What to negotiate when you’re fired from your job?

While layoffs near record low in July, according to the Labor Department, headline cuts at some of the biggest companies – like Apple, Best buy, Ford and Walmart over the past few weeks – can make you question about stability your own work. Follow PwC’s Latest Pulse Survey of 722 US executives in August.

Andres Lares, managing partner at Shapiro Negotiations Institute, says there’s not much you can do to keep your work from being scrapped, but there are a few ways to make the transition a little bit better.

A lot of people don’t know Negotiable severance packages and termination terms, Lares told CNBC Make It. And if they do, they may avoid doing it simply because negotiating feels uncomfortable.

On this, Lares stresses: While the layoff feels personal to you, for the company it’s a matter of business.

“Step one: have a positive mindset,” says Lares. “Then, prepare.”

Here’s what you can negotiate if fired and how.

Negotiate the details of your severance package

If you start hearing rumors that your company is downsizing, you shouldn’t start thinking about what you want or need from them on your way out.

It is possible to negotiate different parts of the severance package. You can negotiate a higher salary if you are a high achiever or in a senior position, or if you are expecting a bonus in the near future. Severance is paid once or in installments and you can negotiate one method with another.

You can also ask about expanding health insurance coverage, access to other employee benefits, or how your PTO bank will be paid. Check company review sites like Glassdoor to see if former employees discussed what happened to them during the layoff and what they requested or provided.

It’s important to prioritize what’s most important to you that your company can deliver, says Lares. If these items are not addressed in your severance conversation, be specific and concise in your request to human resources. “Make it easy for them to say yes,” says Lares.

And remember: It gets harder to negotiate as time goes on, so try to include your requirements in the first conversation with Human Resources, or within a day or two afterwards. .

Request an extended exit or a consulting contract

Maybe you’re sprinting to complete a project at work, but your termination comes into effect before the delivery date. If you’re in good shape (and you’re being let go for reasons unrelated to your performance), see if the company will keep you on until you meet your deadline.

Do it this way, Lares suggests: “I’m 75% done with project X and I understand how important it is to the company. Would you be willing to let me continue until it’s done?”

If you can’t continue to be a full-time salaried employee, maybe they can use your help as a freelancer, contractor or consultant, says Lares.

If you don’t have anything going on with the company, consider coming back in a few weeks or months (after the layoff hiatus has ended) to see if they’ll hire you as a consultant. are not. This can be win-win: Contractors cost less to your company than salaried employees, and you’ll have some money until you’re ready for your next move. .

On that note, do some research to set your new rate. In general, your hourly rate as a contractor should be higher than your pay as an employee, says Lares, because you’ll have to cover things like health insurance.

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