A farewell retirement speech is hard work!
How do you sum up all your years and experiences at work in just a few words?
The following suggestions for structuring your speech should help you, and there are short examples at the end of this page.
A good method for a retirement speech is to start with a line like "What will stand out in my heart and mind as I look back at the past X years of working for X?"
Then describe with affection some of the characters that you have worked with, or some good moments or memories.
You could also describe some of the changes that have occurred in the industry or business, with the line "When I started in business..." - even describing how things were called different names etc, and ending with the funny line "And remember - change is inevitable - except from vending machines".
You could then bring it forward in time to how things are today.
Catch phrases like "it seemed like a good idea at the time" for a number of funny things that you did, which were mistakes others can learn from.
Another angle is to describe a project that you are passionate about, and its successes while thanking everyone that was part of it. That way you are mentioning your legacy but also encouraging others to look after it now that you are going, as well as ensuring those who deserve credit are getting more buy-in to the project - see the example below for this.
Try not to give advice - but if you do, make it general and stick to just one point.
If you can't add personality, keep it safe with best wishes for everyone!
Does retirement feel like a looming road of emptiness? Have some therapy and tips for your sad goodbye.
As most of you know, today is my last day at the company. I will be riding off into the proverbial sunset to ultimately throw my energies into who-knows-what.
In the short term I will be focusing on enjoying my family, providing Anne with support whilst she grows her own business, and involving myself in the renovation project of our home.
Importantly, the decision to leave has been entirely of my own making.
The time is simply right for me to, at least temporarily, “hang up my boots, turn the camp oven upside down and pack away the prospecting gear”.
To all of the wonderful people whom I have had the opportunity to work with over the past almost 10 years - Thank You.
The times shared, friendships forged and the incredible successes which we have enjoyed have been an extraordinary part of my life.
I am very proud of what we have achieved and they have been times I will never forget.
I would like to encourage you all to continue to value and support diversity in our workplace and community. Diversity is something special. It is something very personal to us all, while at the same time it is something we all share. Diversity can enhance and support all our business decisions. It is something to be valued and cherished. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every member of Human Resources and Aboriginal Liaison departments. With the support of our amazing supervisors, liaison officers, trainers, and the wider community, we have built our program into something extraordinary, the likes of which is rarely seen in any workplace outside metropolitan areas, if anywhere at all. The quality of our program is a testament to countless hours of hard work, collaboration, inspiration, and fun. It’s the result of the support willingly given by all stakeholders in our amazing company. We should all be incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved.
As a good mate said during a chat recently, “everything has a beginning and an end”.
The timing to end this chapter seems about as right as it could be.
I wish all of you every success for the future.
Stay safe and maintain the passion!
Spice up your farewell speech with some
Thank you everyone for being here,
I truly appreciate seeing you all because I can say thank you to your faces.
I've been here for X years, at other companies for another X years so if my maths is correct that makes XX years in the industry. I can only say that in my time as a worker in the [industry] I have always found there is more to learn and that the moment anyone thinks they know it all, there is a humbling experience just around the corner. Like now, for me, seeing everyone here.
I can also say that for everyone I have mentored, helped or given advice to, I have also learned from. Maybe you don't know what I've learned from you - sometimes it has just been that your energy has renewed my own interest or reignited my own passion. Maybe you have shown me that I don't know anything about admin (ahem, Ramona) and that I am grateful YOU do [pointed look at Ramona]; maybe you have shown me different values to adopt for different situations or given me a different perspective that has been personally helpful. So don't ever feel that you don't belong wherever you are, you absolutely deserve to be here, and you just haven't realised what you offer.
Coming here every day has always been interesting, and I can say that working in the industry in general has been an adventure. So my moving on is really just creating space for someone else to have a turn.
And good luck to that person... [Raise eyebrows, because it has been a hair-raising adventure!] ...working for that guy! [Waggle your thumb, hitch-hike style, over to your boss who can take a joke, or even better, at Ramona in admin who has been riding you for the past X years. If you work in admin, point to someone in finance and make the earlier joke about Ramona about someone in finance instead. Basically your real boss is the company dragon or gatekeeper].
I hope everyone enjoys their work as much as I have and I wish you all good fortune in your careers!
Now before I finish, I would like to present Ramona with a present which I call The Enforcer [give Ramona an engraved wooden spoon or club] for all her efforts with me over the years.
Let's all say thank you to Ramona [and on that note, your speech is over with all the attention now on Ramona].
I think Ramona deserves a big something
for putting up with you -
click for gift ideas - do it!