How to say ‘Goodbye’ professionally

Luka Kovac

Last updated on: December 7, 2022

Leaving a job is quite challenging.

It is hard to see colleagues we are used to leaving the company. On the other hand, it is even harder to be the one who leaves. 

In any case, it seems that it is all a part of professional development. 

However, we noticed that even great professionals sometimes do not know how to say goodbye professionally.

So, what is the right approach to writing thank you and farewell messages to coworkers? 

Should we get sentimental about the time we spent together or hold to the principles of formal communication until the very end of our journey in a company? 

In this article, you will find out the perfect recipe for writing professional and touching farewell letters to colleagues. 

How to say goodbye - cover

Components of a compelling farewell message to a coworker

Every person requires a specific approach when it comes to farewell messages. Hence, every farewell message is different. 

Nevertheless, there are a few general rules you need to bear in mind when writing goodbye emails to coworkers.

Make a long story short and pleasant 

A long essay is rarely a solution in the modern business world. 

Therefore, keep the story short and write a maximum of one or two paragraphs. 

It is of paramount importance to avoid any negativity and to show at least some gratitude to people who gave you the opportunity or helped you in any sense during your time with a former company. 

By following these pieces of advice, your message will be more effective and memorable.

Reminisce about the old days 

Although getting too sentimental rarely does any good, we recommend you add just a bit of personal touch to the farewell message to coworkers. 

Namely, a sentence or two about the good old days will raise a few smiles around the office for sure. 

However, be aware not to lament over the old days because we do not want to make your former colleagues cry. 

💡 Pumble Pro Tip 

To learn more about the use of emotive language in everyday life, check this article: 

Leave contact information

The last-day email to the team or a simple farewell message to a coworker can bring us a lot of opportunities in the future. 

Bear in mind that when you or your colleague leaves the company, you will not be able to communicate via work email or team channels.

Therefore, we recommend you to always leave your contact information — such as your Linkedin profile or phone number — to former colleagues or bosses, so that they can stay in touch with you

💡 Pumble Pro Tip 

If your colleague is leaving, and you are wondering how to ask for their contact, this post will help you:

Why is it important to say goodbye to a coworker? 

Writing a farewell message or saying goodbye to a coworker is both a polite and a shrewd thing to do. 

Namely, you never know when your paths will cross again, so, it is in your best interest to stay on good terms with everyone. 

  • First of all, feel free to organize a farewell meeting with coworkers you are close with because those people have more or less become your friends. Organizing a dinner or a night out with your coworkers will mean that you count on hanging out with them in the future, as well. 
  • Secondly, if you have created good working relationships with other colleagues, clients, or managers, simple goodbye messages on the last working day will leave a positive impression on them. 
  • Moreover, if you leave your contact or phone number, it is more likely that your former colleagues will call you for potential future collaborations. 
  • Finally, a well-rounded ending is important for starting a new job on the right foot. In other words, when one ties up their loose ends, they can fully concentrate on future challenges. 

How do you say goodbye to someone professionally?

You can say goodbye to someone in person, via messages, or in some alternative ways that we will show you later in the text. 

If you opt to use messages, you can send an email, or even better, use a team chat app, such as Pumble

Pumble even gives you an additional option to say goodbye to your colleague, employee, or boss via video calls.

A video call in Pumble, a chat and collaboration app for teams 
A video call in Pumble, a chat and collaboration app for teams 

There is no unique way for creating a perfect farewell message to a coworker, boss, or client. 

Everything depends on your own relationship with the person you are writing a farewell message to and the type of atmosphere you worked in. 

For instance, if you worked in an empathic environment, it’s okay to be more emotional with the team in a farewell message. 

Katie says goodbye in an emotional farewell message to coworkers, in a group chat on Pumble, a team chat app 
Katie says goodbye in an emotional farewell message to coworkers, in a group chat on Pumble, a team chat app 

On the other hand, if your former employers did not pay too much attention to emotional intelligence or empathy in the workplace, and you had various communication breakdowns, maybe it is best to keep it short and highly professional.  

