There are a bunch of bad ways to say goodbye to a job.

You can insult your co-workers by name, scribble your resignation letter on a cake, hire a marching band to embarrass your boss, jump an emergency chute to the tarmac, curse the suits, curse the TV audience, or just shoot your boss in the back front by publishing a cliched piece of nastiness on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times.

Yep, there are a lot of dumb ways to say goodbye.

And then there’s the right way to say goodbye — for now — while keeping your relationships intact for the future.

Finish up professionally, close out your projects, share a (tasteful) ‘see you later’ with folks around the office, and depart so that your peers remember your class and your dignity.

Then after you’ve landed a great new job, take the time to drop a note to your old bosses and former colleagues.

If you can candidly say that you enjoyed your time together with them, and that you will look forward to seeing them again down the long, long road, well…  it’s quite helpful.

A few appreciative emails, a few kind words, some pleasant memories shared, all these remind your contacts of your good relationship together, and may pave the way to even more productive collaboration in the future.

You may decide to let a few months pass so the sting of your departure, and the burden of your workload, are forgotten memories and the past is viewed through rosy, fuzzy lenses.

And then let your former co-workers know that you are thinking of them, that you look forward to a chance to catch up, and that you look back fondly on the journey you made together.


That’s the right way to say goodbye.

I’m rooting for you!