Writing a goodbye note to someone who's leaving the workplace is often difficult, whether you like the person or not. Saying farewell to a person you enjoy working with is never easy, as there can be sadness involved. If you don't care for the person, you still have to handle the departure professionally to avoid damage to your reputation. Before you write your note, consider your relationship with the person -- both professional and personal -- to capture the right tone.
A goodbye note for your immediate manager should reflect your gratitude both for what you've learned and the leadership she's provided. You could go with a handwritten note if you had a close relationship or type it out on stationery if you want a more professional look. Include a few examples of times your boss helped you advance in your career or did something that truly left an impression on you. Close the note with a wish for her success in the future.
A colleague you're close to merits a personal note, preferably handwritten. Share some fond memories you have of her and if you had any inside jokes, now is a good time to use some of them. Express your gratitude for her time with you, and wish her success in her future. While you don't want to get maudlin, it's okay to let her know you'll miss her.
An email or typed note is acceptable for a co-worker you didn't really have contact with or weren't close to. In this situation, you don't need to convey a false image of a close working relationship. Simply wish the person success in the future and thank her for being of help.
A goodbye note to a person you supervised should express your gratitude for her contributions and recognize her hard work and achievements at the company. Whether you should hand-write the note or go with something typed depends on your relationship with her and your level of comfort. Offer the employee a letter of recommendation if appropriate and wish her success in the future.
Person You Dislike
You should offer a co-worker you didn't like or get along with a goodbye, but you don't have to write a personal note or go out of your way. A very brief email wishing him future success is sufficient. If your co-worker is getting a goodbye card, simply signing it is enough. While refusing to sign a card or acknowledge he's leaving may be tempting, you need to remain professional and avoid having to later explain your behavior to others.
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