Found a new job and wondering how to write an email when you’re no longer with the company to announce your departure?
Putting this email together requires thoughtfulness and tact, but following these simple steps will help to hit the right tone.
- Maintain a Formal Yet Friendly Tone: Address colleagues directly by their first names and avoid overly casual or familiar language.
- Express Gratitude: Thank your colleagues for their mentorship, collaboration, and support.
- Briefly Explain Your Reason for Leaving (optional): Share your reason for moving on, focusing on personal growth and future goals.
- Show Support for the Company’s Future: Voice confidence in the company’s continued success.
- Offer Assistance: Offer to help in the transition but be realistic about the level of support you can provide.
- End with Well Wishes: Conclude your email with a positive sentiment and wishes for your colleagues’ future.
- Proofread: Double-check for errors to ensure professionalism.
- Customise for Recipients: Personalise messages when possible to make them more meaningful.
- Time it Thoughtfully: Send the email at an appropriate time, considering the workweek’s flow and any internal communication plans.
- Adhere to Company Policies: Ensure you’re following any company guidelines regarding communication about departures.
- Focus on a Positive, Gracious Tone: The overall tone should be warm, positive, and professional.
Leaving a company, especially when you may have been there for some time, can often be an emotional and somewhat challenging experience and something you may want to do is send an email to your colleagues announcing your departure.
You will likely want to maintain positive relationships with your soon-to-be former coworkers, but also tell them that you’re moving on. To do this, avoid oversharing confidential information, criticising company leadership, making it overly about yourself, or making unrealistic promises about future availability.
Read on for more details on sending the best departure email to your friends and colleagues.
Keep it Formal Yet Friendly
Your email is not the place for overly casual or familiar language, even if you are used to this way of communicating in your job. However, your email should still inject some warmth and friendliness into your tone. Strike a balance between formal and informal.
Use first names of colleagues instead of surnames, for example, to add a touch of familiarity. Just don’t go overboard with using insider jokes or overly casual phrasing.
Here are some examples of email openings that strike the right balance:
- Dear [First Name],
- Hi [First Name],
- Hello [First Name],
Avoid overly stiff or distant language like:
- To whom it may concern,
- Dear Sir/Madam,
Thank Your Colleagues
Use your farewell email as an opportunity to express gratitude towards colleagues you’ve worked with. Show appreciation for their mentorship, collaboration, hard work, and any other positive interactions you’ve had.
People appreciate being recognised for their efforts and contributions. Your email is a great chance to acknowledge those who’ve helped you during your time at the company.
Here are some examples of how to thank colleagues appropriately:
- I’m grateful for all I’ve learned from you over the years. Thank you for mentoring me and helping me develop my skills.
- It’s been a privilege working with you on [project name]. Your creativity and work ethic inspire me. Thank you for being such a valuable teammate.
- My time at this company has been enriched by our collaboration. Thank you for your insights and for challenging me to bring my best work every day.
Keep the tone sincere without going over the top. Find ways to make your appreciation specific by referencing particular projects or meaningful support from colleagues.
Share Your Reason for Leaving (Optional)
You may choose to briefly explain why you’re moving on from the company. This is optional, but it can help provide helpful context and reassurance.
Keep your reason focused on your growth and goals rather than any negativity about the company.
- I’ve accepted a new opportunity that allows me to pursue my interests in [field/speciality].
- This change aligns with my desire to transition into a new industry and continue advancing my career.
- I’m eager to apply my skills to a new challenge and further develop areas of expertise.
If you’re leaving due to negative reasons, keep it vague and take the high road:
- I believe it’s time for a change and my next professional challenge.
Only share more details if you have an especially close relationship with the recipient. Avoid venting about problems with the company or management.
Express Excitement for the Company’s Future
Even though you’re leaving, demonstrate support for your company’s continued success. Express a vote of confidence that they have a bright future ahead without you.
Here are some examples:
- I’m confident this company will continue innovating and delivering outstanding work in the years ahead.
- I know the team here will keep doing amazing things. This company’s mission remains so important, and you all are up to the challenge.
- You have built an exceptional culture and assembled an incredible team. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next.
This shows maturity and grace as you make a transition. It rises above pettiness or negativity. Your colleagues will appreciate the vote of confidence.
Offer Assistance Without Overpromising
While it’s considerate to offer some transition assistance, be realistic about the level of support you can provide as you exit your responsibilities.
Statements like “I’m here to help in any way needed indefinitely” soon ring hollow in practice. Avoid overpromising your future availability.
Here are some better approaches:
- I’m happy to spend a few hours over the next week training my replacement on open projects. Please let me know how I can best assist with knowledge transfer.
- Feel free to reach out if any questions come up related to the handoff of my responsibilities. I’ll do my best to answer them as I’m able.
- I can make myself available for occasional emails/calls as needed in the month after my departure to consult on the transition. Just send me a note if you’d like me to weigh in.
The goal is to politely offer reasonable assistance without setting unrealistic expectations of your ongoing virtual presence. Find the right balance to maintain goodwill and support the transition, within the limits of your new professional focus.
Express Well Wishes to Colleagues
As you close your farewell email, include some well wishes for your soon-to-be former colleagues. This is a nice way to end on a warm, positive note.
Here are some examples of thoughtful closings:
- I wish you all the best. Please keep in touch, and let me know how I can help in the future.
- It’s been a joy working with you. I’ll miss our collaboration but hope our paths cross again someday. Wishing you the very best.
