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A former colleague has been replaced while I was off, and was already gone when I returned to the office.

I really appreciated her work and her personnality, and I'm wondering what would be the most appropriate way to send her good vibes, while keeping it strictly professional.

I though of sending her a facebook message (we're "friends" on facebook) but I'm not sure what to say.

  • Saying something like "You're awesome, keep up the good work" feels a bit weird
  • Saying something like "I really appreciated your work and personnality" feels condescendant
  • And saying something like "I hope we'll see each other again some day" feels creepy

Any ideas on the matter? Thanks a lot

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    How about: "Just wanted to say, it was great working with you. Sorry to miss your last day, and I hope we can stay in touch" – IanF1 Mar 14 '17 at 10:34
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    @IanF1 This should be an answer, not a comment. – Bill Michell Mar 14 '17 at 10:48
  • @BillMichell thanks - I wasn't sure as it's just my own opinion and I have no references. I'll turn it into an answer with your encouragement. – IanF1 Mar 14 '17 at 10:51
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    Is a Facebook message private? Don't publicly mention her losing her job on Facebook unless she's already posted about it. She might not have told some friends and family about the layoff yet. – James Mar 14 '17 at 12:52
  • @James Do you use Facebook? There is a difference between a private message and posting on someone's wall. I would expect a direct message to always be private. – David K Mar 15 '17 at 12:23
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warning: this answer is completely unreferenced and purely from my own opinion, YMMV. If context is needed, I work in an office in the UK.

You're right that something like "You're awesome, keep up the good work" feels a bit weird and that something like "I really appreciated your work and personality" feels condescending.

You could maybe try a middle ground which is genuine without being over-the-top:

It was great working with you.

Similarly you're right that something like "I hope we'll see each other again some day" feels a bit creepy - but you could reword it to feel (to me) a bit more natural:

I hope we can stay in touch.

You might also want to acknowledge in passing that your colleague left while you were out of the office, without making a big deal of it.

So overall I would say something like:

Just wanted to say, it was great working with you. Sorry I missed your last day, and I hope we can stay in touch!

  • You could even say "I would be happy to be a reference for you if you need one," assuming that statement is true. – David K Mar 15 '17 at 12:24
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Last time this happened to me (round of redundancies and didn't get a chance to say bye to some colleagues who were leaving). I contacted them via LinkedIn, it gave me a chance to say I enjoyed working with them and offer to endorse them professionally on that network if appropriate.

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