Leaving a job can be bittersweet. On one hand, you may be moving to a job with better pay and benefits, or one that more closely aligns with your professional interests. On the other hand, you may be saying goodbye to beloved coworkers and managers. One way to ease the transition is to acknowledge those who have helped you professionally, or those with whom you’ve developed a friendship, and provide a way to keep in touch. That’s where a well-written goodbye message comes in.
Here’s everything you need to know to write a great goodbye message, including when to send it and examples to give you inspiration.
What is a goodbye message?
A goodbye message is a message you send to your coworkers when leaving your job. In other words, it’s how you choose to end your professional relationship with people you’ve worked alongside. Of course, if you’ve made real friendships with some of those coworkers, your message doesn’t have to be completely career-focused, and it doesn’t have to mean the end of those relationships.
You can send a goodbye message via whichever channel suits you best, but since you’ll probably lose access to things like company Slack channels, it makes sense to send a goodbye via your personal email or even your LinkedIn profile. That way, people can reply easily and keep in touch.
When to send your message
Timing a goodbye message can be tricky, especially if you’re leaving on less-than-ideal terms. But in general, you should send a goodbye message to colleagues either the day before you log off or the morning of your final day. This gives them time to reply before you leave. It also minimizes the potential awkwardness that can ensue if you send the message far in advance of your departure. Conversely, sending the message as you walk out the door won’t give your colleagues a chance to respond before you go.
Either way, your message should come after you’ve sent in your letter of resignation.
How to write a goodbye message
5 tips for writing a goodbye message
1 Keep it short: A few concise paragraphs should do the trick.
2 Acknowledge the skills or experience you’ve gained: Job-hopping may be common nowadays, but that doesn’t mean we don’t learn something from each role. If you’ve taken away useful lessons from the position, feel free to mention a couple.
3 Note your last day: This gives colleagues a chance to chat in person before you leave.
4 Include your contact preferences: Adding your phone, email, or LinkedIn profile lets people know how to keep in touch (and potentially send new opportunities your way in the future).
5 End with thanks: Showing your appreciation for the people you’ve worked with (this can include your manager) and the opportunities you’ve had is always a good idea.
You can also personalize each message, especially for the coworkers who’ve had a significant impact on your professional or personal life. For close colleagues, you may even choose to talk about why you’re leaving. You can also send a more general note to your team or the company at large.
If you have clients or work with contractors, you can CC them on your goodbye. This is an excellent opportunity to let them know whom they will be working with at the company going forward. That way, the client or contractor doesn’t have to chase down emails to keep their business moving.
How to write a message when you’re leaving on nonideal terms
When you’ve been laid off or fired, or you simply didn’t enjoy the job, a goodbye message can feel awkward or even painful. While you don’t need to fake a note of appreciation or express optimism that you don’t feel, you can send a short, dispassionate last-day message. It should be free of any lingering negativity.
If you’re not in the mood to send a note at large, that’s OK. In that case, it’s enough to simply thank your manager for the opportunity to work with them. After that, following your comfort level—whether that means excluding your contact information or thanking someone by name—is the best approach. If nothing else, you never know how a cordial departure or preserving those relationships may pay off in the future.
Goodbye message examples
A general message to your team
Subject: My last day
As many of you know, today is my last day at [company]. I feel so lucky to have worked with such a talented group of [job role]. I’ve learned and grown so much from each of you. And while I’m excited about the future, I’m sad to have to leave you all.
Before I go, I’d like to thank my manager, [name], whose support and guidance has been invaluable over the years.
I’ll be working at [new company] starting on [date], but I’d love to keep in touch. Feel free to reach me by email (email@example.com) or via LinkedIn: [link]. I’m always happy to grab coffee or offer professional support!
A personalized message to a close colleague
Subject: Thank you!
I just wanted to thank you for being such a great colleague and friend to me during my time here. While I’m excited for my future role at [new company], I’m sad that we won’t be able to grab lunch together anymore! I’ve always admired your ability to [skill], as well as your work ethic. I wouldn’t be the [job title] that I am without your help and advice over the years. And I’ll always remember [personalized memory].
My last day will be [date], but I promise to stay in touch on [social media platform]. I’m also planning to have a farewell dinner at my place next week, so I’ll send you the details once I have them.
Thanks so much,
A short message if you’re leaving on negative terms
Subject: Last day
As some of you may know, I’ll be leaving my role at [company] as of [date]. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work here, and I wish you all the best. If you’d like to keep in touch, feel free to reach out to my personal email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goodbye message FAQs
What is a goodbye message?
A goodbye message is a message you send when you’re leaving a company. It’s typically sent to your colleagues to give them a chance to say farewell and to provide ways to keep in touch.
When should you send a goodbye message?
You should send it after you’ve resigned, usually the day before you leave or the morning of your last day.
What should a goodbye email include?
You can include things like what you’ve learned at the company, when exactly you’re leaving, and where you’re going. A short goodbye message—for those leaving under less-than-ideal circumstances—can be more generic, simply expressing gratitude for the opportunity to work there.