How do I quit an on-campus student job that demoted me without burning a bridge?

So basically, I work as a student employee on my campus. I was promoted after 6 months to an "Aide" position, got a slight pay raise, then found out the past few weeks next semester I might be demoted because my boss hired a full-time person to do my job. Unclear whether or not my pay will be reduced, but I need a job that A) Won't pull my pay out from under me without notice and B) Will pay me more than minimum wage.

I've been applying to other places, looking for better opportunities, but I gave my boss my hours for next semester already. I don't want to inconvenience her, since she's great and I really like working there, but it was kind of a jerk move in my opinion (I know, business is business...) to basically demote me for no reason other than I'm a student and can't be there full time.

TLDR; boss hired someone to do my job, thereby demoting me and possibly lowering my pay. I want to find a better paying job, but don't want to burn a bridge with my current boss.

Asked by NicoleUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1 Answer


Hi Nicole,

This is a great question in my opinion. It’s never a good feeling when a dedicated employee feels out of the loop. What this says to me is that there seems to be a gap in communication. This gap is causing you anxiety as you assess your future decision making which is completely understandable.

First things first, you’re in good shape because you’ve assessed the situation thoughtfully. Communication woes arent unique to one industry or one job so I have a challenge for you.

Since you will be faced with many moments where you’ll need clarity in the future, I encourage you to schedule 20-30 minutes with your manager to share your concerns. This is going to be great practice where you’ll begin to figure out how to be more strategic help n similar scenarios in the future.

Even if your boss is busy, I suspect they’ll appreciate understanding where you’re at more than being in the dark. And if the business does cut your hours, you can absolutely find a new job and explain that to the business. Just as they are making a business decision, you too have a right to a sustainable income.

TL;DR Communication is key for all of your concerns. Strong communication will leave your company respecting you (and will keep you in good standing whether you stay or not).

Answered by Jim