Whenever you leave your job to explore another opportunity, one of the most challenging aspects is the people you leave behind. It doesn’t matter what you think of your colleagues or your clients; you need to aim to leave on a good note and not risk burning bridges. If you’re struggling to put the perfect goodbye email together to your co-workers and clients, here are some tips to inspire you.

Leaving your job and saying goodbye is always sad, awkward, exciting and bittersweet, but you don’t have to overthink the situation entirely. 

Why send a goodbye email?

After you had in your resignation, the regular process involves your company announcing your departure and revealing the final date you’ll be at the company. Here, it can feel like a goodbye email is pointless because your co-workers will approach you daily about how sad they are you’re leaving and wishing you well.

In general, it’s best to tell people in person, especially the co-workers you’ve grown close to and created strong bonds with. However, a goodbye email is also a nice touch, as you want to remain professional and leave a positive impression. Plus, it’s another chance to showcase your appreciation to the ones you’ve loved working alongside.

It’s nice etiquette to send a goodbye email and the right way to close out your stint at the company. In this goodbye email, you should also share your contact details, such as your email or phone number, for co-workers and clients to stay in touch. It’s likely the connections you made at your current company could serve you well down the line.

If you work closely with clients, it’s also essential to send a goodbye email to them. Like your colleagues, you never know which clients could help you out further along your career, so keep them in the loop, showcase your appreciation and highlight what’s next for you.

Although it’s challenging to write a new email for each co-worker and client, you can create a template and tweak it where necessary.

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How to write the perfect goodbye email to co-workers and clients

Clear it with your manager first

Before you hit send on your goodbye email, first clear it up with your manager. It’s not about asking for permission but more about sending it at the appropriate time. Don’t make your goodbye email a surprise, so make sure everyone knows your exit before sending the email.

Time it right

Even though your co-workers will know you’re leaving the company, you don’t need to send a goodbye email right away. Sending it one or two days before your exit will work as doing it before that might get you or your co-workers distracted. However, it can differ for clients as there will need to be a handover, so don’t surprise or anger them by telling them on your final phone call that it’s your last day.

Sending a goodbye email to your clients shortly after telling your manager will allow you to tie up loose ends and hand over to another co-worker who will take over the account.

Don’t make the subject line vague

Overthinking the goodbye email is normal, but it’s critical you get it right. It all starts with your subject line. It doesn’t need to be elaborate or complex — just make it simple, straightforward and obvious. It might be different depending on the person receiving your goodbye email, but the following examples will work fine:

  • Keep in touch
  • Moving on
  • Thank you
  • My last day

Reflect on your time at the company

When drafting your goodbye email to your co-workers and clients, the easiest way to start is to reflect on your time at the company. Think about the skills you’ve learned, the knowledge you’ve gained, the opportunities you’ve had and how you’ve advanced in your career. Always tie it back to how your co-workers and clients have helped you in that journey. If needed, you can list the things to thank them for within the email.

Be positive

Hopefully, you had an enjoyable time at your company. Even if you didn’t, be positive throughout your goodbye email to your co-workers and clients. This will ensure you leave a good impression and it’s also going to be the final impression some have of you. You want them to remember you as someone that was optimistic, energetic and happy. By staying positive, you’ll come across a lot more professional, too.

Thank your co-workers and clients

In your goodbye email, show gratitude and thank your co-workers and clients by highlighting the impact they’ve had on your career. Doing this will show you’re trustworthy and an enjoyable person to work with. You can discuss how they helped advance your career, pick up new skills and generally made working at the company an enjoyable experience. It shines you in a great light and makes your co-workers and clients feel appreciated while increasing their confidence in you.

Keep your goodbye email short and concise

Your goodbye email to your co-workers and clients doesn’t need to be very long. If anything, limit it to a couple of paragraphs to get the point across quickly. The challenge here is to add all of the elements in a few short sections while keeping your goodbye email impactful. So, only include the most relevant information while keeping the readers’ time in mind.

Make it a brief thank you, an explanation of your transition and contact details so they can keep in touch with you. If you want to, you can also explain what your next move is going to be.

What your goodbye emails should include

While each email can differ depending on the person you send them to, a handful of elements remain the same and should be included in every email, even if some of the finer details will be unique to the individual.

  • Subject line: Your subject line should convey the message by itself. If it’s a thank you, dive right in by explaining who you’re thanking and why.
  • Greeting: If there are co-workers you’re close with, you can choose a less formal greeting. If it’s a client or someone more senior, then keep the greeting more formal.
  • Introduction: Again, you don’t need to tell a long-winded story. The first sentence should notify the reader about the purpose of the email. Simply state that you’ve accepted a new job and want to thank the reader before you leave.
  • Transition: This is a big one for your clients who might get nervous about you leaving and what will happen to the service. After your introduction, clearly highlight the details regarding the transition process for both your co-workers and your clients.
  • Closing: At the end of your email, explain to the reader how they can contact you once. They don’t need every social media handle, but your email and phone number should be enough.
  • Signing off: End your email with a simple sign off, such as ‘best wishes’ or ‘kind regards’. If you’re close to a co-worker, ‘take care’ is another good option.

co-workers and clients

A goodbye email template for co-workers

“Hello [name],

As you’ve probably guessed by the subject line, I’ve decided it’s time to move on and take the next step in my career after X memorable years working here. My last day here will be [date].

“It’s been great working with you. I’ve learned so much from you in my time here and the skills you’ve passed on to me are some that I know I can use in my next role. I knew it would be tough to say goodbye to someone so valuable, but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and the opportunities you’ve provided. I’ll never forget the guidance or advice you’re given.

“Although I won’t be here after my last day, I’d love to stay in touch. You can contact me on [email address and phone number].

Take care,

[Your name].”

A goodbye email template for clients

“Hi [name],

I hope you’re well. I’m just letting you know that I’m leaving my current position here to move into a new role. My last day here will be [date].

“It’s been wonderful working with you and on your account. I want to wish you all the best and I know your company is on a great trajectory. I don’t want to leave any loose ends, so I’ve CCed my colleague, [name], who I’ll be handing over to in the coming weeks as they get ready to take over your account. Let me assure you with their experience; you’re in the best hands.

“I’m happy to help out where I can until I leave. Thanks again.

“All the best,

“[Your name].”

 

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