Marie uses Pumble, a team chat app, to share a short and professional farewell message 
Marie uses Pumble, a team chat app, to share a short and professional farewell message 

In any case, thanks to our own experience and the detailed research we conducted, in this article, you will see some of the most effective farewell messages to coworkers — whether they depart or you are the one who is leaving.  

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

For us, it is important to understand how our colleagues feel in the workplace. Therefore, we recommend you check this article and learn more about it:

How do you say goodbye to a departing coworker? 

According to Bloomberg, 25% of US workers want to change their job or retire by the next year.

If the situation is at least partially similar worldwide, it seems likely that some people from your vicinity will soon change their jobs. 

Therefore, we prepared a few farewell messages to a coworker you can use:

“Congratulations on your new job! Best of luck to you!”

“Please accept my warmest congratulations and best wishes for future success!”

“I wish you the very best in the next phase of your career! Congratulations!”

“Good luck on your new journey! It was a pleasure having you as a colleague!”

“It was great having you as a coworker and mentor! All the best for the future!”

“I know how much you wanted the position you got, congratulations on that! Thank you for all the help you provided when I needed it! I hope we will stay in touch. All the best my friend!” 

“Congratulations on your new job, you deserve it! Thanks for being there for me whenever I needed you, you truly are a great person. I hope we’ll stay in touch!”

“It was great having you here by my side all these years. You kept me motivated and eager to learn more. Best of luck for the future, hope to see you soon!” 

Why is it good to use these messages to say goodbye to a coworker?

As you have noticed, some of the aforementioned messages are slightly more professional, while some are a bit more emotional. 

The professional messages above are nice ways to bid farewell to a colleague with whom you did not have any particular relationship. 

You will end your working relationship politely and professionally, which is, as we said, one of the most important things when ending a career in a company. 

On the other hand, when you have removed any personal boundaries with some of your colleagues and they have become your friends, there is no need to use formal farewell messages. 

We have given you a choice of a few emotional farewell messages, but you can always add some personal touch to them. 

Feel free to also:

  • Mention anecdotes, 
  • Say hi to their families, or 
  • Wish them to accomplish something only you two know, i.e., buy a flat they always wanted. 

This way, departing colleagues you are close with will know that they have made a strong friendship.

How do you say goodbye to colleagues if you are the one leaving the company? 

Sometimes, there are tons of reasons for leaving the company. 

However, no matter whether you like your job or not, it would be great to say goodbye to your colleagues and send a so-called “last-day email” to the team.

It doesn’t have to be a touching farewell letter to colleagues, but just a simple farewell message in a group chat. 

Here are our suggestions:

“Thank you all for your cooperation! All the best in the future!”

“I am grateful for the chance you gave me. Thank you all and best of luck in the future!”

“I have enjoyed my time here, but it is time for a new challenge. Thank you all and goodbye!” 

“I will be forever grateful for the opportunity you gave me. Also, thank you all for your great cooperation! Wish you all the best!”

“Thank you all for being nice to me and for letting me grow as a professional. Thanks to you I got the opportunity in [name of the company] that I dreamed of. Here is my [contact info/Linkedin profile/phone number]. I hope to stay in touch with you all! Cheers!” 

Why is it good to use these messages to say goodbye if you are the one leaving the company? 

There is little possibility that we have a bulletproof plan for our careers. Who knows what can happen with our jobs tomorrow or in a few months? 

However, we need to hold to a few principles during our sail in the waters of professional life. The most important things in business are to be collaborative, open to other opinions, and not to close the doors behind you forever.  

Therefore, the messages above help you keep your options open, and who knows, maybe one day you will want to get back your former job.  

💡 Pumble Pro Tip 

If you want to learn more about the importance of collaborative communication, check out this link:

How do you say goodbye to a departing manager, supervisor, or boss? 

“Dear boss, thank God I won’t have to see you again!” 

We know that some of you might want to send something like this to your boss.

