Writing a farewell message to a coworker is something that many people struggle with. Even if it’s someone you’ve worked with for years, it can be hard to know what to say!
This guide will teach you how to craft an excellent farewell message to a coworker who is departing, no matter who the colleague is.
Why It’s Important to Send a Farewell Message When a Coworker Leaves
There are a few reasons why you should write farewell messages to coworkers who have announced they are leaving. People leave jobs all the time, and it’s not always easy. Even if you don’t know your coworkers well, you can’t deny that their departure won’t change the workplace dynamic.
Saying goodbye is a great way to celebrate a person’s success with the company and send them off with a bit of positivity. It’s your chance to show appreciation and leave that individual with a positive impression of your time together.
Farewell messages are a professional courtesy. While not required by any means, it’s part of the professional etiquette people expect when working in an office environment. It helps maintain the work culture and shows support to someone who’s likely impacted your career.
Ultimately, it’s a courtesy you would want to receive yourself. People like those signs of appreciation and having their contributions recognized. It’s validating and provides a nice finish to the person’s time with the company.
Another reason to send a farewell message to your coworker is to maintain a good working relationship. You may or may not keep in touch with the person leaving, but there’s a chance they can re-enter your career sometime in the future.
You may leave your company one day and end up working with them again! Who knows? Either way, it’s a good idea to have that positive last impression. Your coworkers, past and present, will become a part of your professional network.
If you ever need their help or want to utilize that connection for future opportunities, your last interaction through a positive farewell message can make all the difference.
How to Write a Great Farewell Message to a Colleague
Saying goodbye to a coworker can be tough, especially if they were someone you enjoyed working with at your job. The best farewell messages show gratitude and provide a personal touch that makes your statement memorable.
Here are a few tips to help you craft the perfect farewell message.
Don’t be afraid to reflect on memorable moments you shared. Whether it was a challenging project or fun jokes at the water cooler, you can reminisce as you say goodbye. Creative farewell messages are unforgettable, and your statement can be what they appreciate most.
Just make sure to keep it professional!
It doesn’t matter if you worked directly with the departing person or not. Everyone plays a vital role in meeting company objectives. Thank your recipient for their contributions and recognize how their work impacted yours.
Avoid negativity, even if the colleague leaving isn’t departing on their terms. The last thing you want is to stir up drama. Keep your farewell message appropriate for the workplace and steer clear of anything that could be construed as bad-mouthing.
Keep It Short
There’s no need to write a novel when saying goodbye. Your coworker will likely get multiple messages in the last few days. Keep it short and to the point.
Provide Contact Information
If you want to stay in touch, include your contact information. Provide your personal email and add them on LinkedIn. Having contact information and being connected on LinkedIn could come in handy later.
Should You Use an Email or a Card?
How you deliver your farewell message depends on the situation.
Employers or HR departments often send notification emails when a team member leaves. When that happens, you may see other colleagues responding to the mass email or starting new email chains. You can add to those responses yourself.
Alternatively, someone may get a card for the departing coworker that everyone can sign to congratulate them on the next phase of their career.
See what everyone else is doing and use your best judgment. In cases where the colleague leaves without much notice due to termination or a layoff, it may be best to stick with an email.
Farewell Messages for Inspiration
The farewell message you send to your coworker should be unique and personal to the relationship you had. But if you’re having trouble finding the right words, we have examples that work for many common scenarios.
Use them as inspiration when writing your own messages.
Farewell Messages for Bosses & Managers
When a manager or supervisor leaves, writing a well-crafted farewell message is paramount. They likely played a big part in your day-to-day job, possibly having a role in the decision that got you hired. They may have also trained or mentored you.
Your farewell message is a chance to express your thanks and leave a final good impression. They might not be your manager moving forward, but maintaining a positive professional relationship may work in your favor later.
- “I’m sad to see you go, but I’m grateful for everything you taught me. Your managerial skills have shaped me into the employee and person I am today. It was a pleasure to work with you and learn from you. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
- “Your leadership will be missed in the office. Thank you for everything you’ve taught me. I look forward to upholding the work ethic and communication you brought to our team. Your presence will continue to impact me and my colleagues moving forward. Good luck!”
