How do I write a good goodbye email?
It's hard enough just letting go of people we like without having to give them an awkward farewell too.
Sometimes our relationships with coworkers end because they're no longer working for us or are moving onto other opportunities. Other times it's something less serious — maybe people move away from their hometown or get married. Whatever the reason is that made things come to this abrupt ending, there’s always going to be some sort of emotional attachment. And when those attachments become painful, sometimes writing emails can feel downright excruciating.
Don't worry though! There are ways to express yourself while still maintaining professionalism at all times. We've got tips for sending professional emails about parting ways with even the most difficult people. Read on to find out what you should include in every single one of these messages.
How do you send a class goodbye email?
Whether you want to thank someone for their help (or service), wish them luck moving forward, or simply tell them that they'll never see you again, here's how to craft the best goodbye email possible.
Thanking someone: If you ever had a mentor, teacher, boss, colleague, friend, family member, significant other, or anyone else who helped shape your life into the person you are today, take time to let them know you appreciate everything they did for you.
Include specific details about why you appreciated their guidance so much and then explain that you won't have access to certain resources anymore. For example, if you were mentored by another employee at work, mention that she was helpful during "a particularly challenging period" and that you will miss her advice now that she has moved to human resource. You could also talk about how grateful you are for whatever relationship you shared and make sure to highlight any special memories you may have together. Remember not to overdo it, as saying thanks through a text message might seem weird.
Wishing someone well: Maybe you don't need to specifically name the individual who meant the world to you. In fact, wishing someone well doesn't necessarily mean anything about him or her directly. Sometimes you just need to say that you hope he continues his success elsewhere, regardless of whether or not you personally know where he's headed next. This way you can keep the tone open ended and allow whoever receives the email to fill in the blanks themselves. It's important to remember that a lot of jobs require relocation, especially ones that involve international travel. Just acknowledging that this may happen can make up for its own part.
Telling someone they’ll “never see you again”: Letting someone go isn't easy, but it's necessary. The last thing you want to do is burn bridges behind you forever. Even if you're angry with them, try to avoid using crude language. Keep things civil. Don't yell or scream at them—it's unprofessional. Instead, choose words that show respect and kindness towards others. Try to refrain from calling them names, insulting them, or making fun of their appearance. Also, think twice before putting exclamation points after each sentence. These little symbols often convey anger more than actual excitement. Think before hitting Send instead.
Here are some polite suggestions to consider including in your final goodbye email:
You’re sorry for anything you said or did that wasn’t true.
Your sincerest apologies for anything that upset them.
You realize your behavior was inappropriate and regretful.
If you didn’t treat them fairly, acknowledge that. Explain why you felt differently.
You’d rather not continue talking about this right now, but you wanted to set the record straight.
You understand how tough this situation must have been for them and you’re glad that you gave them space.
Even if you hate mail, please put pen to paper and finish off your goodbye letter. That's probably the only chance you'll get to really connect and share feelings with someone. Plus, leaving a lasting impression shows everyone involved that you care enough to stay connected long after you've gone.
Be careful about timing, however. Sending a quick goodbye email seems appropriate when you haven’t seen someone in months or years. But if you’ve known someone for several weeks or days, wait until a few hours before you plan to actually break up. Otherwise, you run the risk of seeming callous and inconsiderate.
Also, don’t forget to check your grammar and spelling. Your message needs to look polished. A typo or error in punctuation makes you appear sloppy and careless. When you're done, proofread your entire email three times to ensure it looks as clean as possible. Then, hit Send.
How do you say goodbye to someone professionally?
There is nothing worse than getting ready to leave work for the day, only to read back over notes left by colleagues. Luckily, you can use templates to prevent this from happening. They provide structure and clarity to otherwise chaotic thoughts. Take advantage of them.
Below are some guidelines for crafting effective goodbye emails. Follow them closely and chances are, your recipient will receive a thoughtful message.
1) Always begin with a greeting line. Start off strong. Use a simple salutation such as, "Goodbye," "Have a great trip," "See ya later," or "Hope to hear from you soon."
