Farewell Letter Saying Goodbye to Colleagues

Woman using laptop
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When you're leaving your job, take the time to send a farewell letter to the colleagues you have worked with. This is a good idea for a number of reasons.

The people you worked with are an important part of your network, and might be helpful contacts to have in the future. For example, they might be able to help you with your career in some way, such as providing you with a reference, offering you some job leads if you are searching, or introducing you to someone else whom you might want to network with.

Along with all these reasons, saying goodbye is simply the polite thing to do. Regardless of your reason for leaving, you want to leave on a kind and professional note.

Tips for Writing a Farewell Letter

  • Send it before you leave. Send your letter a day or two before you leave. You want to give yourself and your colleagues enough time to say goodbye. However, do not send your letter until you’ve finished most of your work tasks. This will allow you to focus on saying goodbye in the final day or hours.
  • Personalize your letter. Consider tailoring each letter to the individual person rather than sending out a mass message. Address each person by name, and, if possible, include an anecdote or other personal message reflecting on your time together. Only send letters to people you have worked with. Especially if you work at a large company, you do not want to send a message to everyone (unless you worked with all of them).
  • Say thank you. This letter is your chance to express gratitude for any help or mentorship provided. You might also express how much you’ve enjoyed working with your colleagues.
  • Include contact information. Provide information on how your colleagues can reach you once you leave. Include an email address (a non-work email) and/or phone number. You might also include your LinkedIn web address.
  • Keep it positive. Even if you were unhappy at the company or with your position (or with a particular colleague), do not share this in your letter. Again, the goal of the letter is to stay connected with your former coworkers; you do not want to leave a bad impression.
  • Keep it brief. Write no more than a couple of paragraphs. Along with saying thank you and including your contact information, you might want to mention your plans for the future. However, beyond this, keep it brief.
  • Connect on LinkedIn. If you have not already, connect with your coworkers on LinkedIn. This will help you stay connected after you leave.
  • Use a sample letter. You can use a sample farewell letter or email message to help you write your own good-bye note to coworkers. However, be sure to change the details of the message to fit your particular situation.

    Sample Farewell Letter

    Dear John,

    I wanted to take a moment to let you know that I am leaving my position at ABC Corporation. I will be starting a new position at XYZ Company next month.

    I have enjoyed my tenure here, and I appreciate having had the opportunity to work with you. Thank you for the support, guidance, and encouragement you have provided me during my time at ABC Corporation.

    Even though I will miss my colleagues and the company, I am looking forward to this new challenge and to starting a new phase of my career.

    Please keep in touch: I can be reached at my personal email address (samantha83@gmail2.com), on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/samanthasterling) or on my cell phone (555-555-2222).

    Thanks again for everything. I wish you all the best.

    Yours truly,

    Samantha

    Sending an Email Farewell Letter

    It is often a good idea to send your letter via email. This will allow your colleagues to receive the message quickly. This will also help you to easily tailor each message to fit the individual recipient.

    When you send your farewell message by email, include your name and the reason you're writing in the subject line of the message to help ensure that your email gets opened. Here are examples of what you might write:

    • Subject: Firstname Lastname – Staying in Touch
    • Subject: Firstname Lastname Update
    • Subject: Firstname - Moving On
    • Subject: Firstname Update

    Sample Farewell Email

    Subject: Tyrone Garrett – Update

    Dear Linda,

    I am writing to let you know that I am retiring at the end of the month.

    I have so enjoyed working here these past ten years. I am grateful for having had the chance to work alongside you. I will never forget your kindness and professionalism whenever we worked on team projects together.

    My wife and I will be moving to Seattle in three months; however, I hope to keep in touch. You can reach me at my email address (tgarrett@email.com) or on my cell phone, 555-555-5555.

    Thank you again for a terrific ten years. I wish you all the best, and hope to stay in touch.

    Sincerely,

    Tyrone