After learning that you no longer work for your employer, you may experience a range of emotions that include confusion, anger and concern for your future. After the initial shock, you will then want to take immediate action to start protecting your long-term interests. Before you accept the terms of your employer’s severance agreement, you may want to consider how you can negotiate a final agreement that will allow you to move forward with confidence.
A severance package is something commonly offered by employers to terminated employees. If you received an offer, you may not realize that the terms of the agreement could be negotiable. While it may seem risky to ask for better terms if you no longer work for the company, it could be beneficial for your future to do so. Depending on the circumstances of your termination, you may have grounds to ask for better pay or other benefits.
Negotiate from a Position of Strength
It can be intimidating to go to your former employer and attempt to negotiate a better severance package. As you prepare to represent your best interests and advocate for your needs, the following tips may be useful:
- Make sure you understand all of the components of a severance agreement, including pay, compensation for unused paid time off and sick days, benefits and more.
- Do not agree to any terms, even verbally, until you have had time to carefully review all of the terms in the contract.
- Seek experienced guidance as you consider the offered terms and negotiate specific things for yourself.
- Identify your priorities, and negotiate for more than just money. You can ask for insurance coverage for a time, stock options and more.
- Leverage the success you had as an employee while working for the company when negotiating your severance package.
- Be reasonable in what you are asking, but also know what you are worth and what you are entitled to receive from your former employer.
Your severance agreement is a legal contract, and like other types of contracts, you will benefit from having experienced guidance as you seek the best possible terms for your future. There is much at stake for you, but with the proper guidance and support, you can secure a severance package that provides you with security and allows you to look to your future with confidence.