Believe it or not, if you’ve been fired, sending your previous boss or company a thank you letter might be the best thing you can do.
Not to be sarcastic or to have the last word or anything like that.
But to express your gratitude for your time at the company and the opportunities they gave you.
It might help with your job search going forward or even make them call you in the future, too!
Here is how to write a thank you letter after being fired with some examples:
Why Write A Thank You Letter After Being Fired?
It might seem counterintuitive to thank someone after they’ve just let you go.
But, by doing so, you’re acknowledging that the decision was made and you’re ready to move on.
You’re also showing that you’re gracious and professional, which are qualities any employer would want.
Moreover, you never know what kind of doors a thank you letter might open.
Your former boss or colleagues might even be able to give you a positive reference or connect you with other opportunities.
So, if you’re able to put your pride aside, a thank you letter is always worth writing after being fired.
Plus, and I say this from my own personal experience, it can feel liberating and really helps bury the emotions of being fired.
How to Write a Thank You Letter After Being Fired
You may have a lot of things you want to want to say when writing your former employer a letter – good and bad – but this isn’t the time to blow off steam.
You need to keep your letter short, and professional, and stick to thanking them for the opportunities they gave you, even if it didn’t work out.
Here are some tips and important things to keep in mind when writing your thank you letter:
1. Thank Them for The Opportunity
The main purpose of writing a thank you letter is to thank your former employer, so don’t lose sight of that.
Thank them for giving you the opportunity to work at the company and for everything you learned while you were there.
You can even thank them for firing you if it was justified and was the push you needed to finally pursue other opportunities and change some of your behaviors.
2. Don’t Bring up Anything Negative
This is difficult on the back of such a negative experience as being fired.
But keep in mind that you’ve turned it into a positive and there is nothing to gain from bringing up anything negative after you’ve left the company.
This includes talking about how you were wronged, what you didn’t like about the company, or anything else that points the finger at anyone for doing anything wrong.
3. Don’t Talk About Why You Were Fired
This is a huge no-no.
Even if you were fired for the most ridiculous reasons and you know it, don’t say anything about it in your letter.
The only thing this will do is make you look bad and unprofessional.
No matter if you have something to add or an explanation you don’t feel like you were given the chance to say at the time, now is not the time.
They’re not going to change their decision and invite you back, so move on gracefully and take this opportunity to ‘bury the hatchet’.
4. Let Them Know That You’d Be Happy to Work for Them Again
This doesn’t apply if you’d never entertain working for the company again, of course, but it never hurts to leave an extra door open.
You never know when your paths might cross again or what the future might hold.
Plus, it shows that you’re not holding any grudges and that you’re really thankful for the opportunity they gave you, despite it not working out.
5. Keep It Brief and Leave Your Contact Details
Thank you letters are not the time to delve into your life story or go on and on about how much you loved your job.
Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
This is a formal letter after all.
End your letter by thanking them one last time and leave your contact details so they can get in touch with you if needed.
Examples of A Thank You Letter After Being Fired
Exactly what you write is going to depend on your individual circumstances.
But to give you an idea of what a thank you letter for being fired looks like here are a couple of examples:
Dear [Name of Boss],
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work at [Company Name] as a [job title].
I really appreciated the chance to work with such a great team and learn more about [subject].
I’m grateful for everything I learned while working there and I’m sorry that it didn’t work out.
I’ll take some of the things you taught me personally, and my work experiences at [Company Name] with me in my future endeavors.
I wish you and the company all the best in the future.
Dear [Name of Boss],
I wanted to drop you a note and thank you for all of the opportunities you gave me during my time at [Company Name].
I’m grateful for everything I learned while I was working there and I enjoyed being a part of the team.
I’m sorry that it didn’t work out in the end, but sometimes that’s how these things turn out.
I appreciate the chance to have worked there and picked up some skills and invaluable experiences that I’m sure will help me in my next role.
I wish you and the company all the best for the future and please do not hesitate to contact me if something comes up in the future.
Image credits – Photo by Justin Morgan on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.