Enterprise Software

Negotiating tips for the newly laid off

After you've been given a pink slip, the only thing you feel like doing is numbly gathering your things and getting the heck out of there. But the author of a new book says it may be a good time to negotiate.

Amy Dorn Kopelan, co-author of "I Didn't See It Coming" and co-creator of TheGuruNation.com, a knowledge network for professionals and entrepreneurs, offers a few points for those of you who find yourselves in new possession of a pink slip:

Kopelan says, "Don't walk out the door as if there are no options for you. Ask for ways to extend your transition and reposition yourself for your next job." Here are six ways to negotiate after being laid off:

1) Trade your vacation time for more weeks on the job in your paid position.

2) Take half your pay! Some find it better to still have a place to work every day.

3) Hold a meeting with the team still in place. Provide your counsel and guidance before you exit.

4) Ask for a letter of praise and recommendation from your senior manager before you leave your position.

5) Offer to do project work. The company doesn't have to cover your medical benefits and that's a plus.

6) Raise your hand to train or help consolidate. You have insider knowledge that may be of service.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

14 comments
Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Oh my aching sides. In the UK, you get paid your unused vacation time. In theory your employer could request you to work it, that's either extending your employement or overtime. If you have another job to go that can start sooner, you would have to be mad. Take half pay, until you get another job, certainly. Total renegotiation of terms though, otherwise you are on half pay for the full job they don't 'need' you for. Only a plank would do that. Handover is part of the job for any professional, if you work for a professional organisation though, it should be minimal. This is in the don't burn bridges category, it's all you should be doing during your notice period. Letter of praise, near valueless. If they want to offer me a different job on different terms, they should. Wait for them to offer, might help you with your case for constructive dismissal. Help you help me leave, sure no problem. Of course that's presumably on top of my current role, and therefore I should be paid extra for it, after all I'm still saving them a big bundle by 'leaving'. This guy who wrote the book, exactly how pointy is his head?

esalkin
esalkin

Take 1/2 pay?!!!!! Will you please call my morgage company and tell them to cut my morgage in half? You are: A) so rich that you can "work for fun." B) a CEO or a Congressman. C) on drugs.

dlunanuova
dlunanuova

what's the point of suggestion #3 and #6? I don't see what you are "negotiating"... re #1, my experience is that companies typically compensate for untaken vacation anyway. So what's the point of forcing yourself to be in the ex-employer's office?

El Guapo
El Guapo

In Texas (I don't know for any other states), there is an at-will law that basically gives the employee or the employer the option to end the job relationship at any time. If the employer lays you off, for reasons that can't be argued in court, this "negotiation" is basically null. The employer wants you out, and you're negotiating the best way for them to show you the door? When I got laid off in the past, all decisions have already been made and the last thing they needed to do was formally tell me that I'm trespassing on their property if I don't leave ASAP.

apdumas
apdumas

If you are being laid off, the company either: 1. does not have the resources to continue your employment 2. does not want to maintain your employment In either case you are potentially looked at as a security risk and not worth the risk to keep you on board. Cynical sounding but true.

chris
chris

I think the idea is to get "some" money while being able to look for work, but then again, isn't unemployment better?

gsullivan
gsullivan

I agree with apdumas, Security is the main concern. I have worked at places that walk you out (with pay) even when you give your 2 weeks, on good terms. I myself would not entertain retaining an employee who was laid off even just for budget reasons. But, my fathers words echo in my head "if you never ask you will never know".

maggie_t
maggie_t

Ask to be allowed to use company facilities as a place to work on your resume and have voicemail, fax and photocopy access - I've heard of this being done. You can also ask if you can keep your PC and/or telecommuting equipment - what else are they going to need it for anyway? Just ask nice. Don't worry about rejection - at layoff time they tend to be especially polite, sometimes sympathetic even, and you might just get what you ask for!

JamesRL
JamesRL

If you are part of a widespread layoff, its probably true that they won't entertain any negotiations, since the others laid off would demand the same rights. On the other hand, if it is a smaller layoff, you may find some flexibility. I've seen layoffs recently of a long term employee where they kept him an extra 3 weeks past the others, so he could hand off his unique duties in a reasonble timeframe. Depends on the circumstance. James

jdclyde
jdclyde

it is hard to try for any of this. I did point out a few tasks that needed to be done, and offered to do them on a as-needed-basis, but won't hold my breath waiting. All my server accounts have been disabled, but not my VPN access, as I was the only one that knew the firewall. Funny how things work out like that, huh? :D It is a good thing I am not a "disgruntled" employee. Always a scary thing to let the net admin go, because who knows better how to get in? ;\

Ben Iron Damper
Ben Iron Damper

I noticed your job role as "student" were your recently laid off from your admin job JD?