How To Tell Clients You Are Leaving Your Job (With Example)

By Jamie Birt

Updated May 30, 2022 | Published March 29, 2021

Updated May 30, 2022

Published March 29, 2021

Jamie Birt is a career coach with 5+ years of experience helping job seekers navigate the job search through one-to-one coaching, webinars and events. She’s motivated by the mission to help people find fulfillment and belonging in their careers.

When you decide to leave a client-facing role, it's crucial to let your clients know. Understanding the right way to inform your clients that you're moving on can help make their transition to a new client relations manager easier, maintain your professional reputation and ensure you retain your clients as useful contacts for future endeavors.

In this article, we discuss why it's important to tell your clients personally you're leaving your job, explain how to tell them and provide a template and example for you to use as a guide.

Why is it important to tell clients you're leaving?

When you decide to resign, it's essential to let your clients know ahead of time. Many consider it standard practice and good etiquette, especially when ending long-term client relationships. By allowing for a transition period, you can also:

  • Provide your clients with your personal contact information to keep in touch

  • Conclude your professional relationship on a positive note

  • Connect them with a new point of contact at the company

Additionally, if you're planning to get a new job in the same industry, your former clients may be interested in working with you at another company, offering you a job, working with you in a freelance capacity or providing you with client referrals.

Related: How To Develop and Maintain Positive Client Relationships

How to tell clients you are leaving your job

You can follow these steps to let your clients know you're moving on:

1. Talk to your manager

Some companies have a specific protocol about letting clients know that a point of contact is leaving, so it's crucial to check with your manager to confirm that you understand the process. For example, your manager may act as an intermediary by notifying a client that you're leaving and introducing your successor. In comparison, if your new position is with a competitor, your company may allow you to contact the client but request that you refrain from discussing your new job. Once you've confirmed your company's standard practices, you can ask your manager how the transition process works.

2. Begin your farewell email

While you can let your clients know that you're moving on in a business letter, most modern companies prefer email. Start your email with a clear and appropriate subject line, such as:

  • Moving on

  • Thank you

  • New point of contact

  • Keeping in touch

After you greet your client, briefly announce that you're resigning and let them know the last day you plan to handle their account. You can determine what style of language to use based on the relationship you developed with the client and the nature of your company. If your client relationship was casual and friendly, your client might appreciate a friendly tone. In contrast, if your contact with the client was formal and reserved, they may prefer an email written in a traditional business format.

An ideal time to let them know about your resignation is after you give your two weeks' notice and understand the details of the transition process. This way, you can answer any questions your client may have and allow your company time to begin searching for your successor.

3. Connect your client with your successor

You can introduce your replacement to your former client by providing a name, contact information and a recommendation. For example, you might assure them that your successor is highly capable of managing the account, has excellent client-facing skills and has extensive experience in the industry.

For a seamless transition, consider letting your replacement take over the account slowly while the client gets used to working with a new person. You can also offer to answer any questions or support the new employee as they go through training. If the company is still in the process of hiring your successor, you can introduce a coworker as a point of contact in the company until your replacement takes the role.

Related: Client-Facing Skills: Definition and Examples

4. Show your appreciation

In the next paragraph of your email, emphasize the ways you enjoyed working with your clients. Depending on the type of client, you might:

  • Share an inside joke

  • Give a compliment

  • List specific things you'd like to thank the client for

  • Mention that you hope to meet again in the future

Including these details in your email can help demonstrate that the client relationship was meaningful to you and ensure your former client receives a positive message.

Related: 20 Ways To Build Rapport

5. Consider explaining why you are moving on

Clients you have developed a friendly professional relationship with may want to know why you resigned. While it's not mandatory to include this information, it can show transparency, help smooth the transition process and maintain your former clients as a viable part of your professional network. To avoid any conflict of interest obstacles with your current company, consider leaving out in-depth details about your new job, such as the name of the company, and focus instead on positive changes, such as how your new position may affect your personal life.

6. Include a professional sign-off

An email telling clients you're leaving typically concludes with:

  • An offer to answer any additional questions

  • A professional, client-tailored farewell

  • Your professional signature

  • Your personal contact information

Based on your relationship with the client, you may choose to include your personal email address, professional networking profile or phone number. This can help maintain former clients as viable connections in your professional network, which may lead to future job offers, client referrals and letters of recommendation.

Related: How To End an Email (With Closing Examples)

Tips for telling clients you're leaving

You can use the following tips to let your clients know you're moving on in a professional manner:

  • Keep your explanation brief. While some clients want to know the details, your main priority before leaving is to ensure your client and successor have a simple transition.

  • Match your tone to the relationship. To ensure you maintain a positive relationship with the client after you've moved on, it's helpful to maintain the same style of communication. For example, if you typically chatted with the client in a collaborative, personal tone, use the same writing style when letting them know you're leaving.

  • Focus on the positive. Regardless of your relationship with the client, you can maintain them as a professional connection by letting them know you're thankful for the time you worked together. If it's relevant to your client, you can also include what you may miss about working with them.

  • Proofread your email. For the best impression, read through your email before sending it to ensure it's free of errors.

  • Use a professional format. While many companies don't require you to let clients know you're leaving via a formal business letter, you can enhance your professional credibility by using a consistent and easy-to-read font.

Template for telling clients you're leaving your job

To begin writing an email to your clients about your resignation, you can follow this template:

Subject: [Choose a subject that clearly shows you're leaving]

Dear [Client's name],

I'm writing to inform you that I have resigned from my position at [Name of your company]. I will be available until the end of the day on [date you plan to leave or turn over the account], and after that, [Name of your replacement] will be taking over your account. [List a few details about your successor's experience, skills or the quality of service they provide]. You can get in touch with [Successor's name] at [their email address] or [their phone number].

[Show your appreciation for the client here by thanking them, giving a compliment or letting them know you hope to meet again in the future].

I have accepted a [job title] position in the [name of the industry] in [location]. This new job gives me the opportunity to [include one or two details relevant to your client about how the new position may affect your personal life].

If you have any questions about the transition process, please feel free to get in touch.

[A farewell appropriate to your relationship with the client],

[Your name]
[Your relevant contact information]

Example of telling clients you're leaving for a new job

Here's an example based on the template above to help you write your own email:

Subject: Moving On

Dear Jennifer,

I'm writing to inform you that I have resigned from my position at Sidenote Translation. I will be available until the end of the day on April 23, 2021, and after that, my new colleague Verna Petersburg will be taking over your account. Verna has over 15 years of experience as a translator and is a capable client relations manager, so I'm confident she'll be able to provide you with high-quality service. You can get in touch with Verna at vpetersburg@email.com or by calling 123-456-7890.

I've genuinely appreciated collaborating with you over the past five years, adapting to your content as it increased in complexity and expanding our team as your company scaled to ensure we could meet your production needs. I've been lucky to learn so much from working with you.

I have accepted a senior client relations manager position in the arts and entertainment industry in Seattle, Washington. As you know, my brother lives in Seattle, so in addition to advancing my career, this new position will give me the opportunity to visit my family more often, which I'm looking forward to.

If you have any questions about the transition process, please feel free to get in touch.

All the best,

Glenn Fischer
gfischer@email.com
098-765-4321

Related: How To Quit a Job: Leaving on Good Terms

We share strategies for providing verbal resignation notice to your employer, composing a resignation letter and preparing coworkers for your departure.


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