Skip the Shout Outs and Other Helpful Farewell Email Advice

Quitting your job is a part of life in public accounting. Unless you're one of those sick, carrot-chasing freaks sticking around until partner, that is.

Even if you're happy now, it's likely the day will come when you leave, and it's also likely that you'll be tempted to write a farewell email. Lest you end up in the Going Concern archive, here are some tips from Fast Company on how to avoid coming off like a total tool on your way out the door:

Just because you can email a lot of people at once doesn’t mean you should. The mass email also leads to that ubiquitous but already divisive opening line "As some of you may know…" Instead, send individual notes to close colleagues thanking them for your time together. Send (personalized) LinkedIn invitations to those you don’t know quite as well but want to keep in your network. One-on-one communication builds bridges in a way mass emails don’t.

Trust us, the admin already knows you're leaving and doesn't give a shit. As a matter of fact, there are probably only a handful of people in your office who actually care, and those people probably already have your phone number. Text them.

Beware even slight slips; "I’m looking forward to finally being able to put my family first" implies that your colleagues have their priorities out of whack.

Basically, if you're the guy who says "I'm looking forward to finally being able to put my family first," you're declaring yourself superior to your soon-to-be-former colleagues who obviously neglect their children, miss soccer games, and are generally glazed over at the dinner table with their work phones in their hands. Congrats, you're a toolbag, tell your kid the office says hi.

Thanking people by name is a nice impulse, but such a list in a mass email will inevitably exclude (and risk insulting) someone, so proceed with caution.

Please don't be that guy. No one liked your little clique before and they certainly don't care now. No one wants to read your stupid inside jokes about that thing in the audit room that one time. Again, text your bros if you're feeling nostalgic.

Unless you’re a comedy writer, your rehashed office anecdotes won’t be as funny in memo format as you think they are.

This is universally true. The only person we know who ever wrote a truly funny farewell email is the PwC auditor who not only burned bridges but took a leak on them to put the fire out. And the only reason she was so funny was because she wasn't even trying.

A few sentences about how much you’ve learned, and how excited you are about your new adventure, should suffice.

Thumbs up to the few sentences suggestion (seriously, Outlook should have a character limit like Twitter when it comes to farewell emails) but in the case of public accounting, you probably shouldn't mention your new adventure. Like at all.

To sum up: keep it short and sweet, consider sending individual goodbyes versus a mass email to everyone on the distribution list, don't be a tool, and don't try to be funny.

Should you find yourself ready to pull the trigger on a farewell email but need a second set of eyes, reach out and we'll be happy to give it a read for you first. If it's any good, it'll end up here anyway.

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