When layoffs occur, employers often offer severance packages for their longer-term employees.
Employees can choose to accept or decline a severance offer, but many people do not realize that they can also negotiate to get a better offer.
Figure out what you want
As soon as you learn that layoffs are coming, begin to make a list of what you want. Figure out if you were due for a raise soon or have paid time off accrued. Negotiate beyond money. Decide if continued insurance coverage is a priority for you or if job placement assistance for your next position would be more beneficial. Go into your severance meeting with a list and ask for what you want.
Take your time
You do not have to decide on a severance package offer immediately, although you may feel pressured to do so. Read all of the information thoroughly more than once so you fully understand what you are getting out of the offer and what it may prevent you from doing in the future. Speak with professional mentors or others who can offer advice about your situation before making a decision.
Consider future challenges
A severance package could include a provision that prevents you from making future claims against the company or a noncompete clause that makes finding future employment in your area challenging. Negotiations regarding noncompete agreements may be possible.
Speak with a legal professional to help negotiate your greatest option. An attorney can help you identify trends in severance packages for your specific role.