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How to Write a Departure Memo

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When you leave a job, do yourself a professional favor by being kind and appreciative to those around you. Your boss and your co-workers can offer you recommendations that can be used in future positions or to find a new job. Also, you never know who is going to be your employer one day; being unkind to a co-worker you don’t care for can greatly affect you in the future. Leaving a job graciously shows character and integrity, no matter your reason for moving on. One way to let everyone know you're leaving and to say your goodbyes is to send out a departure memo.

Let your employer know you’re leaving prior to sending out your departure memo. The purpose of the memo is to notify all of your co-workers that you’re leaving, not to actually quit. The appropriate way to leave a job is to talk with your employer and submit a written resignation, when appropriate.

Fill in the heading of the departure memo. After “To,” include all of the people you'd like to receive the memo. This might be the entire staff, one or more departments or specific people. After “From,” write your name. After “Date,” write the date you plan to distribute the memo, and after “Subject,” type “Departure” or a similar phrase.

Explain the general purpose of the departure memo in the first paragraph. Briefly explain that you’re moving on from the company and that you want to let everyone know when you will be leaving.

Include any details you wish in the next few paragraphs. This might include where to find information that only you’ve had access to, such as a database you manage. You could also make your departure memo more heartfelt and use this opportunity to let your co-workers know how much you’ve enjoyed working with them and that you will miss them all.

Say something positive to end your memo. Normally, a closing would include actionable steps for the memo's recipients to take, but in this case, you’re the one taking the action. You can simply restate that you’ll miss working with everyone. You can also give any personal contact information you don’t mind sharing, such as an email address, for anyone who wishes to stay in touch.


J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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