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Tomorrow I will be completing my last day at my current organization (I had placed a two week notice). I am writing a "good bye" email to send to some friends and mentors that I've made over the time I was here. The email will be very specific, for example:

Dan Foo, thanks for all the mentoring you've provided.

Fan Doo, thanks for making the hard times easier to deal with.

And so on. I have decided to not include a manager and a mentor due to the fact that it was a very toxic environment and relationship.

Once I placed my two week notice, these individuals became less toxic. I considered including them in this email but I can't seem to think of good things.

Another thing, the people that I will include in this email are people I don't mind being friends with down the line. The toxic manager and toxic mentor are people that I would never want to be friends with. I have made sure to end our professional relationship in good terms.

I am not sure if not including them in this email is the correct move. Should I just not send an email out? Should I send an email to each person alone (as opposed to one email for all)? Should I include the toxic individuals anyway? Or should I send out the email how I want (no negativity, just thanking people) to the people I want?

UPDATE: Thank you all for opening my eyes and your time. I said goodbye in person to the people that are closest to me (of which I was able to find). The ones that I didn't find, I sent an email to each individual separately.

  • Are you planning on sending one email, individually thanking different people per your examples, to multiple people? Or are you sending a separate one-line email to each of the people? – dwizum Apr 18 at 16:51
  • I am planning to send one email to all (and only) the people that I thank in that email. – Perplexabot Apr 18 at 16:52
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    @Perplexabot not a good idea. Just send out individual emails, or write out individual cards instead. sending out one email can be viewed as insincere. – my_mistakes Apr 18 at 16:53
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    This seems more of a rant than anything productive. I'd just quit and leave to the next job. Don't focus in on the negativity and on top of that you leave a very hostile environment not good for future references. – Dan Apr 18 at 16:59
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    @Perplexabot - definitely don't do this. Absolutely forget the idea. Nothing but bad things will come of this. It is an incredibly bad indea on every possible level. Just completely set it aside. Send no goodbye email. Just remain polite and leave! You're winning, so win! – Fattie Apr 19 at 12:58
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When leaving an employer, it can certainly be appropriate to thank people who you feel have done something for you - a mentor, or someone who helped with a difficult project.

However, like with many other job change topics, it's generally best to consider potential negative implications to your plan, since you don't want to cause fallout or give people something to gossip about once you've moved on. You want to do what you can to leave cleanly, on good terms, and not burn bridges.

Your initial plan of sending an email to a select group of people, and giving them each a one line compliment, may be seen as passive-aggressive - since you're clearly choosing to leave some people off, and you're creating an atmosphere where people may gossip about why you gave which comments to whom. It's probably better to keep the group email generic, send individual emails, or even better - send no emails, and just thank the people you care about in person or via a handwritten note.

In your question, you also discussed certain individuals you had a bad relationship with - the best policy there is probably to forget it and move on. Don't get hung up on how to "deal" with them as you're on your way out the door.

  • +1 for thanking in person or with a handwritten note. I would add that some sort of private, personal messaging (SMS, Discord, etc) could be pretty suitable to this purpose as well. – Elininja Apr 18 at 21:04
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    While not incorrect, this answer really misses the point: "I am not sure if not including them in this email is the correct move." Doing that would be an incredibly bad move. OP, do not send any email at all. Forget it and move on. You'e a winner, you're winning - so win. – Fattie Apr 19 at 12:59
  • Im with Fattie's comment here.. If you want to stay in touch with a few people, trade some contact info before you leave. For anyone else, silently disappearing one day is the winning move. – Smitty Apr 19 at 21:14
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I would recommend sending one general e-mail to everyone and include the toxic people as well just so there is no negativity at all. The people you would like to send personal thanks you should do in person. In my past experience, people have responded very well to the in person thanks as it is more sincere and personal. If you're already out of the office or there are a lot of people then I would send out the personalized e-mails.

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    This. If you really wanna name people, thank them personally instead. Write a general thank you letter, and maybe leave a goodbye cake in the kitchen as a good note. – lucasgcb Apr 19 at 7:00
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Personally I would go with handwritten private notes to those you wish to communicate positively to.

I have received a couple from colleagues who have left and being able to take them out and re-read them is nice occasionally... Clicking on an old email is not the same...

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