2) Talk about yourself. Explain what personal accomplishments you achieved throughout the year. Highlight any goals you accomplished and plans you created for the future. Mention what you learned along the way and how you plan to apply it moving forward.
3) Thank them for their support and assistance. Be sincere and heartfelt. Make sure to add details about how you benefited from their contributions.
4) Tell the truth. Honesty goes a long way. Say exactly what happened as opposed to implying things. Avoid vague statements like, "I enjoyed working with you!" or "Let me know what happens." People want specifics and honesty helps build confidence.
5) Leave on neutral ground. No matter how bad things became between you, try to maintain civility whenever possible. Remain respectful and friendly. Never bring up past arguments or disagreements. Avoid bringing up issues that stem from past problems or misunderstandings.
6) End on a high note. Ending poorly leaves a terrible taste in your reader's mouth. After thanking them for their time and effort, wrap up your message with a bit of personality. Ask questions or offer encouragement. Stay upbeat and optimistic. Focus on the bright side of life and remind them what they love about being around you. Remind them of your mutual successes. Wrap it up nicely and don't linger too long.
7) Proofread it once and print it out multiple times. Check for typos, grammatical errors, and missing periods. Print it out and retype it manually four or five times. Review and revise it until it feels natural and comfortable.
8) Delete unnecessary information. Get rid of extraneous facts, figures, and comments. Anything irrelevant detracts from your main point. Save room to breathe.
9) Write two versions. One version is intended for internal circulation within your organization. Another version is intended for external release. Before finishing off your message, ask yourself which audience you intend for it. For instance, if you're sending an email internally, you could address the sender by first name. However, if you're sending an email externally, it would be better to address the receiver formally. Some recipients prefer to receive correspondence without titles, whereas others want to know who wrote it. So, it's important to follow local custom.
10) Wait 48 hours. Allow time for your recipient to digest your message. Give them time to process what you told them before following up via phone or email. Don't immediately contact them after receiving a standard reply to your initial message. Doing so conveys urgency. Hold off until tomorrow morning.
11) Call them if needed. Answering phones 24/7 can drain you emotionally. If you're feeling overwhelmed, delegate some tasks to a coworker. Or, hire a virtual assistant to handle your calls.
12) Email them if you absolutely cannot reach them. Emailing provides flexibility. You may want to compose a separate message that includes additional details. Alternatively, you could attach an extra document with relevant information.
13) Create an exit interview. At least occasionally, conduct brief interviews with employees. Find out what worked well and what areas you can improve upon moving forward. Encourage feedback and ideas from your team members.
14) Communicate effectively. While you're breaking news, it's crucial to remain calm. Deliver your message clearly and concisely. Speak slowly and loudly. Practice pausing frequently. Listen carefully and repeat key phrases. If you sound rushed or anxious, people will pick up on it. Slow down and speak deliberately.
15) Break ties properly. It's common courtesy to notify people outside of your immediate network when you are changing companies. By doing so, you establish expectations with new employers and protect your reputation. Consider sending a general announcement. Asking people to pass on word to others beforehand prevents confusion.
16) Include a personalized signature block. Depending on your position, you may want to include your title, department, role, job description, or location.
17) Personalize. Add flair to your goodbye email with photos or drawings. Embed videos or GIFs.
You've been thinking about it for days. You're ready to move on from this job or career—or maybe even this person. But before you pack up those desk chairs and walk out of work early that day, there's something you need to send.
It may be an official resignation letter, but if not, don't worry! Your parting words can also help ease someone else into their future at a new gig while letting them know what they'll miss. And we have some tips for writing great farewell emails so you never run out of ideas when sending off your last correspondence as part of The Muse editorial team.
Read through these guidelines to make sure you sound sincere without making any mistakes along the way. Then get started with our suggestions below.
What do you say in goodbye message?
When it comes to writing a goodbye message, most people will tell you to just keep things simple and heartfelt. In other words, be honest. It might feel strange to simply state that you are leaving because you want more time away from your current role. That said, being straightforward is always best. If you try too hard to come up with clever phrases, you risk sounding insincere. Instead, stick to saying exactly why you're walking out the door.
