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“Out of Office” When You Are Out Permanently


“Out of office” messages usually cover temporary absences from work. But if you are leaving the company, whether it is for a better position, a break from work, or a stint of unemployment, let people know you are “out of office” permanently.

Graphic illustrating what to do when you are out of office permanently. These things include: a statement that you left the company, who is now handling your responsibilities, how people can contact you personally, and what you are doing now.

Here are things to include in your final out of office message:

  • A statement that you have left the company.
  • One or more statements about who is handling your responsibilities now.
  • Optional: A statement of how people can contact you personally.
  • Optional: A brief statement about what you are doing now, as long as it is positive and could not be seen as harmful to your former employer. (Luring clients away would be harmful to your employer.) You might write:
    • “I am taking a year off to spend time with our new son, Damien.”
    • “I will be traveling throughout South America.”
    • “I am looking for a new position in IT management.”
    • “I have accepted a new job in landscape architecture.”

Subject Line

If you have left the company, you might write “[Name] Has Left the Company”. A more personal approach would be “Farewell From [Name].”

Think about the impression you want to leave with your readers. If you do not know your readers but want to introduce them to their new contacts, you might use a subject like this: “Your New Associates at XYZ Company.”

Things to Avoid

Its best to avoid mentioning your reason for dismissal or resignation, should those two be the case in your departure, or portray you ex-employee in any time of a negative light (as tempting as it may be sometimes).


Here are four good examples:

As of August 1, I am no longer working at XYZ Company. If you have questions about leases, please call Jennifer Smith at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email her at [email]. For questions about insurance, please contact Rene Gomez at [email].

To get in touch with me personally, use my home email: [email].

Best wishes,
Clifford Bernier


With the sale of the company, my position has been eliminated effective July 25. All questions about property taxes are being handled by Randy Rose at [telephone] .

I am looking for a position in another corporate real estate department. If you would like to contact me with leads or ideas, please use my cell phone: [telephone] .

Best regards,
Daisy Block


I am traveling in Africa for an extended period and have therefore left the company. Nigel Reed is now handling the areas I covered. You may reach Mr. Reed at [telephone] and [email].

Theresa Cho


Thank you for your email. As of January 21, I no longer work at [name of company] and, unfortunately, cannot answer your message.
Please feel free to direct all future inquiries to [first name, last name] at [email] or [phone]. He/she will be happy to help you. Your email will not be forwarded automatically.

[first and last name]

I hope these samples help you as you pack up your office, lab, or workbench and move on to your next adventure.

Related:  For temporary Out of Office messages, have a look at this article: How to Write a Professional Out of Office Message.  It address Out of Office messages at length while providing various examples.


Syntax Training

Posted by Lynn Gaertner Johnson
By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English. She grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

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