Losing Your Job? Negotiate These Points

Severance (film)
Severance (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sometimes you just can’t get around the fact that you are going to lose your job and it is not always your fault.  Sometimes companies downsize and cut out certain positions.  Other times companies shut down entire offices at once.  If you’ve been a good employee though there are a few points that you can negotiate before you get your Pink Slip:

1.  Ask about severance pay.  Unless this was part of your contract when you were hired you may or may not get this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Generally, if a company is going to give severance pay it is one week of pay for every year that you worked with the company.  It may also be every year that you were under contract with the company so if you were not a salaried employee this may not apply to you.  They may not be not be offering it but that doesn’t mean that they won’t give it to those who ask, especially if they were valuable employees.

2.  Find out if you are entitled to unused vacation pay.  The answer is likely to be no but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  You may get all of it, none of it, or half of it.  If you can get any of it you will have that much more to keep you going until you get another job. 

3.  Ask for a letter of reference.  This letter of reference might be just the tool you need to help you get a new job.  It will let companies that you apply to know that they would not have let you go if it weren’t for extenuating circumstances.  They will see that the reason you are looking for a new job is because of business decisions made by your former employer, not because of your performance.  Many forget to ask for that letter of reference before they leave the job and it is much harder to get it once you are gone.
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