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Should I Take The Severance Package — Or Take My Chances?

Source | Forbes : Liz Ryan 

Dear Bernie,

There are lot of moving parts to consider in making your decision and you are the only person who has all the necessary information.

If you look at the question “Should I take the package?” from a pure risk-management standpoint, then you should take the package, because if you take it you are guaranteed four months of income, and if you pass on the package you are not guaranteed four months or even four weeks.

You have to look at the job description you perform now and the needs of the company after the acquisition, as best you can assess them. You may have the kind of job that the new company won’t need in the long run but will need through the integration process.

If you have that kind of job, you can negotiate for a Stay Bonus on top of your severance package. The Stay Bonus will pay you a bonus for sticking with the company through a certain date.

Photo by Eamonn Wilcox

That will add to your income security, but only if you can’t find a good job that will offer you a longer-term opportunity before the old job goes away. I would definitely start checking out the local employment market if I were you.

You may be better off taking the severance package if there plenty of jobs available for folks like you.

You may end up with a windfall if you can get a new job quickly without spending much of the severance money during the period between the old job and the new one. In the best case you’ll get a new job before the old one ends, slide right from Job A into Job B and put the severance check in the bank.

If you ask your boss “If you were me, would you take the severance package?” and he or she says anything other than “Absolutely not — you are a key person here and we need you at least until the acquisition is complete,” take the package.  A four-months-of-salary bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, as they say.

If you feel that you are reading tea leaves, join the club! This is how everyone feels in the new-millennium workplace. Job security is something we carry around with us now, not something an employer can confer on us. That’s why the best thing we can do is to always keep one eye on the talent marketplace around us.

You are fortunate to have a four-month lead time on your job search. Many people get the rug pulled out from under them with no warning and no lead time. If you’re thinking “Wow, I worked at my job for years without thinking about job security, and now I’m grateful to know where my next four months’ rent is coming from” you are not alone!

Read On…

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