- “Thank you for all the support and goodwill you’ve given our team throughout the years. Your presence will be missed, but we’ll continue to use the lessons you’ve taught us. Good luck with your future position, and I look forward to staying in touch with you.”
- “Thank you for your contributions over the last several years. Great leaders like you are like a diamond in the rough, and your support will be missed. You made a big difference here, and I know you’ll experience miles of success at your next job. Please keep in touch; you can reach me at [EMAIL]. Farewell!”
- “Working with you the last several years has been a pleasure, and I’m sad to see you go. You have been an excellent manager, and the support you’ve given me is something I won’t soon forget. I’m sure you’re excited about your next opportunity. I wish you the best of luck, and I know you will see continued success for many years.”
Farewell Messages for Coworkers
These examples serve as great farewell messages to coworkers. They aren’t your direct supervisor, but you may have worked closely with them at some point. If not, their contributions to the bottom line still matter, and it’s important to recognize their hard work and send them off feeling valued.
- “Working with you has been a pleasure. I will miss our brainstorming sessions. Coming up with those amazing ideas will not be the same without you!
I know the next phase of your life and career will be full of success. You’ve made a difference here, and I know you’ll do the same at your next job. They’re lucky to have you. Please stay in touch! Good luck!”
- “I’m so happy about the exciting opportunities ahead of you. Though, I’ll admit I will miss your energy in the office. You’ve been such a positive presence here, and I’ll miss our quick conversations in the break room.
More importantly, I’ll miss everything you do. Your contributions here are enormous, and I hope your new company knows they’re gaining a valuable asset. Good luck in the next chapter of your career, and please keep in touch.”
- “I’m going to miss seeing you every morning! Who else will I make my tea with at the breakroom bar? Working with you has been amazing, and I know you’re bound to succeed in your next position. Good luck, and keep in touch!”
- “You’ve taught me so much during your time here. I can’t thank you enough for all your wisdome, and I plan to keep your work ethic around when you’re not here. I have no doubt that you will excel at your next position. Thank you, and goodbye!”
Farewell Messages for Colleagues Who are Retiring
Coworkers who are retiring are leaving the workforce entirely to enjoy their lives outside the professional stratosphere. It’s a monumental occasion that only comes once in a lifetime (usually). Your message should celebrate their many years in the industry and express gratitude for all they’ve done for your company.
- “It’s never easy saying goodbye to a friend and coworker. You’ve been an amazing partner. Your presence and impressive work ethic will be missed.
I wish you all the happiness in the world during your retirement, and I can only hope to accomplish a fraction of what you’ve done during your time in this business. Thank you for everything, and good luck!”
- “I didn’t have the chance to work with you as much as I would have liked. However, it’s clear that your dedication to this company and the high-quality work you did will leave a lasting impact. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you since I started, and I hope your retirement is as wonderful as you dreamed it would be. Farewell.”
Farewell Messages If You’re the One Leaving
If it’s you that’s leaving the company, your farewell message will be far different than some of the previous examples. Typically, these goodbye statements apply to the entire company, addressing both managers and colleagues. It’s your chance to show your appreciation, recognize the company’s impact on your career, and leave on a positive professional note.
- “Working for this company during the last five years has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It’s helped me evolve and grow in my career. You’ve set a wonderful example for me to follow, and I thank you for all the great memories.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out at [EMAIL]. Thank you again, and best of luck moving forward.”
- “I’ve enjoyed being part of this department, and I hold many great memories with each of you. I’ll miss working with you all. You’ve been amazing and helped shape me into the confident professional I am today.
Thank you so much for contributing to my success, and I’ll never forget what I’ve learned working here. Thank you all, and I know you’ll continue to excel without me. Goodbye.”
As you can see, writing a nice farewell message for a coworker doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it can be downright fun once you get the hang of it!
Reflect on your time together, keep it positive, and express appreciation of their work. That’s all it takes!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.