But remember, keeping things short doesn’t mean you should skip over details entirely. Don’t forget to include specifics like where you plan to go next (if anything), who you hope to talk to next, and why. Also, give yourself room to expand if you find yourself needing extra motivation later down the line.
For example, "I am excited to share my skills with another organization" could become “I am looking forward to working with [new employer] to continue growing my skill set."
And don't stress over trying to think of everything. Just take a few minutes to jot down key points and then let them flow freely once you’ve written your first draft. Once you see the finished product, check back often to tweak and edit accordingly.
If you're planning to quit your full-time position right now, here are some additional pointers for crafting the perfect exit interview notes, including some advice regarding what to avoid putting in your final statement.
Finally, one tip worth noting is to consider whether you want to use text or voice mail to deliver your goodbye message. Texting isn't ideal for every situation, especially since you won't hear the emotions in someone's tone of voice when they read over your text messages. Voice mails, however, allow you to record your departing thoughts and feelings and play them back during a followup call. So which method would better suit everyone involved? If you prefer to remain accessible after you've left the office, opt for voicemail instead. Otherwise, by all means, type your thoughts in the body of the message.
How do you say goodbye on a formal email?
While a casual goodbye email works well for many situations, others require a different approach. For instance, if you were expecting a promotion, you wouldn't want to blast your soon-to-be former boss with a standard "see ya!" email. A proper farewell email needs to convey respect, regardless of whether you're ending a friendship or a long-term relationship. Plus, you need to offer closure — no matter how painful it may be.
To start drafting your formal departure notice, ask yourself these questions: What kind of impression do you want to leave behind? Do you still wish to stay connected after you've parted ways? How much information do you want to provide? Is it fair to both parties to address certain topics head-on? Can you afford to be vague? Or does it make sense to wait until you meet face-to-face again?
Once you arrive at answers to these questions, formulate two drafts. One version is meant to serve as an open letter for anyone within your immediate network who wants to learn more about your decision. This document explains your reasoning and gives specific recommendations based on your unique circumstances. The second draft serves as a general guide for anyone interested in learning more about your experience. Think of this eulogy style format as a sort of virtual handshake between you and your departed colleagues.
Keep in mind that you shouldn't feel beholden to answer each question posed by your recipient(s). If you'd rather focus less on answering inquiries, you can choose to omit personal opinions completely. Still, if you must respond to such requests, you should limit yourself to only sharing factual data. As for controversial subjects, simply explain that you aren't comfortable discussing them via email. Simply stating that you respectfully decline their request can suffice.
Also, be careful not to offend anyone by assuming negative motives. Avoid using phrases like "you guys," "y'all," or "folks" unless absolutely necessary. If you're unsure about how to phrase something politely, consult a dictionary. Finally, be mindful of cultural differences. While Americans generally tend to speak openly, people from countries outside the U.S. sometimes frown upon directness. Therefore, you may want to soften language or add context whenever possible.
The takeaway? When composing formal farewell letters, it's important to strike a balance between respecting etiquette norms and remaining authentic.
How do you say goodbye in a professional email?
A typical workplace breakup usually involves multiple stakeholders. To ensure transparency, you should aim to maintain contact throughout the process to keep everyone informed. However, you should refrain from doing so in overly aggressive fashion. Sending an email newsletter outlining your decision probably isn't going to cut it. Rather, you should carefully craft a customized script designed specifically for each individual scenario.
Begin with a summary paragraph explaining why you decided to step away from your current position. Next, break down your rationale into several sections addressing the following areas: reasons for quitting, why you felt your previous employment was no longer sustainable, what brought you back to reality, etc. Be sure to detail your experiences and accomplishments throughout your tenure at your old company. Lastly, identify potential solutions for improving relationships with superiors or peers. Perhaps you learned valuable lessons that helped improve morale among coworkers. Now, share them with your manager/colleagues to demonstrate concrete growth opportunities.