However, we strongly advise you not to do so. It is impolite, and, after all, who knows if you will see each other again. 

Therefore, if you did not have a particularly good relationship with your boss, or if you simply did not talk too much with them, stick to one of the short, but still respectful messages

On the other hand, there are quite amiable bosses/managers/supervisors who create a positive work environment and have helped you develop your professional skills. Hence, those people deserve a huge “thank you!”.

Be that as it may, here are the messages you can send to people in higher positions: 

“Thanks for your cooperation! All the best in your future endeavors!”

“Congratulations and all the best in the future!”

“Congratulations on getting a new job! Best of luck for the future!” 

“Thank you for letting me grow, helping me correct my mistakes, and making me a better person and professional! All the best in your career!”

“You were a tremendous mentor, I learned so much thanks to you! Wish you every success in the future!”

“Thank you for being an excellent leader! You helped me grow and become the professional I am today! All the best, dear boss/manager/supervisor!”

Why is it good to use these messages to say goodbye to departing people in higher positions?

Even if you think you have been treated unfairly by previous bosses/managers/supervisors, do not allow yourself to look impolite by rejoicing over someone’s departure. 

It can damage the reputation you have among your colleagues or new managers. They might think you would rejoice in the same way if they left a company. 

Generally, act respectfully and share that farewell message with your boss in person or send it via email/team chat apps. 

Using some of the shorter and more formal messages from above will keep your reputation untouched. 

On the flip side, if you have learned a lot from your manager/supervisor/boss, feel free to admit that, and say “thank you” for fair treatment. 

It will mean a lot for possible future cooperation.

How to say goodbye to a departing employee as a boss?

We live in hectic times when it comes to business. 

Difficult times often mean that companies have to fire employees or lower their salaries to save money.

On the other hand, some employees are not so loyal to the companies where they work, so they are always open to better offers. 

Furthermore, there are occasions when employees just want to make a career change, so people in higher positions need to prepare for that. 

Therefore, in this part, we will focus on situations when a boss wants to bid farewell to an employee who has found a better job or just wants a career change. 

Here are our suggestions on what to say to someone who is leaving a job:

“Thank you for all the efforts you invested and everything you have done for our company! All the best in the future!”

“Thank you for your help during all these months/years! On behalf of the company, I wish you all the best in your career!”

“Your contribution was colossal to the growth of our company! Therefore, thank you for your help and good luck!”

“You were a wonderful asset to our company! Wish you all the best in your career and personal life!” 

“If you ever decide to come back, the doors will always be open for you! Thank you for your great cooperation, and best of luck!”

Why is it good to use these messages to say goodbye to a departing employee?

The messages we mentioned are good ways to farewell an employee who got a new job and unfortunately decided to leave your company. 

By using the messages above, you avoid difficult conversations and ensure a good relationship in the future between you and the departing employee. 

In other words, you leave open doors for diligent employees to come back eventually. 

How do you say goodbye to a colleague who is retiring? 

Retirement is a huge step for every person. 

There will be no more daily grind, tough bosses, or workplace politics.

However, it is highly possible that after some time, a retiree will start missing their job and the people they worked with. 

One of the things a retiree might do in their spare time is re-reading messages from dear people and colleagues. 

Therefore, it would be of use to create “thank you” and farewell messages that will be remembered. 

Here are some messages that you can use in your goodbye email to coworkers who retire:

“I had the huge privilege of working with you. I wish you all the best in your retirement!” 

“I wish you all the best in the future! I learned a lot from you, and it was a real privilege to work with you. Happy retirement!”

“The office will never be the same again without you. Thank you for all the advice you shared with us and happy retirement!”

“Unfortunately, I worked with you briefly. Still, it was an honor to have you by my side. Thank you for everything, and I hope to see you again!”

“Now is the time to take care of yourself, go fishing, and enjoy time with your family/dear ones! You earned your retirement. Congratulations!”

Why is it good to use these messages to say goodbye to a retiring colleague? 

In a lot of cases, older colleagues are great role models for younger generations. 

Therefore, it is good to write a message that will be respectful — and perhaps even emotional. 

Naturally, the tone of a farewell message depends on the relationship you have with a retiring colleague. 

If you have a more friendly relationship, be more open and emotional and mention situations when they helped you. 

In any case, thank you and farewell messages to colleagues who retire provide valuable memories of you and your time together in the company. 

💡 Pumble Pro Tip 

If you want to make better connections with your older and younger colleagues, check out our article:

How do you say goodbye if you are retiring? 

The time has come for your retirement. Those are wonderful news! 

However, do not forget the people you worked with over the years. 

One of the things you should do is send a farewell message to the group chat. 

Here are our ideas of what you could send to colleagues: 

“Thank you all for making this corporation a wonderful place to work! All the best in the future!”

“I know I am leaving my second home in safe hands! Thank you all and goodbye!”

“We may not have changed the world, but still, we have done some extraordinary things together. I will miss you all!”

“Memories I have made in this company will last forever! Is it okay for me to stop by from time to time, am I allowed? But seriously, thanks. See you soon!”

“May you all have personal and professional success! I hope I will see our company grow further, and become stronger every day! I will miss you all!”

Why is it good to use these messages to say goodbye if you are retiring? 

Your farewell message will be an acknowledgment to your former colleagues. They will be happy to see that they have had a positive impact on your career, as well. 

Moreover, thanks to one of these goodbye quotes for coworkers, they will always  remember you.

And that is one of the biggest satisfactions for every retiree, isn’t it?

Other ways of saying farewell to your coworkers

There are also alternative ways of saying goodbye to your coworkers. 

Let’s look at some examples/ideas. 

Idea #1: Send a farewell card

A farewell card is an old-fashioned way of saying goodbye to your colleagues. 

If you are the one who leaves, feel free to send a farewell card to the office instead of sending a message via email or team chat apps

On the other hand, if you send a farewell card to a departing colleague, your coworker will have memorabilia of their time in your company. 

I guess we all go back to souvenirs from our past from time to time. So, it would be nice if your colleague would have one to remind them of your team.

All in all, feel free to use any of the aforementioned messages that suit your farewell card. 

Idea #2: Send a gift 

Who doesn’t like gifts? 

A farewell gift will prove that there is a strong bond between a departing person and former company colleagues. 

The best farewell present would be a thing one can use in their new role or something associated with their interests or hobbies. 

Some companies will provide presents from their own funds, but not all. Thus, if necessary, organize fundraising team-building activities

Idea #3: Throw a farewell party

Do you want to organize a farewell in style? If the answer is Yes, we have a solution for you!

Instead of touching farewell letters to colleagues, throw a farewell party. It can be a proper team-bonding party, a night out, or lunch at a restaurant. 

In addition, if you have spent a lot of time in a company and have a plethora of friends there, contact your company’s HR department and see how they can help you with the party. 

We’re sure they would at least spread a message to people you want to invite. 

Conclusion: A farewell message to a coworker leaves you open doors

The process of leaving an old job is riddled with deep thoughts about the future, from thinking about how the introduction to your new colleagues would go to worrying about the assignments that await you in the company. Everything can be so stressful. 

However, from my experience, a farewell message or any other alternative way of saying goodbye to former coworkers will be a major stepping stone in creating a fertile ground for success in a new job. 

You will always know that you ended your career in the former company on good terms with everyone, and if necessary, you have a place to go back!

✉️ Have you ever had to say goodbye to your coworkers? What did your farewell message to a coworker look like? Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about alternative ways of saying goodbye to the company team?
Let us know at for a chance to be featured in this or future blog posts. Also, if you found this blog post useful, share it with someone you think would also benefit from it.

Author: LukaKovac

Luka Kovac is a communication author and researcher at Pumble. His work is based on his knowledge of various communication methods, team-working ethics, and psychology. Since he is an experienced remote worker, his articles provide valuable insights into some vital strategies for successful communication and teamwork. When he’s not writing, he’s probably trying new interaction techniques and skills.

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