Monday, February 23, 2009

The Art of the Farewell E-mail

You've probably thought about your farewell email - the people you'd like to thank, the people you'd like to ... not thank.

We've had our share of electronic farewells here, as have so many businesses. I've appreciated the shorter goodbyes, the splash of humor, the glad-we-shared-this-space. I've winced at the longer missives, the career recaps, the pain-between-the-lines.

Today's Los Angeles Times explores this too common form of communication. Some goodbyes are brief. Some are angry. Some are memorable for reasons good and bad.

One viral 2007 example, from a JP Morgan employee: “Dear Co-Workers and Managers,
As many of you probably know, today is my last day. But before I leave, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a great and distinct pleasure it has been to type “Today is my last day.”"

Experts warn against these emails, which might be temporarily gratifying, but are forever public. Their advice, and ours: Keep it nice. Keep it brief. Be funny if you're funny (but not if you're not), and include some contact info. The people who want to keep in touch with you already know everything else.

If you need a guide - and we hope you don't - use this, from another newspaper writer:

"Thanks to all who said Hi in the hallway, who made me smile, made me feel appreciated or made me grow professionally. I hope I was able to add something to your time here, too. If I didn't, I'm sorry. Good luck. God bless. And thank you."

Tell us if you've written - or read - a memorable email farewell.


Anonymous said...

"I will miss some of you."

'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Having worked in different corporations since graduating from college and graduate school, I have written my fair share of "farewell emails". It's best to keep it short and simple. Those people that want to keep in touch with you will. Today it's easy to stay in touch with past colleagues thru sites such as Linked in, etc.

Anonymous said...

I've never sent a "farewell" email. with the prevalence of social networking websites, it's much easier to stay in touch.

Jenny said...

Like anonymous @5:01 said - best to keep it short and simple, and to resist the temptation to "tell off" that person that you have despised all these years. People move around often, and you never know if the person that you snubbed in your farewell email will be a co-worker or boss down the road.

chupacabra said...

It's been real and its been fun but it hasn't been real fun so I'm outta here.