January 11, 2018 Writing in English, International Business

How to Write a Farewell Letter to Colleagues: The art of saying goodbye

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You can love them or hate them, ignore or admire them – in the end, you have to say ‘goodbye’ to your colleagues. And the best way to do so is to write a farewell letter that reflects on your tenure.

Pay Individual Attention

Your colleagues are all individual personalities. With each of them, you had your own story, sometimes good, sometimes bad – all around, they deserve to get a personal letter. Share your memories on how fascinating it was to work together on some projects. Mention hilarious situations that reflect the relationship between you both.

Get to the Point

Do not write another One Hundred Years of Solitude. Have some empathy! We do understand that you don’t want to seem flippant. But another side to the story is disgruntled sighs and a letter not read to the end. A couple of paragraphs is a happy medium.

Say Thanks

In a farewell letter, you have a perfect opportunity to express your gratitude to those people who mentored you at the beginning, supported you in stressful situations, and helped you during crunch time. Tell them about your future workplace (in a humble manner!). Say how much they influenced you. And express the hope of staying in touch in the future.

Keep Your Negative to Yourself

Even if the person you’re writing to is one of the most horrible creatures on the earth, you have to be polite. Avoid being rude by bringing up unpleasant stories. This rule is true not only for the people you don’t like, but for everyone else as well.

Leave Your Contact Information

It makes sense to leave your contact information so that the people you worked with will be able to reach you. Mention your:

  • Telephone number
  • E-mail address
  • Facebook and LinkedIn profiles

As it’s sometimes very hard to leave your team, mention that it’s not really adieu. Say that you’re just a call/message/e-mail away.

Choose the Way to Share the Letter

There are various options here. The traditional one is a simple letter written on a white sheet by hand. This takes more time, yet adds a personal touch to a trivial office courtesy. Sending a letter is a more sophisticated method to say goodbye. An e-mail is considered the most appropriate form of saying farewell. You’ll have a chance to quickly tailor every email to fit each colleague.

Be Right on Time

Sending out your messages a week before leaving is a bad idea. This may interfere with your general working process. On the other hand, sending a farewell letter in the last couple of minutes in the office is also bad form. Send messages before your last day, or on this day, in the morning, to leave time for a face-to-face conversation with everyone.

Proofread and Edit

Do not forget to reread each letter, detecting any typos or awkward sentences. Every email is personal, but it doesn’t mean that you can make a ton of mistakes. If you’re not confident that you’ll do your best, just rely on Writesaver.

Examples of Farewell Letters for All Occasions

We have imagined how Michael Scott’s farewell letters to his different colleagues would look. For those who have no clue who he is, he’s a central character in the TV show ‘The Office’. Michael is a very eccentric man who tends toward childish behavior and odd actions. However, he can’t help but elicit a smile.

Here’s what we’ve got.

#1. Official – to Toby Flenderson (someone you despise)

#2. Creative – to Jim Halpert (someone you like)

#3. Funny – to Dwight Schrute (someone you’re friends with)

#4. Sad but Inspiring – to Meredith Palmer (someone who sits next to you)

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to read about other useful tips on our Blog.

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