Losing your work-spouse is truly a tragic event. While you’re so excited for the opportunity that lies ahead of them, it’s devastating to lose your coffee-run bud, commiseration partner, and just the brightest part of your day at work.
Throwing a going away party at your office is a bit of a different vibe than organizing a boozefest before your bestie moves – but it’s just as important.
If you’re struggling to figure out what will make your office lunch/going away celebration special, here are a few ideas:
- The Activity – Put together some slips of paper, and ask everyone to write a goodbye note, a memory, a funny joke, or words of encouragement. Your work wife can read these and be reminded that there is no other work wife that will compare to you at her new job. You could also ask everyone around the table to share one word they feel describes the person who is leaving. A supervisor should always make a short speech to highlight the person’s work – so don’t forget to ask the supervisor!
- The Message – Overall, you want the person to know that they will be missed, but that you’re excited for their next opportunity. Office goodbyes frequently can be awkward if the departure isn’t amicable. Try to get everyone on the same page of appreciation beforehand. Ask your office to send you a line about the person who is departing. These should be words of praise, favorite characteristics, strengths, and positive vibes. You can format it into a word doc, throw their first intial in the middle, put some font in bold and italic, frame that bad boy, and give it a piece for their new office.
- The Vibe – Depending on your office, you might add a goodbye banner or throw together a slide show of photos if your office has done a lot of
Forced Family Funteam building activities. Definitely feature your work wife’s fav snacks. If you’re committing to a dessert, you could make a nice presentation of it. Add bright table cloth for good measure, and to remind people this isn’t just your average lunch meeting, and consider adding some soft tunes in the background.
- The Gift – if your office has SWAG, consider gifting some of it. If you work at an organization that might have sweatshirts or mugs, it might be a nice thing to look back on. If your colleague is leaving for an academic program, to retire, or become a stay-at-home dad full time, you might consider a relevant gift card. Ask colleagues to chip in by dropping off $5-10 to a designated staff member, and be sure to leave a card there for everyone to sign. It’s not necessary, but it’s always appreciated!