What Do Water Buffalos Have To Do With Resumes & People Quitting Their Jobs

Through pandemics, most of us would expect employees to cling to their jobs, not voluntarily quite. Instead, more job seekers are quitting their job and hiring top rated professional resume services to create their resume for them. After all, you never know when the next layoff is going to come. But life is stranger than fiction. More people are choosing to quit their jobs, not just being laid off because of a recession. And it’s a jungle out there - or more precisely, it’s the muddy waters of Asia’s swamps.

Water buffalos set an example of how social animals influence each other to take a leap into the unknown. When a herd crosses a river, most of them bunch up on the riverbanks. They wait for one or two brave ones to take the first jump, before following.


It turns out we humans aren’t very different from water buffalos after all. When someone at the workplace leaves during unusual times like this, they unwittingly take others with them. Others take cues and follow them out the exit.


Of course, it matters who the first person to leave is. That's why it's best to be prepared and have a well written resume professionally created for the...just in case scenario.


We Are Social Animals


Maybe a leader that brought great changes to a company leaves. Someone who comes in their place is very different and disappoints the employees. The employees begin to question their relationship with the company. More often than not, they leave one by one.


Or maybe it’s like the mass exodus from a personal styling company. Hoards of employees at that styling company just quit because the CEO decided to do away with flexible scheduling. This is another scenario.


It can also be that a colleague you’re close to leaves. You’re disappointed, but you also start to question your own reasons to stay on. Maybe you low-key envy your colleague for moving on to greener pastures. And so you decide to leave. And then others in your department, and even strangers in other departments but in the same roles as you, begin to wonder if the grass is truly greener on the other side. In this way, mass exoduses occur, especially between what’s called “structurally equivalent” roles.


If a good performer leaves, it’s even more likely that other people will follow them out. Not so if an employee who is a poor performer, leaves. In that case, people think it’s all the better for the company.


It turns out, such ‘turnover contagion’ is more common than we think. It’s also more pronounced during times of uncertainty like it is now. Lots of people are also leaving in anger in response to bosses firing well-liked colleagues.


The question is, what are these people writing on their resumes when they apply for a new job?


What To Write On A Resume When You Quit A Job You Hate


Here’s the thing. You don’t need to explain your reasons for leaving any job on your resume. That’s not the purpose of your resume. Your resume is there for you to put a positive spin on your past work experience.


Also, don’t forget that every job you’ve had in the past, including jobs you hated, must have taught you something. They all count towards your professional development. So it’s best not to eliminate them from your resume altogether.


Now, if you’re worried that a recent job you quit may come up in an interview, it’s a different matter. You don’t have to explain how you felt about your past work. All the people who are quitting in the pandemic because they don’t like their jobs won’t need to talk about their negative experiences at all.


Think about it. How many people who appear for job interviews are a hundred percent satisfied with all their employers in the past? Interviewers don’t expect you to have loved all your past jobs. (Incidentally, there are things you can do to survive in a job that you hate, but can’t quit just yet.) But it’s in bad taste to talk about them or talk about them complainingly. We are never our best when we complain, and at interviews, we want to look our best.


Venting is for friends and family, not a job interview.


That said, your interviewer may push and ask questions designed to find out which jobs you like and which ones you don’t. Here are a couple of ways you can deal with interview questions about a job you hated.


  • Avoid putting your past work experiences into boxes. For instance, there may have been some aspects of the job that you liked. Maybe you enjoyed working as a product designer. You just didn’t like your boss too much. In such a case, talk about your good experiences.

  • When the interviewer asks you to describe your least favorite job, don’t take the bait. Don’t describe negative experiences. Instead, work out beforehand how you can couch a negative experience in a positive light.

  • If the interviewer pushes you to answer why you quit your last job, you can have an answer ready for them. You should never say you left the job because you hated it. Instead, say, “I carried out my responsibilities as a product designer for XYZ Company. However, I felt that my skills could be better suited in another industry, which is why I’m interested in the product designer position in your company.”


Are You A Water Buffalo?


Whether you’re a fairly independent worker at work or someone who feels part of a small family built around friendly colleagues, you’re not immune to the turnover contagion. If there’s something at your last workplace you don’t like, that you feel is enough to make you quit for better bonuses and higher wages, you’ll be writing a resume soon. And turning up for job interviews.


Don’t be the person that complains about their last job. Be the person that finds a way to see the good things in their last job, and speak about it with grace. Keep your resume clear of intentional gaps, even if you’d like nothing better than to block out that job from your life. Think about the lessons from the job you quit, and you’ll feel ready for a new job search sooner. Hiring a resume writing service can help to keep the drama out of your resume too.