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The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

Don't Burn Bridges: How to Leave Your Job with Dignity

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Regardless of why you are leaving your current job—whether you're pursuing another opportunity, going back to school or even being laid off—it is important that you do not burn bridges with your current employer and coworkers. You never know when you might need to use someone as a reference, and who knows? You may even work with those co-workers or even your boss again someday! The good news is that it's possible to leave a role on good terms. Follow these tips to make a clean break:

  1. Give Proper Notice
    In most fields, it is acceptable—and a common courtesy—to give two weeks' notice to your employer before you resign. Write a resignation letter to give to your boss, keeping it brief and to the point. Do not express any unfavorable opinions you may have about your current employer in the letter. Simply state the position you are resigning from and when your last day will be, and thank your employer for the opportunities they have given you. While you want to be polite, remember that you do not need to give your employer a reason why you are leaving.
  2. Stay Positive
    No matter how frustrated you may be with your current role, stay positive and do not say anything negative about your company, boss, or coworkers when leaving. If you're going to start another position, you should also avoid bragging to your coworkers about the new job you landed, no matter how great you may think it is. You certainly do not want to leave your coworkers with the impression that you think you are "too good" for the job they are still doing.
  3. Stay Productive
    It can be tempting to slack off when you have one foot out the door, regardless of whether you are leaving by choice. Treat your job as seriously as you did from day one so you don't leave a bad taste in the employer's mouth. Tie up loose ends by finishing the projects you have started, and keep your boss and coworkers updated on where you ended with assignments they will now be taking over. If asked, train your replacement and try to set him or her up for success.
  4. Say Thank You and Keep in Touch
    While you may not want to keep in touch with everyone at your company, exchange contact information with friends, coworkers, and mentors that you would like to keep in your professional network. It's also a nice touch to email your coworkers before you leave to let them know you enjoyed working with them and to thank them for the support they have provided throughout your tenure. Connecting through LinkedIn is also a great way to keep in touch and lets your coworkers know that you value your relationship and want to keep them in your network.

Interested in more posts on job search-related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.

If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 Option 5 or at