. A reason beginning with, "My doctor says", will usually end with "Hope you feel better soon" and "Good luck", followed by a heartfelt pat on the back. just make sure your problem was a tretable one and doesn't reflect too badly on you.

I traveled longer hours than I worked: A bad excuse and an even weaker reason. This turns up the spotlight, or wait, it's like the sun shining on the fact that you are badly planned, or did not want to take the effort to plan. So either the job wasn't worth the journey, or the work was a waste of time. Whichever, make sure, the message communicated isn't one of being lazy or uncoordinated. Although many make long journeys to work, they usually know before they take up the job what the travel involves.

I had a fight with my boss: Get real! Everyone has had, or is still having a fight with their boss. The wise get over it; so shed your ego. The war will rage on but the victories are in the little battles. And not fighting (like primates) is the key. The Jungle Book was fun, so was the law of the jungle, but today Baloo is selling cornflakes and Mowgli is using a Blackberry. Times have changed; you simply cannot use a disagreement as a reason to quit. That's being a quitter, a kind of character sketch no individual or employer would like.
A friend, and a very hot-headed one at that, had a fight with her boss. She quit and had her laugh, but the final blow was dealt by her employer, as at her next interview, (as luck would have it), the company owners just happened to be friends. So word got around that a talented designer who ignored protocol was a waste to hire. So watch your step. If you are good at what you do, you can throw a few tantrums, but make sure they stay a few.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out you left your job because you are looking for something better. We are always looking, for perfection, be that what we wear or where we work. All you need to do is be prepared.