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.

Read More: How To Find An Awesome Mentor At Your Workplace

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.

Keeping Quiet

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

Can’t get enough of MiddleMe? You can find me sharing my thoughts here as well: 
Instagram @kallymiddleme
Twitter  (MiddleMe_net)
FaceBook (

Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.

28 replies on “How to Negotiate a Severance Package

  1. “Workers in the workforce first priority is to work,
    pay their bills and be independent, but in tough times
    employers act in their best interest as opposedto their employees,
    the former eat, while the latter go hungry so to speak
    to protect their interest employees should take out insurance on their jobs
    as they did their house, car, and etc., so when lost of jobs occur
    as with COVID-19, the insurance company pay employees their job wages dollar-for-dollar”

    By: Van Pince

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great write-up, Kally! Severance packages are part of the business world even in the best of times, and they are much more common now, amidst a crisis. Of course, companies still retain enough prosperity to offer generous terms if you know how to negotiate for them. Your article provides valuable advice in this regard.

    The best advice, I think, is to be quiet about the conditions attending your exit. Not only is it decent not to betray the company’s trust, but employers also will remember your discretion when they’re in a position to re-hire people.

    Plus, as you observe, it’s likely the company will offer different packages. The last thing you want to do is to inspire (or to suffer) resentment if it becomes obvious different people got different things.

    Naturally, nobody wants to get a severance package, but your ideas will help to make a bad situation slightly less awful. Thanks for that, Kally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your input. Really appreciate it and yes, I do agree with you on the keeping quiet part. No need to show off if you think you’ve got a new deal, neither should you cry about it if you think you’ve got a bad one. If you are not pleased with your deal, negotiate your own. Otherwise, seek a recourse with your lawyers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s