There seem to be two kinds of offices: those where a goodbye e-mail sent to everyone is acceptable and expected and those where it isn’t. If you have already put in your two weeks notice, you should have a pretty good idea which type of office you are leaving.
I’ve been lucky and have only worked in two places where a goodbye e-mail was expected. I am an advocate of not sending a mass e-mail. I prefer to send individual e-mails and leave hand written notes for specific people. To me, a mass e-mail is tacky and belittles the relationships you’ve created.
Jerry Gamblin agrees with my perspective. “Every time I get an ‘I really enjoyed working here, you guys are great’ it makes me cringe,” he states during our conversation of the topic on Twitter. “I seriously say send emails to the people you worked directly with save the rest of the people something they don’t want. It’s kind of like getting a Christmas Card from someone you barely know. Its nice but you don’t know what to do with it.”
But if you work in an environment where others have sent an office-wide (or department-wide) as they have left and you think it is a good idea, go for it. Use what others have written as a guide and the Google for other examples. The point it to make it short and sweet. If you want to leave your personal contact information, feel free. If you don’t, then only give it to the people you want to have it and make sure you let those people know to keep it confidential.
The bottom line is the choice is yours. No one knows the culture of your office better than you. I’ve reiterated and don’t think I can possible emphasize this anymore, but no matter what you decide be professional. If you e-mail the entire company or department, this is the final thing your co-workers will remember you by.
I’m interested in hearing how others and other offices handle the farewell letter. Thoughts?