Depending on your field, you may also want to suggest resources or events intended to foster networking connections. For example, if you worked in sales, consider suggesting a happy hour meeting spot near your old workspace. Similarly, if you had aspirations of starting your own business, propose hosting an informal brainstorm session to discuss goals moving forward. Regardless of what you decide, the goal is to highlight tangible benefits you believe your recipients stand to gain from your involvement.
Lastly, be prepared to accept criticism. People tend to hold strong emotional reactions when they discover you're resigning. Though you likely thought your choice was justified, others might disagree. Remember that your former employers deserve to understand why you chose to end your work contract. If you truly believe you made a mistake, apologize sincerely. Even though it may seem counterintuitive, staying defensive could actually negatively impact your reputation in the eyes of onlookers. Try offering constructive feedback instead.
In addition to providing ample explanation, you should also expect to receive similar courtesy in return. Before you officially announce your departure, reach out to your supervisors/managers to informally touch base. Ask permission to stop by periodically to drop off documents or supplies. Likewise, be willing to attend meetings or conferences hosted by your former colleagues. At least show up if you can spare the time. Afterward, schedule regular phone calls to check in on projects and developments.
You’re wrapping up work for the day with a client or coworker who is taking some time off before they go back to school or take their vacation. You send over all of the files needed from this project so that there are no last minute hiccups. Or maybe it's a boss sending out his resignation letter after months of working together without any notice. Whatever the case may be, we've put together some tips on writing professional farewell emails.
In these scenarios, you want to make sure that you're not only clear about what needs to happen next—but also that you give them reason to remember you fondly if they ever need anything again. To ensure that happens, here are some things to consider when composing those final missives.
What should I say in a goodbye email?
The first thing to keep in mind is that you don't have as much space as you would normally have during typical conversations. This means that you'll have to really think about what you want to get across in each sentence. If you use too many words, it can sound like you're yelling at someone. On the other hand, using short sentences and paragraphs will allow you to pack more information into fewer lines. It might feel weird to type less than usual, but trust us, it works better.
If you find yourself struggling to figure out what to include in your message, try opening up a separate document where you can write freely. Then copy and paste important points from that text onto your original email. That way, you won't lose track of what you wanted to convey because you were focused solely on typing. Otherwise, you could end up doing damage control later by accidentally deleting something important.
Keep your tone conversational. Don't ramble on about what you did today, even though it was exciting. Keep your messages lighthearted and fun. After all, you probably aren't going to see them again soon enough!
There isn't one right answer to "what to write." However, there are definitely commonalities among most people. One such trend is to address the person you're talking to directly ("John") rather than just calling him/her "boss" ("Mr./Mrs. Smith"). Another is to avoid personal pronouns altogether (e.g., "I'm sorry," instead of "you're sorry"). These trends are pretty normal, since everyone has different preferences. The best advice we can offer is to mix it up based on whom you're corresponding with. For example, you wouldn't typically start every correspondence by saying "Dear John... " But if you know you're addressing your boss, then go ahead and use proper names. Try to stay away from long introductions, which often add nothing except extra wordiness.
Finally, never forget to sign off! Even if you're simply ending the conversation, you still need to let them know that you appreciate their input or friendship. Asking for feedback beforehand helps prevent awkward situations where you ask for permission to close the chat. Just remember to do both: Close the conversation AND sign off. When closing the conversation, you can either choose to simply log off or tell them that you'll check back with them later. Either way, always finish strong by thanking them for reading your email or letting them know you look forward to seeing them soon.
How do you say goodbye professionally?
When you're done drafting your email, read through it once more to make sure everything makes sense. Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. Nothing says unprofessional quite like typos. Readability counts, especially online. Make sure you understand what you're trying to communicate and that you didn't inadvertently omit any key details.
Once you're satisfied, hit Send. Now comes the difficult part. Waiting until now to deliver bad news can make anyone anxious. So, it's tough to swallow the fact that sometimes, this step requires you to sit down and talk to that person face-to-face. In our experience, however, that doesn't necessarily mean sitting in front of the computer screen. Sometimes it takes a phone call or meeting in person. No matter the medium, delivering bad news can be hard. We hope this guide can help soften the blow a little bit and ease anxiety along the way.
