Laid Off? Tips To Negotiate The Best Leaving Package

You are employed but you just got dealt a layoff hand. Read below how to play it best negotiating a severance for yourself that will help you until you locate your next job.

Don’t sign anything on the spot

If being dismissed was a surprise to you, you are probably going through stress and other emotions. If so, it’s not the time to sign anything. Ask for time to think about what’s offered to you. Don’t feel pressured – you’re the only one who has to make sure you are getting the best deal.

Consult a lawyer

Use the thinking time you asked for to contact a lawyer immediately after receiving the news from your employer. Collect all relevant documents such as the employee handbook, company policies, and your employment record before meeting a lawyer. They will review the fine print of the deal of the deal you have been offered and they will make sure that there are no harmful provisions.

Approach the negotiation positively

Employers will be much more inclined and generous to approve a better leaving package if you’re gracious in your dealings with them. Acknowledge if the initial package was good and say that you have few more things to add.

Get help with finding your next job

If you need a new steady paycheck sooner rather than later, then asking your employer for help with finding your next job is a good idea. Your employer might help you with sharing their contacts and knowledge within the industry to speed up your job search. An increasing number of companies nowadays provide access to outplacement services to help you with your CV and cover letters writing, job interview preparation and job matching. Alternatively, in case you don’t need help finding a job you can ask for the sum of money that your employer would have paid to the outplacement companies.

Renegotiate your company’s original severance offer

If a written letter of recommendation or stock options were not part of the original leaving package offer and you don’t ask for them – you’ll never know what your employer is willing to give you. Severance packages are rarely the same for everyone. This depends on many factors such as the length of your service, the level of your position in the organization and whether you belong to a protected class of workers.

Ask for extension of existing benefits

Ask if the duration of the benefits you have been using while employed - such as health insurance - can be extended so you can use them for a longer duration. However, check with your local unemployment office if this would impact your eligibility for receiving unemployment benefits until you start your next employment.

Get everything in writing

Verbal conversations can be easily misunderstood or forgotten. That’s why it's imperative to send an email to your employer after every meeting or phone call to confirm what was discussed and decide what the next would be.

Fold when you get most of what you wanted

When employees are being laid off, it typically means that the company is going through tough times so it is not the time to be unreasonable and greedy. Even if it's not everything you asked for but what you got is the minimum that you would be happy with, it is time for you to walk away.

In today’s economy just about anyone can be let go from their job. If you have just been laid off – you have the power to take action and these tips will help you to make the most out of your situation.

Author Info:

Joe Flanagan is the Senior Career Advisor at Velvet Jobs – outplacement services, a career transition firm, job search and curation tool and resume builder.  When he's no trying to reduce the unemployment rate you can find him globetrotting and sorting out his multitude of music playlists.

image credit: jk1991
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