I recently read the article titled "Find Your New Gig Fast" (by Keesa C. Schreane) in the July issue of Essence, and wondered why I was not armed with this information in April when I was laid off. In my never ending quest to share powerful information, here are some key tips on what to do if this happens to you. Did you know you can negotiate the terms of your severance package? Unfortunately, I did not and accepted the agreement as it was drafted. My revision would have negotiated additional weeks of severance as well as a longer term for healthcare coverage.
Here is a condensed version of the tips:
1) Don't Panic - Remain focus and reach to your support network. Damselsinsuccess.com was referenced as a resource
2)Request a Reference Letter from your employer, specifically your boss. Leeds Coaching is a national career coaching firm(leedscoaching.com). Networking site- Naymz.com allows you to request recommendations from your contact list
3)Review your package - Before signing and returning; ask about deadline for the agreement. This will give you the time to ask for more severance, extended health benefits, job training, vacation days and educational vouchers you have not exhausted.
4)Consult an attorney- Visit American Bar Association (abanet.org) to find legal assistance ; ask for free or discounted consultations to assist with revising your agreement.
You can find the complete article on page 66 of the July issue.