- Thank you again for everything. I know there are great things ahead for you and the company. All the best to you!
Your closing sets the tone for your farewell. Ending with a gracious, positive sentiment leaves people with the impression that you’re moving on successfully and maturely.
Before clicking send on your farewell email, proofread thoroughly. Double-check for typos, grammatical errors, formatting issues, or any other mistakes.
Read the email out loud to catch awkward phrasing. Have a trusted friend or colleague review it as a second set of eyes.
An email littered with errors looks unprofessional, especially for such an important communication. Sending a sloppy farewell message leaves a bad last impression. Invest the time to ensure your email is polished.
Customise if Sending to Multiple People
If you’re sending your departure email to a large group, make sure to customise parts of it for individual recipients where appropriate.
For example, call out specific people when expressing gratitude or sharing well wishes. Reference colleagues by name and highlight your appreciation for them.
A generic “Thanks to everyone I’ve worked with!” comes across as impersonal. Take the time to individualise even if you’re blasting the email to the whole company.
Time it Thoughtfully
Be strategic with your timing when sending the farewell email. Avoid sending it late at night or on a weekend.
Instead, send it towards the end of the workday or even first thing the following morning if you’re leaving on a Friday. This ensures people see it within the normal flow of the workweek.
Also, consult with your manager and HR to see if they recommend announcing your departure at a certain time, like after a formal team notification. You want to be sensitive to internal communication plans.
But in general, give colleagues a nice heads up with your email rather than waiting until your very last day. This allows time for proper goodbyes.
Follow Company Policy
Review any company policies around communication-related to resignations and departures. They may require that you allow management to inform colleagues first before sending a farewell email. Or there may be a protocol for what information can be shared.
Don’t assume you can just blast an email on your terms. It’s important to follow policy and make sure leadership signs off before any wide communication.
Set the Right Tone
The tone of your farewell email speaks volumes. More important than following any template or formula is setting the right emotional tone. The spirit behind your words should be:
- Gracious – Take the high road. Don’t vent frustrations or seem bitter.
- Warm – This is still family. Balance professionalism with some heartfelt sentiments.
- Positive – Keep things upbeat. This is a happy transition, not a dramatic storming off.
- Mature – Show wisdom and grace. You’re moving forward, not looking backward with resentment.
Think about the tone you want to leave with colleagues. Write from an emotionally positive place of gratitude, well wishes, and support.
Move Forward Professionally
Your farewell email marks a professional transition, not the end of all contact. Avoid burning bridges or venting emotions.
Remain gracious, polite, and positive. This maintains your professional reputation and allows for future networking opportunities even after moving on.
You never know when you may cross paths with colleagues again down the road. Your farewell email sets the stage for either future positive interactions or regret over things said in haste. Err on the side of maturity and positivity.
What Not To Include In The Email When Leaving
Don’t Overshare Confidential Information
It can be tempting to share inside information about projects or company issues in your departure email, perhaps wanting to feel important or be seen as “in the know.” but resist oversharing confidential information not known to the general staff.
Even if discussed in vague terms without specifics, it comes across as overly gossipy and inappropriate for a professional farewell message. Keep the focus on your own transition experience.
Don’t Blind CC Personal Email
Refrain from blind carbon copying your email on a company address when sending the farewell message. It comes across as sneaky and lacking transparency around your motives.
If you later need a copy of the message, simply forward it from your sent items before your company email access expires. Don’t sneakily BCC yourself without the awareness of colleagues.
Don’t Overly Criticise Company Leadership
Even if management decisions contributed to your departure, for example during a merger or acquisition, avoid calling them out in your farewell email.
Venting your dissatisfaction or directly criticising leadership creates a toxic parting message. Keep things high-level and focused on your transition. There’s no value in flaming bridges as you leave.
Don’t Make Excuses for Poor Performance
If you were struggling in your role or even terminated, your farewell email isn’t the place to make excuses or defend yourself. Attempts to justify or explain away poor performance come across as tone-deaf.
Own your transition maturely without trying to absolve yourself. Your colleagues don’t need a complex rationale for why things didn’t work out as hoped. Simply move on gracefully.
Don’t Discuss Non-Public Information About New Opportunity
It’s natural to want to share details about your exciting new opportunity. But avoid discussing confidential information that isn’t yet public. This includes specifics on projects, clients, strategic plans etc.
You likely signed an NDA with your new employer. Respect their confidentiality by not leaking identities or inner workings in your departure email. There will be a time for show and tell later.
Keeping these precautions in mind allows you to maintain the utmost professionalism in your farewell message. You move on leaving positive relationships and reputation intact.
Writing a polished farewell email when you’re no longer with the company is an important part of professionally leaving any company. It provides closure and a chance to share gratitude and well wishes, so it’s best to craft your message thoughtfully and strategically time its delivery.
Most importantly, strike the right gracious and positive tone as you move forward to your next opportunity. Keeping your farewell email warm yet professional ensures you maintain positive relationships even as you close this chapter.
To recap, when crafting your farewell email upon leaving a company:
- Express gratitude and well wishes for colleagues
- Keep details of your transition high level
- Offer reasonable transition assistance
- Maintain a positive, bridge-building tone
- Avoid oversharing confidential information
- Be realistic about ongoing availability
- Proofread extensively before sending
- Follow company communication policies
- Keep the focus on others, not yourself
With thoughtfulness and care, your departure email can seamlessly close one chapter and open the next.