This “I’ve quit” e-mail has pitch-perfect tone

by | Oct 10, 2011 | Writing Matters Blog | 6 comments

When this e-mail landed in my inbox, I just had to say “wow.” It’s not easy to send an e-mail to nearly everyone at work explaining that you’re leaving because you’ve gotten a better job in a much warmer and hipper place. Jane Doe’s “I’ve quit” e-mail sets just the right tone, offers just the right amount of information, and shows just the right regard for her replacement.

Read Jane’s e-mail plus my comments on her deft use of language.

Subject: Moving on [Not “resigning,” just “moving on.”]

Hello,

I have some news to share with you all. . . I am moving to Miami! [Gets to the point right away; keeps sentences short. Instead of saying “I got a better job,” she says “I am moving to Miami.”] 

I just recently accepted an offer as the Director of Sales for ABC Corp.  It is an amazing opportunity and ABC is an incredible company.  I am very excited to embark on this new journey. [“Amazing,” “incredible,” and “excited.” We’d be grumps not to be happy for her in return.]

It has been truly a pleasure getting working with all of you.  While I am excited to leave Albany before the cold weather sets in, I will also miss working with all of you.  My last day at StemCorp will be this Friday, October 14th.  [She keeps things light by citing a reason to leave Albany that everyone can agree upon: it’s cold!]

In the interim, my colleague Gisela Gordon will be your new contact.  Gisela is incredibly talented and will no doubt transition seamlessly. Here’s Gisela’s contact information: Gisela Gordon, 888-123-4567, Gisela.Gordon@StemCorp.com [Her confident language about Gisela’s smooth takeover makes readers feel confident too.]

I wish you all the best of luck!  If you would like to keep in touch, please connect with me via LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/janedoe [She ends on a positive note by offering her former colleagues an easy, business-appropriate way to stay in touch.]

Best,
Jane Doe

I think Jane Doe tread lightly, kept it upbeat, and sent a broadcast e-mail that’s better than most. She made a difficult-to-write e-mail look easy. What do you think? Would you have changed Jane Doe’s e-mail in any way?

Tags: E-mail, Tone

6 Comments

  1. Very good tips. Brief and precise and most especially, direct to the point. I’ll share this with my friends who needs help in letter-writing.

    -admin

  2. She follows all the guidelines for clear, collegial communication. Good for her; and a good analysis!
    Judy Pollock- Language at Work

  3. There’s a right and a wrong way to do everything. Think she got it just right, especially part about moving to Miami.

    Ivan

  4. I like the positivity, and it sends a good message to take time to craft your official parting words with a personal touch. Also, Jane makes sure to identify her last day of work. That’s not only useful information for her employer, it’s important for her own protection. Jane’s employer could otherwise tell her to leave the moment they received her resignation letter.

  5. The email was fine, but your comment uses the present tense of “tread” when you meant to use the past tense.

  6. Thanks for your comment, Betty. You’ve prompted me to check a couple of dictionaries about the past tense of tread. The Oxford American Dictionary agrees with you: I should have used trod. But Wiktionary — http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tread — says that the simple past tense of tread can be “trod, tread or treaded.” I’ll leave tread in for now; I guess it’s a little bit OK!

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