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You know all those people who do something for personal reasons, e.g. quit their job, abdicate from politics etc.

Given I do something like this for a non-personal reason, e.g. I change the employer for salary reasons, is there a special word for it, or is non-personal good enough? If there is a better word, would it be case-specific? If so, let's use the example of quitting a job here. If you have other reaons, feel free to give them as examples, too.

I tend not say For business reasons I quit my job., because that sounds as if it were one of my tasks as an employee to quit my job.

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    I think you maybe don't understand precisely what for personal reasons means. Essentially, it's any reasons you don't wish to divulge or discuss. If you are prepared to give the reasons, then do so. Otherwise, what's the point in mentioning the fact that you had some specific reasons for doing whatever you did? If you don't like saying "For business/financial/career advancement reasons I quit my job", just say "I quit my job". It doesn't make much sense to say "I did it for non-personal reasons" if you're not going to say what they are. – FumbleFingers Jul 29 '14 at 15:10
  • @FumbleFingers: Good point. On the other hand side, it could avoid questions asking "Is everything fine with your family?" or similar. Specifying "non-personal" makes it clear that the problem is with the company. – Thomas Weller Jul 29 '14 at 19:34
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    I'm not entirely convinced personal reasons can meaningfully be separated from other reasons why you might do something. It sounds a bit like being told "It's not you, it's me" by your partner who's dumping you. Sure - you can say you quit your job for financial or professional reasons. But they are "personal", in the sense that you are not happy with whatever the employer offers (presumably others continue working for that employer on much the same terms). So I really think "personal" here has almost no meaning apart from "reasons I'm not willing to discuss". – FumbleFingers Jul 29 '14 at 20:55
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I've never heard someone say he made a decision about a job, etc, for "non-personal reasons". I don't suppose there's anything inherently wrong with the phrase, but I don't think it's necessary to coin it.

If you quit your job to get a better salary or because you were fed up with the incompetence around you or something of that sort, I think people would normally say that they quit "for professional reasons". If a politician resigned from office to run for another office, or if he quit his party because he had come to disagree with their policies, I think we'd say that was "for political reasons".

As those would be the "normal" reasons for making a career decision, it makes sense to use an affirmative rather than a negative term for them, i.e. say what it is, not what it isn't.

If someone says, "I quit my job for personal reasons", they normally mean reasons having nothing to do with the job itself, other than the time it takes. Like they quit to take care of a sick relative or because they wanted to move near family.

Of course when a politician says that he is resigning from office "to spend more time with my family", this is usually a code phrase for something like "because I was caught and I'm going to quit now as part of a deal in which I avoid going to prison". But that's another story.

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