Saying goodbyes at work

So I’ve finally given my notice at Job A and I start Job B on 8/31, after a well-deserved vacation at Myrtle Beach, SC.


Amidst all the clamor of trying to put my work into order for the next guy, I have started the process of saying goodbyes to my boss, coworkers, and my clients.  I find that saying goodbye is oftentimes the hardest part of leaving a job.  Unfortunately, in my career, I’ve had to do this more than once, so I’ve found a few rules generally help.

1.  Be kind.  It doesn’t matter what the other person said or did, you always want to leave on a good foot.

2.  Point out things that you learned from the people you worked with.  This also helps out with leaving on a good foot as it builds up other’s self-esteem and esteem of you.

3.  When there were difficulties, be frank about them, but not mean, if you choose to mention them at all.

4.  Point out your wishes for them in the future.  This particularly applies to dealing with clients, as they may need final suggestions on what to work on with the next person, but it applies also to supervisors and coworkers, as it gives them hints as to why you are leaving.

5.  Be brief.  Don’t drag it out.

6.  Respect others if they aren’t ready to say goodbye the way you want to hear it.  They have their own ways of dealing with your departure.

Any other suggestions that you guys have found to be helpful?

About Nate Prentice, MSW, LCSW, CAS-PC

Nate Prentice, MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Pastoral Counselor who maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Drexel Hill, PA.
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4 Responses to Saying goodbyes at work

  1. Nate, this is excellent! Thanks for posting it.

  2. nateprentice says:

    Thanks, Linda! I’m really working hard to try to make this a good resource for people who are interested in seeing me for my private practice, and for those who just need the information!

    Good to hear from you!

  3. Kerry Gibson says:

    These are good rules. Never burn bridges when you’re leaving, as you’ll never know if you might need a recommendation or reference from a former employer in the future. Plus some professions are “small worlds” in themselves. It’s likely if you stay in the same career that you might run into former colleagues in the future.
    Also remember that leaving a job is considered a life stress change, as well as beginning a new job. Take the time to find ways of “de-stressing” while enduring these transitions. Nate, I wish you well in the next chapter of your life’s journey!

  4. nateprentice says:


    That is GREAT advice.

    Thanks for the well-wishes. I’m looking forward to saying hello to the career change, but I’ll admit I’m having a very difficult time saying goodbye to my current clients, as I’ve grown attached to them over the past 3 years.

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