Explaining Why You Left after Termination


Theresa writes:
I was terminated from an employer for using a corporate credit card for personal use however unjustly. I presently have a suit against the employer. How do I answer the question why did you leave a company after 20 years of employment in a manner that won’t hurt my prospect for attaining the job?


The Career Doctor responds:
Let me start by saying that you need to be honest in all correspondence and conversations with potential employers; however that said you also do not need to make that topic the opening for communication.

If potential employers ask why you left your old employer after 20 years you could simply respond that you had a parting of philosophies – or that after 20 years you felt a need to explore other options/companies/employment opportunities. If you had recently had a new supervisor you could say it was a difference in philosophies.

If however the potential employer has heard of your suit or asks you a direct question about the issue you need to have a prepared answer that explains your honesty and the situation surrounding the events without sounding too bitter about your old company. If you are lucky the issue will never arise.