Tips for Saying Goodbye When You're Leaving Your Job

The Best Way to Say Farewell When You're Moving On

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You have found a new job, and you're ready to give two weeks notice to your current employer. Or, you've lost your job. What's the best way to say goodbye when you leave a job?

First things first. Regardless of the circumstances of your departure, if you are about to resign, your first responsibility is to let your employer know that you are resigning. It's important to part on good terms, and you don't want your boss hearing rumors of your departure through the grapevine.

The next step is to send a farewell message to co-workers and to let them know that you are moving on to a new position, starting a job search, retiring, or doing something else with your life. It's appropriate to send an email farewell letter. You can include your contact information so you can stay in touch.

How to Say Goodbye When You Leave a Job

Handle your departure as carefully as you would handle any other business endeavor. It's always wise to not burn bridges, because you don't know when you will need your past employers for a reference.

Review what to say and how to leave so your departure is polished and professional. If you're not sure what to write in your goodbye letter, review our sample resignation lettersresignation email message, and goodbye letters, then tailor one to meet your circumstances.

Saying Farewell to Co-Workers

Once your boss knows you are leaving, it's fine to let your co-workers and colleagues know that you're moving on. Here are some tips for saying goodbye.

  • Tell close colleagues in person. It's fine to email or message most people you've worked with. However, if you have a close relationship with some of your co-workers take the time to have a personal conversation. That's especially important if your departure is going to have a significant impact on their working life.
  • Connect on LinkedIn. If you're not already connected with your colleagues on LinkedIn, now is an excellent time to add them to your network.
  • Say goodbye via email. Send an email announcement or a LinkedIn message to co-workers you know well, or to your department. You do not necessarily want to send your goodbye note to the entire company. That's especially recommended if there are thousands of employees. 
  • Keep your message brief and to the point. Do not include a long dissertation on how you hated your job and couldn't stand working for the company. Don't include the fact that you're making oodles of money at the new job, even if it's true. There is no need to criticize or brag. You want to move forward and say farewell in a positive manner.
  • Do mention projects you have worked on together or special times you've enjoyed together. If you are sending individualized goodbye emails, tailor your message to your relationship with the colleague. This farewell letter is casual and personal, rather than official.
  • Share personal contact information, including email address and phone number so your co-workers can stay in touch.
  • Review these sample farewell letters to get an idea of how to say goodbye when you're not sure what to write.

When You Have Been Fired or Laid Off

If you've been fired or laid off and want to let your co-workers know you're leaving, and you still have email access, you can send an even briefer email letter.

Let them know you'll be moving on. Ask for job search assistance, if it's appropriate, and provide your personal contact information, so that they can get in touch. You can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile page. Do not vent or complain in this email even if you are feeling sad, frustrated, or angry. 

Be Brief

In summary, when leaving a position, keep your goodbyes short and sweet. Don't go overboard, in any direction. There's no need to give out too much information about why you're moving on. Do make sure you notify those co-workers that need to know that you're leaving and make sure they know how to get in touch with you after you're gone.

Review Goodbye Letter Examples

Here's a list of goodbye letter examples to say farewell to co-workers, clients and business contacts to let them know that you have accepted a new job, are retiring, or resigning. There are also letter examples you can send to colleagues, clients, and customers to congratulate them and wish them well as they move on to a new opportunity.