Leave a positive, lasting impression by writing a thoughtful goodbye email to your co-workers.
Ending any relationship is never easy, especially when you're leaving a job. Even if you're thrilled to be moving on, it's important to walk out the door on good terms.
So, after you've given your two-weeks' notice, it's time to start thinking about writing goodbye emails to your co-workers, managers, and clients. This might sound simple at first — a quick “so long and farewell” — but it's easy to overthink it.
If you're struggling to find the perfect words, use these tips (and examples) to help you get started.
The importance of sending the best farewell email
You've submitted your notice, and the company has made an announcement about your departure — so why do you need to send a goodbye email? At this point, you've probably had plenty of conversations with your co-workers wishing you well. That's enough, right?
Even if everyone knows you're leaving, sending a goodbye email to your co-workers before your last day is pretty standard practice. It's good etiquette and a nice way to close out your time at a company — especially if you've formed strong bonds with your colleagues, managers, and clients.
In addition to expressing your appreciation, you can also use the email as an opportunity to share your contact information, including personal email address, LinkedIn URL, or even phone number, to keep in touch.
Chances are, these are valuable people in your network that you'll want to lean on if you need a job reference or LinkedIn recommendation. They may also connect you with new opportunities down the road — just make sure to return the favor in the future.
6 tips to crafting and sending the perfect goodbye email
Initially, writing a goodbye email to co-workers might seem straightforward enough, but it's important to find the right words and leave on a positive note. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Check with your manager
Before you send your goodbye email, confirm the company has announced your departure. Your email should not come as a surprise to anyone, so simply make sure everyone is aware you're leaving.
2. Send your email a day or two before you leave
Because everyone is aware you're leaving, you don't need to send your farewell email until a day or two before your last day. Sending it any earlier could cause you to become distracted from finishing your job and tying up loose ends.
However, if you're reaching out to clients or vendors, you'll want to let them know shortly after you give your two-weeks' notice. That will give them plenty of time to ask any questions and get ready for your departure.
3. Nail your goodbye email subject line
Writing the perfect farewell email subject line is never as easy as it seems, but it's really important you get it right.
Your farewell email subject line should be straightforward and fairly obvious. It may look different depending on who you're sending your email to, but here are a few examples:
Saying goodbye is never easy
Keeping in touch
My last day
4. Say positive and show gratitude
Your email should take on an overall positive tone. Show gratitude for your experience with the company and the opportunity to work with talented individuals.
If you're sending an email to someone you've grown particularly close to, you can share a good memory, an inside joke, or even a compliment.
5. Don't forget your contact information
One of the main reasons for sending a goodbye email to colleagues is to give them your contact information. You'll no longer have access to your work email, so if you want to keep in touch with them, share your personal email address and LinkedIn URL. You can also share your phone number if you'd like.
6. Keep it short and sweet
Overall, your goodbye email to your colleagues should be short and sweet. Avoid giving too many details on your new opportunity or showing too much excitement about leaving.
You also don't want to talk negatively about any team members, managers, or the company itself. It's best to keep it brief, show your gratitude, share your contact information, and move on.
Examples of goodbye emails for your team, managers, colleagues, and clients
With these tips in mind, start drafting your farewell email. You can use these examples below to help you get started, but remember you'll want to personalize them with your own information and experiences.
1. Saying goodbye to your close colleagues
If you've become close with your colleagues and team members at work, there's a good chance you already had plenty of conversations with them about your departure. It's also probable you have their personal contact information and already have plans to keep in touch after your last day.
Even so, you can still send them a goodbye email. This doesn't need to particularly formal or include all the nitty-gritty details of your departure. Instead, focus on your gratitude and keeping in touch. Here's an example of what that might look like:
Subject line: Thank you for everything
As my time at XYZ Corporation winds down, I can't help but reflect on all the awesome people I've worked with — including you. It's hard to believe we've worked together for more than four years now.
I feel particularly grateful I met you on my first day, and I cannot thank you enough for your guidance those first few weeks. It's been a blast collaborating with you on so many projects. I love your tenacity, your willingness to jump right in, and your ability to think outside the box.
Of course, this isn't goodbye; I know we'll keep in touch outside of work (Let's get those quarterly Zoom check-ins on the calendar we talked about!).
I'll miss you moving forward, but I wish you nothing but the best. Keep killin' it!
