Sample Farewell Email: How To Go Out In Style

16 Comments | Investment Banking - How to Quit Your Job

8 Flares 8 Flares ×


Friends and colleagues,

After two very educational years, the time has come for me to leave Goldman Sachs. Beginning in August, I will be moving on to my next adventure, The Carlyle Group in New York. I have attached my updated contact information below, and look forward to keeping in touch.

Warmest regards,”

-Breaks In The Track, The Leveraged Sellout

Most of you want to get into finance. Why else would I write so much about investment banking resumes, investment banking interviews, and what to do if your summer internship plans don’t quite work out?

But every year in late June and early July, there’s an exodus of 2nd and 3rd year Analysts at investment banks (and even some 1st years who have found an exit opportunity and are brave enough to leave early).

And with that exodus comes a flood of “Farewell” emails.

I hate reading them simply because the standard message is so…. boring. It goes something like the following:

“Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As some of you may know, today is my last day at Morgan Stanley. The experience has been highly rewarding and challenging, on both a personal and professional level.

I will be taking some time off and then moving to KKR in August for the next leg in my career.

I look forward to staying in touch with everyone – my contact information is below.”

I look at emails like this and one thought comes to mind:

YAWN.

Show me some signs of life. A pulse. At least a heart rhythm? Please, anything but a cookie cutter “goodbye.” Forget about investment banking fashion in terms of your wardrobe: remember that even your emails must be fashionable.

That’s not to say everyone writes a boring farewell email; some departing Analysts go to the other extreme as well. 99% of the Farewell emails I’ve seen have been carbon copies of the note above, but occasionally someone out there is just so bitter that they write a legendary, bitter farewell email.

The most famous example was sent from someone at JPMorgan in 2007 – rather than copy the whole thing here, let’s just examine a few excerpts.

“Dear Co-Workers and Managers,

As many of you probably know, today is my last day. But before I leave, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a great and distinct pleasure it has been to type “Today is my last day.”"

Comments: This is a solid, attention-grabbing beginning. Without getting too violent, the author shows us that this is not just the standard “personally enriching/rewarding” farewell email.

“Over the past seven years, you have taught me more than I could ever ask for and, in most cases, ever did ask for. I have been fortunate enough to work with some absolutely interchangeable supervisors on a wide variety of seemingly identical projects – an invaluable lesson in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium.”

Comments: The last line seals the deal. I can’t believe he put up with everything for 7 years – no wonder he’s so bitter.

“And to most of my peers: even though we barely acknowledged each other within these office walls, I hope that in the future, should we pass on the street, you will regard me the same way as I regard you: sans eye contact.”

Comments: A well-executed acknowledgement of a hidden truth of investment banking: no one looks you in the eye while walking through the office. Or at least they didn’t in my office.

“To those who I have held a great relationship with, I will miss being your co-worker and will cherish our history together. Please don’t bother responding as at this very moment I am most likely in my car doing 85 with the windows down listening to Biggie.

One!”

Comments: I feel this could have been executed better with a vacuous threat leveled against everyone at the office.

So, How Should You Write Your Farewell Email?

This classic JPMorgan one may be funny to read, but it’s a bad idea to write anything like this if you want to have a future in finance.

My recommendation: “Appreciative with an edge.”

You want people to remember you, but you don’t want to burn any bridges. So if you write about the all-nighters or that philandering Managing Director (actually, don’t touch that one), make sure you also include some positive anecdotes.

Closing dinners, roadshows, and international travel can all be sources of inspiration for your farewell email with an edge.

One word of caution: carefully assess your group before making it too edgy.

Some would laugh at all those “One time in Vegas…” stories, but you might destroy your reputation with others by recounting your days of living the dream.

So you may want to limit your audience and avoid sending it to everyone in investment banking – just include Analysts and higher-ups whom you know well.

One final tip: make sure your bonus lands in your bank account before sending out the Edgy Farewell Email. Yes, they’re not too high anymore, but you still want to get more than just an IOU and some coal in your bank account, right?

About the Author

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys learning obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, and traveling so much that he's forced to add additional pages to his passport on a regular basis.

