Being let go from your current job is always a stressful thing, especially if it is your only means of income. However, some companies and businesses do offer severance pay or separation agreements for those they have to lay off even if they do not wish to remove them.
Separation packages are often provided to employees as a sign of good will from the employer. This then guarantees that the employee will not retaliate against the company and retain their good relationship with them.
You should never burn the bridges, after all, when the times are back to normal, you may be asked to go back again. However, that doesn’t means you cannot negotiate your severance package that you need.
Know the Requirements
When you get laid off, your employer clearly wants you out. However, your contract may give you some protection if there is a clause there pertaining to your separation pay.
Find out the details of your separation package in your contract so you know exactly what you can negotiate. It is also important that you know what is included in the severance package so you know what to negotiate for if they are not in the contract.
Know how your severance package is computed
Severance packages are computed through various factors: from the efficiency of your work to the reason why you were laid off.
Ask yourself if you were able to do everything in your power to do your job well and find out if there’s another reason why you could have been laid off.
Is there a possibility that the company can transfer you to another department or another location but did not present you with the options?
Know your work history
When you discuss your severance pay, your work history will definitely be examined. Have supporting documentation that shows your work history and evidence to counter the review that caused you to lose your job.
You can use these documents to appeal for your severance package and also provide you with extra leverage during the discussions.
If you work history is crappy, well, then it will be an uphill battle why you deserve more.
Ask for advice
Before you accept any severance package proposal, always make it a point to get expert advice such as from your business mentors or lawyers.
This is important because they can tell you if there is anything missing in the proposal and how you can negotiate for better terms if they see that the amount is not right for your services.
Getting an expert to help will also be ideal if your severance package comes with a nondisclosure or noncompetitive clause since this will limit the places you can apply for.
My friend had a noncompetitive clause in her contract that she did not realised it when she acknowledged her severance package. A Fortune 500 company wanted to hire her but couldn’t do so because of the clause. She had to wait for one year before she can join any company in the same industry. It was truly a wasted opportunity.
Make it reasonable
If you want your negotiations for your severance package to work, always have a reasonable proposal.
There are many reasons why you have been laid off and it is possible your employers won’t be able to provide your request because they don’t have the funds to handle it. Check other severance packages to see what can work for both you and your employer.
Read before you sign
Before you sign your severance package, make sure everything is clearly explained to you. Check all the terms, amounts and details to make sure nothing is out of place.
If there are questions or doubts, best to clear it with HR and your supervisor before you sign on the dotted line.
If you do get what you asked for, please keep your mouth shut. Blaring the conditions of your severance package to your colleagues is just uncouth. Some may not be able to get as good as a package as yours and making them sore is hardly the right time to do it.
Read More: 4 Things That Can Get You Fired Immediately
When you negotiate for your severance pay, it is important that you remain realistic and focused. It will help you stay open-minded and not hold on to grudges as you work it out. Always review what is being offered and if you can, ask for advice before you sign your agreement to your severance payment.
Most importantly, that you don’t be too hard on yourself. I always believe that when one door closes, it is to make way for another door of opportunity to open.
Coping with job losses, know that you are never alone in this. Here are some ways you can cope:
Conversation with Patty Wolters on Unemployment During Pandemic Times
You Are Fired! What comes next?
Feeling Ashamed of Being Unemployed
5 Things You Need To Do While You’re Unemployed
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.