It's worth noting that while we recommend being direct and honest in your message, you don't have to be harsh. People respond well to honesty, but you shouldn't dwell on unpleasant moments unless absolutely necessary. Remember, you're trying to establish relationships and foster goodwill between you and others. By keeping the focus on future opportunities, you can achieve that goal without hurting feelings unnecessarily.
What do you say in an email when leaving a company?
Goodbye emails differ depending on whether you worked remotely or in-person. If you worked remotely, keep in mind that it can be challenging to wrap up projects with faraway colleagues. This scenario calls for extra care due to potential misunderstandings. If you haven't spoken personally with your supervisor recently, reach out to her via video conference or phone call. Use that opportunity to discuss what you came to learn while collaborating on certain tasks throughout the month. Ask questions about expectations moving forward, including new responsibilities if applicable. Remind her of the value she added to your career development journey.
On the flip side, if you had regular meetings with your manager, this situation usually falls under the category of "in-office" jobs. Your goodbye email should follow the same basic rules outlined above, but with a few exceptions. First, it's OK to skip signing off. There's no need to wish them luck or tell them that you look forward to seeing them soon. Second, don't worry about getting caught up on smalltalk. A greeting and salutation suffice. Lastly, don't forget to mention why you decided to pursue another path. Maybe you found a position elsewhere within the organization, or perhaps you discovered a passion outside of your current role that opens up great possibilities.
As mentioned earlier, there isn't a specific format for goodbyes. Some experts suggest avoiding phrases like "best regards" or "kindest thoughts." Instead, opt for simple statements like "thank you for all you taught me" or "goodbye forever!" Regardless, don't neglect emotionality. Expressing gratitude toward your former employer can show appreciation for the lessons learned. At the very least, try to inject enthusiasm into your voice whenever possible.
Lastly, if you're planning to move overseas, you can apply similar guidelines by following the same steps described above, but substituting English terms for whatever language you speak. Depending on where you live, you may even have to adjust greetings and sentiments accordingly. Alternatively, you could write an entire book on what you'd say in such circumstances.
How do you write thank you email when leaving a job?
While the general rule applies to life in general, it gets a little tricky when it comes to work. It can be incredibly tempting to ignore deadlines and slack off when you're tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. And although it feels wrong, it's understandable to occasionally break promises or fall behind on commitments. With that said, it's crucial to acknowledge past failures up front and apologize sincerely. Doing otherwise sets the stage for future disappointments.
After apologizing, it's helpful to reiterate what you plan to do differently moving forward. Whether you made a mistake or two, this gives your recipient a chance to regain faith in your ability to handle responsibility responsibly. Next, explain what led to the misstep(s) and what action you intend to take to improve upon it. Finally, reinforce your commitment to remaining diligent and accountable moving forward.
Here's a real world example of a recent goodbye email sent by a friend of ours:
Just checking in to see if you received my email yesterday regarding my decision to quit my job. Sorry for the abruptness of the email, but I felt like you deserved to hear it straight from me rather than from someone else. Hopefully this does not affect our relationship negatively.
Anyway, I am officially resigning effective immediately. Please accept my sincere apologies for wasting your time and mine. Thank you for teaching me so much over the years. Best wishes on your continued success at XYZ Company.
With the above statement, he gave upfront warning that he wasn't happy, apologized for inconveniencing anyone with his unhappiness, explained his reasoning for quitting, acknowledged his shortcomings, expressed regret, and offered to continue networking on behalf of XYZCompany. He ended on a high note, giving credit where it was due.
To recap, here are the main takeaway items:
Apologize honestly and openly.
Be transparent about your intentions.
Don't blame anyone or point fingers.
Reassure your reader that you're committed to making improvements moving forward.
Always conclude with a genuine "thanks" or "farewell."
Hopefully, these suggestions helped shed some light on what to expect in those final goodbye emails. Good luck!