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Ways to Say Farewell to a Co-Worker

ways to say farewell to a coworker

Are you struggling to find the right way to say goodbye to a colleague?

If you work in an office environment, you are likely to work closely with many people. When someone decides to leave the company, it can create a feeling of loss.

If you have established a close working relationship with a colleague, you are likely to want to stay in touch. Trying to find the right way to say goodbye can be tricky, especially if you are leaving suddenly.

Let’s take a look at some great ways to say farewell to a co-worker and the impact they can have.

ways to say farewell to a coworker

The Benefits Of Saying Farewell

Saying farewell to a colleague gives you a sense of closure. It makes the co-worker feel valued and shows that you enjoyed working with them. There are several other benefits to taking the time to say farewell in the right way.


Your co-worker may have scored a great job. You may find out later that their new company is looking for extra employees. You may be able to secure a reference from your former co-worker to help you get a foot in the door.

Future collaboration

Your co-worker may have certain skills that could help you in the future. You may find yourself working on a personal project where those skills could be useful. Saying goodbye in the right way and maintaining contact with the co-worker will make it easier to reach out.


When applying for a job in the future, you are likely to be asked for a number of professional references. If you worked closely with the co-worker, they might be able to outline your professional attributes. Leave things open so that you can contact the co-worker for a reference if you need to.

Keeping things friendly

You never know when you are going to run into your former co-worker in the future. Leaving things on a positive note can lead to future opportunities. At the very least, things will be less awkward if you randomly run into your co-worker at a bar or restaurant.

Great Ways To Say Farewell To A Co-Worker

The method you choose of saying goodbye will depend on how well you know the co-worker. If you have worked closely for several years, you may want to do something special to mark the occasion. Even if you only know the co-worker a little, you can still do something to make them feel appreciated.

Send a Card

Sending a co-working who is leaving a card is a great souvenir of your time working together. You can buy a card and get everyone in the office to sign it. You can add your own personalized note inside the card for your co-worker to treasure.

Send an Email

If you don’t work in the same office as the co-worker who is leaving, you may not get the chance to see them. However, this doesn’t mean you have to let the chance to say farewell slip through your fingers. Sending them an email is a great way to make sure they remember you.

Most people have work email accounts that they check several times during the day. Make sure you send the email a few days before your co-worker leaves so they will see it in time. Add your contact details to the end of the email so your co-worker can reach out if they want to.

way to say farewell to a coworkers

Send a Present

Giving your co-worker a leaving present is a great way to show them your appreciation. This is especially important if the co-worker worked directly with you or even under you.

Make sure you choose a meaningful gift that the co-worker is likely to want to keep. If you have your sights set on something expensive, you could encourage other people in the office to contribute.

Have a Leaving Party

Arranging a leaving party for your co-worker is a great way to make them feel special. Make sure you consult your manager about the best time to hold the party. If you are holding a party in the office, try to distract the co-worker while you set up to make it a surprise.

Tips For Bidding Farewell To A Co-Worker

Personalizing your farewell will help to leave a lasting impression. Even if you have said goodbye as part of a group, you may also want to take a personal approach. Here are some great ways to make your farewell extra memorable.

Talk to them in Person

Grand gestures are great, but nothing beats the personal touch. Try to find a few minutes during the day to meet your co-worker and say goodbye to them. This gives you the chance to let your colleague know they will be missed.

Message them on LinkedIn

Connecting with co-workers on LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch and make professional connections. If you are not already connected on LinkedIn, this is a great time to do it. Send them a personalized goodbye message on this professional networking platform and encourage them to stay in touch.

Keep it short and sweet

Saying goodbye can be emotional, and you don’t want to drag it out any longer than you have to. When writing a letter or email, work out what you want to say before you get started. Three or four meaningful and punchy paragraphs are sure to be enough to get your message across.

way to say farewell to a coworker

Remember the good times

Try to remember a special moment you shared with your co-worker while working together. Mentioning this moment is a great way to personalize your message and make them remember you fondly.

Promise to stay in contact

The main point of saying farewell properly is to maintain a personal or professional connection. Therefore, you should make sure it is easy for your co-worker to reach out when they want to. Make sure they have your personal email address, LinkedIn ID, and your phone number.

Ways To Announce That You Are Leaving

If opportunity knocks, you may want to leave your current job for a better one. Of course, you will want to say farewell to your co-workers before you head off into the sunset. Here are some tips to make sure you do it in the right way.

Tell your manager first

It is important to make sure you have a chat with your manager before telling your co-workers the big news. If your manager is the last to know, this is likely to make things very awkward in the office. It could even harm your chances of getting work in the future.

Try to arrange a time to talk with your manager in person. This will allow them to ask questions and talk about the next steps you need to take. If this is not possible, write your manager a formal email.

Write a formal resignation letter

You need to make it clear when talking with your manager exactly when you plan to leave. During the conversation, they are likely to ask you to write a formal resignation letter. This is generally a formality to make sure the HR department is aware of your departure.