Break Into Investment Banking

Free Access to Exclusive Content for Members Only!

Loading the player...

Sign up for The Banker Blueprint today and enjoy:

ebook
  • Free Report: 57-page guide with the action plan you need to break into investment banking - how to tell your story, network, craft a winning resume, and dominate your interviews,
  • Exclusive emailed bonus material,
  • Free Banker Blueprint newsletter with more in-depth advice,
  • Unlimited access to all articles, videos, and advice - and free updates whenever new content is added to the site,

 

We respect your email privacy

Read below or add a comment...

16 Comments to “Sample Farewell Email: How To Go Out In Style”

Comments

  1. Zee says

    I have been reading your blog since its inception in November of 2007 and have always wondered which investment bank you actually worked for, glad to finally see it come to light…

    Congrats on your departure from banking and can’t wait to see what you have in store next for Mergers and Inquisitions!

    • says

      What are you talking about? I mentioned the names of 3 separate banks in there. Whether or not I actually work for any of them is an open question.

      It feels nice to go to the gym in the middle of the day now… and I’m very excited for my upcoming plans for the site so stay tuned!

    • says

      Deltahedged: really depends on the circumstances. Sometimes it happens so quickly you’re not even allowed to access your desk or email or anything, in which case there are no farewell emails.

      Other times, they actually allow you to return and take your stuff away, in which case people send out brief farewell emails, mostly to get their contact information out.

      If you’re being fired you want to avoid anything with an edge/anything bitter and just keep it short and simple.

  2. Ricardo says

    Letter below was sent to his team:
    —-
    Dearest Lehman,

    By the time you read this, I’ll be gone. I’m sorry to be doing this but
    it’s for the best. I know it might come as a shock to you, especially as
    things have been going so well, but I just needed some space. I think
    you’re swell, but we’re not meant to be. We’re just not that compatible.
    You’re a Cancer – I’m a Sagittarius. You like spending long nights
    together and eating delivery food every night – I prefer seeing our
    other friends once in a while and cooking at home.

    It’s not you.

    It’s me.

    I’ve found someone else to love, and I’m going to Vancouver to be with
    her. It’s the small things that she does. We share our favourite cereal
    - Cap’n Crunch – but you were always eating the Credit Crunch. She likes
    to watch her waistline – you were always more focused on your bottom
    line.

    We had some good times. We can totally be friends. Just don’t come to me
    crying at 5am like you used to. I won’t come over to see you. The only
    models I’ll be reviewing for the next 12 months will be 911s.

    I won’t even make an issue of the money you owe me.

    Take care of yourself.

    Yours sincerely,

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  3. Drov says

    I know this sounds a little too dumb too ask but if you run into a senior level person or a junior level person for that matter who doesn’t know you in an elevator/any setting where you are expected to be together for 2 or 3 minutes together with them not having anything else to do would you recommend formally introducing yourself at such occasions or just giving that smile. I wouldn’t have asked this but I saw you mention that you don’t look each other in the eye in banking

    • says

      If it’s just you two together in the elevator I would probably say something… but don’t start by saying, “Oh hey, my name is” either find something funny to say (based on news, recent happenings, TV, sports, etc.) and lead in with that or if you can’t find anything I would just say, “I don’t think we’ve met, I’m ______”

      You have to play it by ear… some guys are more approachable than others, if it’s someone who clearly doesn’t want to talk, then forget about it.

  4. lipica says

    Hi,

    I want to write a Googbye email to the team in which I have learnt a lot, while thanking to my trainer, Manager and collegues.

    Can you plaese help!!

    Regards,

    Lipica

  5. ninja11 says

    Just got the news that I will be changing teams within my bank and remember reading this article. Do you think it is necessary that I send a farewell email to my team notifying them that I will be leaving them soon (start dumping my work) and some thankful words (appreciate their teaching, etc)? the thing is I will be still in the same building so not sure if this is a must?

  6. Kevin says

    Is it appropriate to write personal letters to certain members (obviously not all) of your team on the competition of an internship?

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply