The Importance of a ‘Going Away’ Email

You may have reached a point where you decide to pull a Nikki Haley on your employer or you may have successfully completed your contract. You are now ready to jump into the independent, freelance workforce: You know your skills and have the time to focus on doing the work.

A going away email is the perfect way to let your business contacts – colleagues and others far away – know about your move and help you transition. In this email, you can include details such as:

  • When and why you are leaving
  • What you are moving on to
  • How your contacts can reach you

This email will not only disseminate your information but also show that you are moving on a positive, confident note, and bring you to the top of everyone’s minds, especially relating to your skills.

When I moved from my last full-time role, my going away email brought good wishes, new opportunities and referrals. It was one of the most impactful things I did to launch an independent career.

Below is the email I sent with one of the prompt responses received. My email is scant on details but still got the job done. Below it, is a sample of a better-crafted going away email sample.

Source: My mail. Note the 7-min time difference between sending and a response

 
Source: The Muse

Benefits of sending a going away email

A properly written farewell email is evidence of a graceful exit. It’s also a chance to reconnect with contacts you haven’t spoken to in a while. 

Sending this email saves you time – time you would have spent retelling the “Yes I’m moving on” story as you run into colleagues or reconnect with old contacts. With a goodbye email, you communicate to everyone and are sure that almost no one is left out of the loop.

If you have a new gig lined up, sharing information about it is wise. You can introduce your product, service or role or let recipients know you’re open to new opportunities.

Ideally this going away email should be sent from your work email a week or two before your last day.

Sections of the Going-Away Email

Subject Line

You can’t see it in the photos above, but the subject line in mine is “Quick Update: Moving on from [Company].” The tone of the email is set in the subject line.

Brisk, nostalgic or informative. Whatever your personality and how you feel about your move, it all starts with the subject line. 

Contacts’ emails

Make sure to put your contacts’ emails in bcc, not cc. You do not want to expose the emails of your contacts to each other without their consent. You should have your personal email as the recipient so that all replies will come to you whether your company email is deactivated or not. And ideally this going away email should be sent from your work email a week or two before your last day.

Greeting

A quick greeting that can cover all your contacts. In the examples, we used “Hello!” but more formal options like “To all my colleagues,” and informal options like “To those who surely miss me,” are good options too. It depends on the recipients you have targeted.

The Body

In the body, you share why you are leaving, where you are headed and how people can reach you. You can also go on to express gratitude and thank everyone who has been instrumental to your growth at the company.

Some other things to note

When writing a professional goodbye email, bear these in mind. 

Do

  • Let people know when your last day is, your new contact information, and your reason for leaving the organization.
  • Take time to decide who will receive your goodbye letter. Maybe just your boss, your colleagues, or entire contact list
  • Let people know who will temporarily occupy your position when you leave.

Don’t

  • Burn bridges.  This is not a time to settle scores.  
  • Get too sentimental. A bit of nostalgia is nice but keep it short and professional.
  • Don’t boast about your new position, career or business.

The benefits of a goodbye email, if done well, are numerous and can launch the next chapter of your life as a freelancer, entrepreneur or employee.   

Go ahead and share the news!

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