2. Saying goodbye to your immediate team or direct reports
Your farewell email to your immediate team or direct reports will largely depend on what type of relationship you have with them. If you worked in a more laid-back collaborative office setting, feel free to take on that tone in your goodbye email. If you wore suits, shook hands, and worked in a more corporate environment, you'll likely write a more formal farewell.
Here's an example of something you might write to your close team or direct reports in a more casual setting:
Subject line: My last day
As you know, my time with ABC Collective winds down in a couple days.
I still can't believe it, but it's been an absolute pleasure working with each of you these past six years. This is definitely bittersweet. I'm excited about my next move, but I will greatly miss working with each of you. I will never forget how much fun we had brainstorming at the local brewery, and Fridays won't be the same without our team lunches at Lemongrass.
Thank you for all your support, and please keep in touch. Feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com, or connect with me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname123.
I will miss seeing you each day, but I look forward to seeing what you continue to accomplish. If there's anything I can do to assist with this transition in the next two days, don't hesitate to reach out.
All my best,
3. A goodbye email to your boss or manager
Although you could potentially tell your boss or manager goodbye in the same email you send your direct team, you can also send them a separate one, especially if you worked closely together. Again, the way you write this email will largely depend on your relationship, but here's an example of a goodbye email you could send your manager:
Subject line: Saying goodbye is never easy
Because today is my last day with ABC Collective, I wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed my time here.
It's been a pleasure working with you, and I appreciate everything I've learned under your leadership. Your guidance and support over the past three years has been invaluable, and I will look back on this time with extreme gratitude.
Although our time together is ending, I hope to keep in touch. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or 111-222-3333 at any time.
Thank you again for your leadership, and I wish nothing but the best for you and the team.
4. A goodbye email to your CEO or founder
If you work at a smaller company or startup, there's a good chance you work directly with your CEO or founder at times. If they've played a pivotal role in your time at the company, it's worth sending them a goodbye email, too. They'll appreciate the thoughtfulness.
Again, this will depend on your relationship with your CEO as well as the company's culture, but here's an example of something you might send:
As you know, today is my last day with ABC Startup, and I have to say this is an incredibly bittersweet day.
My time here has been overwhelmingly positive, and I've loved learning under your leadership. I've grown so much as not only a person but also a designer, and I largely attribute that to the positive culture you've established as well as your support in my continued professional development.
I wish ABC Startup nothing but the best, and I do hope we can keep in touch. Feel free to reach out at email@example.com or find me on LinkedIn.
Thank you again for giving me this incredible opportunity these past three years, and I look forward to seeing what ABC Startup accomplishes next.
5. Sample goodbye email to clients, vendors, or third-party contacts
If you're in a client-facing role or work with people outside your company, don't forget to send them an email. You'll likely want to do this shortly after you put your notice in with the company — but once you've figured out what the transition will look like.
Once you've determined the new point of contact, send out your goodbye email. Here's an example:
Subject line: New point of contact
Dear ZYX Cooperative,
I am reaching out to let you know my last day with ABC Collective will be September 8.
I want to let you know how much I've enjoyed working with you these past two years, and it's been a pleasure getting to know you.
Over these next two weeks, I'll be working to tie up any loose ends, so feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Otherwise, your new point of contact will be Ashley. She has more than 10 years of experience, and she's a pleasure to work with. She's CC'd on this email and will touch base with you within the next week.
Wishing you and ZYX Cooperative all the best,
6. A company-wide goodbye email
On your last day, you might want to send an email out to your company, depending on its size and how closely you worked with colleagues across departments.
For instance, if you work at a 30-person startup, it's likely you grew close to a large number of your co-workers, so you could send out a company-wide email or Slack message. Here's an example:
Subject line: Keeping in touch
To my ABC Collective colleagues,
As you all have heard, my last day with the company is tomorrow, May 2.
Before I leave, I want to let you all know how much I've enjoyed my time working for ABC Collective. This is an incredible company, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of it for these past seven years. It's been a pleasure working with each one of you, and I wish you all nothing but the best.
Although you won't see me around the office any more, please don't be a stranger. My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can find me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname123.
I look forward to keeping in touch and seeing what you all continue to accomplish!
All my best,
Sending a goodbye email to your co-workers is an important final step in leaving your job. It gives you the perfect opportunity to show your gratitude and also share your contact information for future correspondence.
You never want to leave a company on bad terms, and a nicely written farewell email can help ensure your transition is a positive one.
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