I was in theory not fired, but there was a "polite ask" for me to leave. I found my next job relative seamlessly, and now I am formulating my last farewell mail to my former colleagues on my last workday. The departing went in a peaceful atmosphere, partially because both sides had elemental interests to do it so. And partially because there is at least one good-hearted guy among the bosses.

I think the best would me to simply not say anything about the reasons why I'm leaving. But I would at least hint them, that no real disasters happened. So I think I would simply state in the last sentence: "Next monday I start at the <company/>".

This is unusual here. Previous colleagues typically did not say anything in their last mail, except generalities, like "I learned a much from you" and similars. It is also unusual in the country I live in (Germany).

I do not want to look like as if I would do a last spit into the face of the bosses, but I also do not want my ex-collegues to think, that I was likely fired. I want them to not know anything for sure, but I want them to acknowledge that no disasters had happened.

What would be better? To mention this in the last sentence, or do everything as usual?

  • 1
    My opinion: Polite and short, thank everyone in general terms, leave out all details. Give contact info and say where you're going, and any other details, to your friends, over a non-work channel (and if you want privacy, not something quasi public like a Facebook post).
    – Pete W
    Mar 3 at 12:49
  • 1
    @PeteW Then my not-so-friends won't ever know it. Maybe if they check my xing profile. But the pleasant "truth" for them is that I was fired because I was bad. They will want to believe this pleasant "truth".
    – Gray Sheep
    Mar 3 at 12:52
  • Hmm, use your judgment of how the social network at the company works. I used to work at a place with high turnover and many touchy work relationships. Friends would tell friends-of-friends everything they needed to know, and in principle exclude people who the person departing wished to be excluded. (we would usually have a giant bar gathering whenever someone left, where the details typically emerged...). Info over work email was kept to a minimum. Perhaps not a good method for a widely spread-out work-group network.
    – Pete W
    Mar 3 at 12:57
  • Your ex-colleagues won't change their mind about their "truth" just because you have a new job. Mar 3 at 13:22
  • @LaconicDroid That is right. Thank you! I am already convinced, I won't make this last sentence. Joe Strazzere's version might be yet an option.
    – Gray Sheep
    Mar 3 at 13:52

I do not want to look like as if I would do a last spit into the face of the bosses, but I also do not want my ex-colleagues to think, that I was likely fired.

So do what everyone that is not fired but leaves on their own accord does: write a friendly mail, thank everybody, tell them how much you appreciate it to have worked there.

If you want to be a little mean, put in a lot of specific thanks to specific groups and leave out your bosses. People in the know will get the message, people browsing over your email thinking "oh, I think that's the guy I met in the elevator last week" will not notice anything skimming over it.

But in general, even that little bit of meanness seems wasted. They are your past. Don't spend energy on them. Copy the last colleagues "goodbye" mail, add just enough personal touch so it does not look copy/pasted and off you go. People will read it once and have forgotten about it in 30 minutes.

Link up with your close colleagues over LinkedIn or Xing, they will see where you go that way. This way it's public knowledge, but you didn't broadcast it unnaturally.


I am American, but of German extraction, working for a German company, so I understand the culture, and the business in Germany.

Never willingly make an enemy, you never know when you may need him as a friend.

Do not worry about what your colleagues think. If they like you, no explanation is needed, if they don't, no explanation is sufficient.

So follow the customary route and put out the traditional email and move on. Go out in a pleasant, highly professional manner. Do not mention your new employer to anyone on the way out. Doing so will make you look bitter and petty After you leave, you may mention it to anyone you are close to.

The best way to spit in the face of your employers is to show that they have ZERO effect on your life, and that you are happy. Living well is indeed the best revenge.

Also, taking the high ground makes anyone who says anything bad about you look VERY unprofessional. So, it protects you to an extent as well.

No matter how much your current employer has offended you, they are no longer a force in your life or career, so you can afford to be kind. They cannot take advantage of your kindness any longer, so give it freely.



There is simply no reason to do so.

I also do not want my ex-collegues to think, that I was likely fired

Stating your next employer does not bring you closer to this goal. As everyone who had quit before you haven't mentioned that, it would only stand out and draw unnecessary attention to your departure.

IMHO stating your next employer simply looks bad. As if you were trying to brag about your future workplace, or trying to poach them for your new boss. You have to consider the purpose of the farewell email: it is to notify people that you're out. So they will come asking you for work-related help it won't catch them by surprise. Again, stating of your future employer doesn't serve any purpose of generic farewell email.

I think the best would me to simply not say anything about the reasons why I'm leaving.

Exactly. Don't say why, don't say where to. Nobody cares. The only thing they are interested in is knowing that you're gone.

I do not want to look like as if I would do a last spit into the face of the bosses.

It won't look like anything else. If you want to spit in the face of your enemies - don't. There is nothing to gain in vengeance. If you want to leave a better impression - it won't achieve anything. People have already made up their minds, they rarely change it, and you having a job at X is most likely not even a big argument.


If it is not the norm in your (company) culture to mention where you will be going, then you won't find that much positive results if you decide to break with that norm and mention your new job.

For those people that know you well enough to know your LinkedIn/Xing profile, the best way to show that nothing disastrous happened is to update your profile with your new position and show that there is no real gap in your employment history. Switching jobs is normal and if there is no gap between them it is usually interpreted as that it was your decision to leave the old job.

For the other people, it is unlikely they care enough if you are doing well or not.

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