10 Severance Package Negotiation Tips

1. Ask for time before you sign

While many companies request that you sign a termination agreement immediately, many will give you at least 21 days. The federal age discrimination law guarantees all workers over 40 that amount of time, and it has become widely standard.

2. Extend your last day

Ask to put off your last day for as long as possible. Volunteer to finish a project, help train a colleague to do your job or fill in for someone going on leave.

3. Ask for more money

Ask for a greater severance sum. If you don’t ask, you won’t get it….no harm in asking now!

4. Offer to do consulting

Many employers need to cut payroll but still have a demand for the work you do. They may be able to add you as a “contractor”. Offer to consult while you look for another job.

5. Add vacation time before severance

Make sure you’re paid for untaken vacation days before your severance period starts.

6. Ask for career coaching

Find a great coach and ask your employer to pay the bill or help with the cost.

7. Negotiate your exit message

Come up with a reasonable explanation that saves face for you and the company and allows your employer to recommend you for another job. Your next employer will conduct reference checks so it’s very important a unified message is clear, accurate, and succinct.

8. Work your connections at the company

If you have a good relationship with senior staff, try talking to them about about giving you strong recommendations on your departure.

9. Ask to use office resources

Many companies will let you make use of your old office and equipment during your severance period, as you search for a new job.

10. Try to keep your company gadgets

Chances are, if you’ve been using a two-year-old laptop and an imperfect mobile phone, your company may let you keep them. See if you can have your company cellphone number transferred to a personal account.

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