Find out exactly what you need to include in the letter of resignation. In addition to the date of departure, this is likely to include your reason for leaving. Try to keep this as brief and professional as possible.

Thank your manager…

A formal letter of resignation is your opportunity to thank your manager for hiring you. Make sure you thank the manager for the opportunity they gave you. Mention a positive work experience to leave the resignation letter on a good note.

way to say farewell to the coworkers

Check how much notice you have to give

The last thing you want is to say goodbye to everyone and find out you have to work an extra month. Check your contract carefully to find out how much notice you have to give before leaving. Confirm this with your manager before making the big announcement.

Send an email to your colleagues

Emailing your colleagues is a great way to contact a lot of people at the same time. It is a good idea to do this a few days before you will be leaving. This will give people enough time to reach out to you if they want.

Take close colleagues to lunch

If you have been working at the company for a while, you are likely to have made some close bonds. You can show certain colleagues how much you care by taking them out to lunch. This will help to make sure they simply don’t slip away if you want to maintain friendships. You can arrange a group lunch or a series of one-on-one lunches if you prefer.

Organize after-work drinks

You don’t have to wait for a thoughtful co-worker to arrange a leaving party for you. If your day of departure is approaching and nothing has been planned, take the initiative yourself. Choose a venue and invite your co-workers out for a drink after work to make some lasting memories.

Writing A Letter

There may be times when you are forced to leave at the last minute. Perhaps your contract has been unexpectedly terminated, or you have to leave because of ill health. In this case, it may not be possible to say goodbye to your co-workers in an informal way. Writing an open letter that everyone can see could be the perfect solution.

Even if you are leaving against your will, it is important to strike the right tone with your letter. Make sure your co-workers know that you enjoyed working with them. You can write the farewell letter before you go and leave it for your co-workers to find if you want.

Tips For Writing A Farewell Email Or Letter

Writing a letter or email to your co-workers can be tricky. Here are some ways to make sure you get the tone just right and create a positive impression.

Choose the Right Subject Line

Start by picking out the perfect subject line for your email. The right tone should be somewhere between formal and casual. Something like ‘thank you for the good times’ is sure to make your co-workers smile.

way to say farewell to the coworkers

Show Gratitude

Make sure your manager, team, and other co-workers feel appreciated. This is a good time to mention the length of time you have worked for the company. You can talk about a couple of times your manager and team went above and beyond the call of duty.

Talk about the Next Chapter

Your colleagues are likely to be curious about why you’re leaving. Take a few lines to mention the new opportunity you have been given. You can explain why you need to make the move and why this is the right time to do it.

Avoid comparing your new job to your old one and talking too much about how awesome it is. Remember that your colleagues will still be working in the same old office after you have left. Making your new job sound too good is likely to stir up some resentment.

Say Something about the Future

Take the time to mention a special project or trip your team is working on. This shows that you have not forgotten about them and their hard work just because you are leaving. Express your interest in meeting up with your colleagues in the future if they are willing.

Leave it on a Positive Note

When signing off, make sure you come across as positive and sincere. Wish your co-workers and manager well. The parting line should make it clear that you want the company and your former colleagues to thrive.

Feeling Nervous For Your Next Interview?

Not a problem, check out my advice on how to answer What Are You Most Proud Of, Why Do You Want To Work Here, or How Would You Describe Yourself, as well as What Are Your Career Goals, How To Answer What Are You Passionate About, and finally the Best Questions To Ask In An Interview to end on a strong, confident note.

Or why not try reading up on Amazing Interview Answers: 44 Tough Job Interview Questions with 88 Winning Answers, How to Answer Interview Questions: 101 Tough Interview Questions, or of course INTERVIEW with DESIRE and GET HIRED!, Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview and The STAR Method Explained: Proven Technique to Succeed at Interview.

If you’re still not feeling confident enough yet, then take a look at The Self Confidence Workbook, and The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance, or perhaps the Unstoppable Self Confidence, and lastly, The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt all available online in 2023.

Final Thoughts

Even if you are the one leaving, saying farewell to co-workers can be tricky. If certain colleagues feel trapped in their present job, you may face a little resentment. However, most co-workers are likely to wish you well and express the desire to stay in touch.

When other co-workers are leaving the company, it is also important to say farewell in the right way. This is your last chance to create a favorable impression that will last.

Make sure you exchange contact details with co-workers who are leaving and try to stay in touch.

All the very best with your future endeavors!

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About Wendy Young

Wendy runs an employment agency with her husband, Ian, in Rochester, New York.

She loves nothing more than hosting a good dinner party and spends weeks intricately planning her next 'event.' She often uses these to introduce clients to potential employers in a relaxed, informal fashion. The food must be delicious, the cocktails and wine must be a perfect match, and the decor needs to impress without being over the top. With all that going on, it's amazing that she gets any time to write about her thoughts on securing the dream job.

They live on the outskirts of New York with their poodle, Princess.

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