Saying goodbye to colleagues after resignation

When you leave the job, you can feel a mix of various emotions. Firstly, you can feel excited about the next chapter in your professional career path. Secondly, you can feel bad because it’s always hard to say goodbye to people with whom you’ve worked for some time. It’s hard to leave people with whom you’ve maintained good relations or even been friends. And, of course, you’ll miss them. 

As far as the communication with your colleagues is concerned, you can feel nervous about it because no one wants to look insincere or out of touch. There are several ways in which you could handle this situation. First of all, be honest. If you really don’t want to say goodbye to certain people, just tell them that they are special and important to you. Second, don’t elaborate too much on why you decided to leave your job. This will make them ask more questions and this type of conversation often ends up being unpleasant for both parties involved.

The final stage in leaving a company happens when you have said goodbye to your colleagues and agreed not to contact each other anymore until the next time when you meet professionally. Some companies have codes of conduct regarding this issue. It’s not very good to alarm your former colleagues with news of your next job. It can also look unprofessional to maintain contact with them all the time because this gives an impression that you cannot work without them.

Nevertheless, if you are interested in keeping the lines of communication open (especially with really close colleagues), you can always do it on a friendly basis. If they wish, company employees usually receive the personal email addresses and phone numbers of their managers via intranet or extranet online services. This way it will be much easier for all parties involved to stay in touch after resignation.

So, here the question comes – how to bid farewell to the colleagues after resignation? There’s no universal answer because it all depends on people and the context. Below, we’ll give you some variations of how to say goodbye to your coworkers in written form. Let’s start. 

Compared to eye-to-eye conversation, writing a farewell letter is easier. But it provides some difficulties. With every colleague, we have different relations. It means that we’ll not write a warm email to the colleague with whom we have strained relations. So, when writing farewell emails, we need to adjust them according to people and the context.

We’ll give you several tips on how your farewell email should be:

  • Allow your colleagues time to bid farewell: We recommend sending the farewell email one or two days before you leave. As a result, they won’t be blindsided by your sudden leave. Moreover, you give them the possibility to speak with you and hang out together for the last time. 
  • Emphasize good things: In the farewell letter, we express our gratitude to our colleagues for working together and hope to maintain good relations in the future. Saying bad things will not bring you any good – this way, your chances to get good recommendations and a job will be close to zero. 
  • Do not write long letters: Here, you do not need to write a long letter that tells the whole story of your life. You should be focused only on one thing – saying that you leave the job. If someone wants to know more, he can ask you that in a private conversation.
  • Close the letter with kindness: You need to send your last words with kindness. Finally, say that you are glad that this was your experience and wish them luck in future. This can be done most effectively by sending a small gift. It will be an excellent reminder of you after you leave. 

 Now we’ll give some examples of several farewell letters.

The first variant is appropriate if you write to a colleague with whom you have good relations: 


I would like to seize a moment and tell you that I’m leaving our company.

I want to thank you for everything. Thank you so much for working together. Thank you for the time we’ve spent outside the work – our trips, pajama parties, tips on personal issues… Especially I want to thank you for the tastiest pasta I’ve ever eaten before. I’ll never forget it. 

I’ll miss everything about us. But now, my career is the priority. And I cannot wait to start this new chapter of my career path.

I want to maintain our excellent relations. I’m leaving you my phone number and email. Call and text me anytime. 

And again, I am grateful to you for everything. And I’ll always be. 

Your sincerely.

The second example is how to bid farewell to colleagues whom you haven’t known well:

Dear Arnold,

I’m writing to tell you that I am leaving our company at the end of the week. 

I was very happy to work here and get the experience I’ll never get anywhere. I was so lucky to work with you on various projects. Thank you for your help and all the valuable tips you’ve given to me.

Although I’m leaving, I want to maintain relations with you. Here’s my phone number and e-mail. 

I’ll say it one more time – thank you for everything. 

Best wishes.

The third example is how to say goodbye to your direct employer:


As we’ve discussed before, this week is my last in this company. And before leaving, I want to say some words on what working here means to me. 

You’ve given me the most valuable and incredible experience I’ll never get anywhere. I’ll always be grateful to you for your kindness and support. It’s hard to leave this place, but I do not want to miss this opportunity that has been given to me. 

I’m ready to repeat it a thousand times – thank you and our incredible team for everything. Working here was a fantastic adventure that I’ll never forget!

Here’s my email and phone number. 

If you need my help, I’m always ready to help you. 

Best regards. 

The fourth example is how to say goodbye to your clients after resignation:

Dear client,

I want you to know that I’m leaving the organization. I want to tell you how much I’m grateful for all the years here and the job we’ve done together.

If you have some problems, we can solve them until I leave at the end of the week. After my leave, you’ll work with Jane (you can probably know her). She’s one of the best specialists of our team. So I’m sure that you’ll get along with her. I’ve also sent this letter to her to contact you at the beginning of the following week. 

Again, I want to thank you for working together during all these years. I wish you all the best.

There’s one more way to say goodbye to coworkers after resignation – making a party. Many people love these parties for the possibility to have some fun and remember all the great times that they’ve spent together with their colleagues. And, of course, such parties do not go without several tears.

Some people do not like parties and try to escape them. They do not want to discuss their career changes in public. That’s why they prefer writing farewell emails or holding small meetings with close colleagues or their teams. This way, they not simply say goodbye; they also build the connection that can be necessary for the future. 

If you do not like the idea of sending farewell emails, you can simply give every coworker a business card. Here, you do not need to indicate your new job – it will be enough to leave your contacts there, so your colleagues can call or text you. 

What should be done before leaving?

It takes some time between resigning and finishing work in your organization. It means that there is some stuff that has to be done in your office before leaving: 

  • Get all necessary documents (certificates, IDs cards). You may even take photos of them; 
  • Organize all certificates and leave them to your boss;
  • Organize the documents that you will need in your new job or when filling out an application form. You should give them to your boss too;
  • Take all personal stuff from your office (purse, phone chargers, etc.). 
  • Take all personal items (photos of your friends, plants you’ve been taking care of, etc.)

During the farewell party, supervisors say goodbye to their employees. They thank them for the great cooperation and wish success in future undertakings. Supervisors try to explain the reasons why that person is leaving as honestly as they can. This way, it won’t be a surprise for any colleague when he/she finds out about the resignation from other sources. At this point, supervisors also hope from their employees not to tell anyone about leaving without disclosing this information to a direct superior first. So what do workers usually do at these parties? It depends on how close they were with their colleagues and what kind of relationship there was. If the farewell party was organized because of a colleague’s death or another sad occasion, then most people would drink alcohol and talk about their memories. For example, they may tell anecdotes that happened between close co-workers in the past. People say goodbye to each other at these parties with full respect and pay tribute to the deceased person. This kind of party is usually not joyful; such events should be rather solemn (there are exceptions when workers do not drink alcohol). There should be some sadness around because it is a sign of empathy and respect for those who left this world. 

On the other hand, if there’s no serious reason behind the farewell party and all employees were friends with each other (they even went out for lunch or dinner together), then they can have lots of fun, dance, and sing. A farewell party in these cases is usually a great opportunity to show off your talents on the dance floor or with singing. If you are invited to such a party, think carefully about whether you will attend it or not. Perhaps, this would be just an ordinary goodbye where you will have to celebrate something that cannot be congratulated by anyone (such as leaving).

Yes, leaving a job and saying goodbye is always hard. And we should not escape it, no matter how hard it is. So, our purpose is to find the best possible way to do it, since we may need these contacts in the future. And, who knows, maybe, we’ll work together again.  So, it’s highly advised to say goodbye properly.

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