Making a change in your career can be an exciting time. However, leaving a job can be a less than happy experience. Sending an email to your colleagues notifying them of your departure is an important final step in exiting your job. It provides you with a way to express your gratitude, thanks, and to share your new contact information.
You want to leave a positive, lasting impression with a thoughtful goodbye email to your colleagues and customers. Leaving a job is stressful enough, having to write a goodbye email is another awkward experience you have to get through. A well written goodbye email can aid in ensuring that your transition is a positive one. If you're having a hard time coming up with how to write your farewell email, then our tips and examples will help you get started.
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
Why send a goodbye email?
7 tips for writing an appropriate goodbye message
4 examples of goodbye emails
Why should you send a farewell email?
Once you’ve formally submitted your notice or resignation and your bosses are aware of it, then it’s time to think about letting the rest of the team formally know. It is best to talk to people in person as much as possible. Even if you feel you have told everyone already, you probably will not get to everyone, and sending a goodbye note to co-workers and work contacts before your last day is standard practice. It's good professional etiquette and gives you an official way to end your time at the company.
Your farewell message gives you an opportunity to formally express your gratitude and appreciation, as well as communicate your new contact information, including email address, LinkedIn profile, phone number, and other contact info.
Leaving on a positive and professional note is always a good thing. Never brag about your new job, take jabs at the company, or say anything negative at all. You don’t want to burn any bridges because you never know when you may encounter your former coworkers in the future. Anyone you established a professional or personal relationship with can be a valuable contact in your network. They can provide job references or LinkedIn recommendations. They may also connect you with future opportunities. Always be ready to pay it forward.
Seven tips for creating a thoughtful and professional goodbye email
Now that you have decided to create a farewell note, how do you go about doing that? Seems easy enough, initially, but once you go to do it, you’ll find it’s not so simple. Crafting an appropriate and positive email takes some effort.
Below, we’ll give you some tips to use when you write your goodbye note:
Let your boss know. Before you send any type of formal notice, you should check with your direct manager. Make sure you are following company policy and will not cause any problems for the team or the company. You don’t want your email to surprise anyone in management because that would negate one of the main reasons for sending out the note.
Don’t send out your email too far in advance. Even if everyone knows you are leaving, it’s not a good idea to send out your email right away. Wait until your last day or maybe two days before you leave, at most. If you send it out earlier, it can become a diversion and may cause issues for finishing your work. One exception, if you are in a role dealing with clients and vendors, then it is okay to send a note to them a bit earlier because they may have transition questions.
Create separate emails for different groups. You have probably developed relationships with many different people in various roles across the organization. Depending on your working interactions and the relationships you have formed, it is appropriate to craft different emails. Refer to our email examples to see the differences.
Create a good subject line.The subject of your email needs to be appropriate, descriptive, and tailored to the audience. Here are some examples of short but sweet subject lines: keep in touch, moving on, my last day, saying goodbye is never easy, and simply, thank you.
Keep it brief. Don’t make your email very long. Half a page, at most. If you have more to say, then you should probably do that in person. You don’t need to go into detail about why you are leaving, where you are going, or be long-winded about anything.
Be positive. Maintain a positive tone throughout your email. Express your gratitude, and thank everyone for the experience and the opportunity to work with talented individuals. Never include anything negative about the company, your management, team, or customers.
Include your contact information. Since you're leaving, your current email, work phone, and maybe some other information will no longer be valid. Make sure to close your email with all your new contact information (email, phone, LinkedIn, etc.). Again, tailored to the audience for the email.
Four examples of goodbye emails for your staff, bosses, colleagues, and customers
Now that you have some tips on how to create great messages, you can start writing those farewell emails. Below, we have provided some templates you can use to get you started. Just personalize them with your own information and experiences.
Messages for your close colleagues
You've probably got some people that you have become close with at work. Even if you’ve had conversations with them about your departure, it’s still a nice touch to send them a personal email.
Subject line: Thanks for all your support
As I end my time at ABC Corp., I have to reflect on all the wonderful people I've worked with, and especially you. I was so honored to work with you for the last six years.
I am grateful I met you on my first day working here, and I can’t thank you enough for your help and friendship during my time here. Not only that, but I’ve loved every minute working with you on all the projects and daily tasks. Your dedication, enthusiasm, and positive attitude have always impressed me.
This isn't goodbye. We'll keep in touch outside of work, just like we talked about! I'll miss you at my new job, but I wish you nothing but the best for the future.
Farewell to your team or direct reports
You will want to send a note to your team and direct reports. Depending on the work environment and team structure, you can use a formal tone or a more laid-back approach, if your working situation is more collaborative.
Subject line: Thanks for being a great team!
As you know, my last day with ABC Corp. is Friday.
I am leaving with a bit of sadness and lots of gratitude for all of your support and for making my time here wonderful. I have learned so much from each of you. All of my experiences in this company have made me a stronger professional and a better person.
It is time for me to move on, but I’ll greatly miss working with all of you.
Please feel free to stay in touch.
[email, LinkedIn, etc.]
I wish you all the very best.
Goodbye note for your direct manager or boss
You obviously need to tell your boss in person, if at all possible, but sending an email farewell to them is a good thing to do. As with all your goodbye notes, the tone will depend upon your relationship with the person. So, adjust accordingly.
Subject line: Thanks for your leadership and guidance!
As I finish up today, I wanted to take a moment to drop you a quick email to say thank you.
Your support and expertise have been a tremendous help to me during my time at ABC Corp., and I greatly appreciate all you have provided over the last six years that we’ve worked together.
I am moving on, but would love to stay in contact with you. You will find my personal email address and phone number below.
All the best,
Goodbye email for clients, vendors, and third-party contacts
For people that are in client-facing roles or interact with a lot of outside contacts, you’ll need to send those people a note to let them know you are leaving. It is okay to do this right after you give notice and before sending out your internal notes. But make sure you know what the transition details are before you send your email.
Subject line: Thanks for your business and partnership!
I am sending you this note to let you know that my last day with ABC Corp. is Friday, June 16th, 2023.
I also wanted to let you know how much I appreciated working with you and for all of your professionalism, as well as your great sense of humor. Furthermore, I’ll greatly miss working with you.
Over these next two weeks, I will be completing my transition out. Your new point of contact will be Joseph. He has over 15 years of experience and is great. He is CC'd on this email and will get in touch with you next week. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
I will be moving on to a new role and company, but I hope that you will stay in touch.
[email, LinkedIn, etc.]
I wish you all the very best.
Leaving a job can be a stressful event. You may be happy to be moving on, but it is always sad to leave behind your valued colleagues and friends. Sending a formal note is a good way to ensure that you don’t miss anyone, as well as ensuring you leave a good impression and provide contact information to maintain your connections. Creating a farewell email can be a daunting task, but with the examples and tips we’ve provided, you should be able to write a great, professional, and appropriate note for any audience.
When making a career change or job transition, sending a positive but brief goodbye note is a good idea.
Write emails tailored to specific people or groups.
Send out your internal messages a day or two before you leave.
Be confident about your move and stay in touch.