Hi….Welcome back to Get A Side Hustle!!!
On this episode of I lost my six figure job, I will be covering the details of my severance agreement. I have contemplated whether to write about this particular topic or not. I finally determined that I wanted to be as transparent as possible through this entire process.
I think it will also be interesting to go back and read my own writings ( a sort of therapy) a year from now.
So let’s dive into……The Severance Agreement.
First of all, I must say that I completely understand that not everyone will be fortunate enough to receive a severance agreement. Some employers simply call you to HR and tell you that your services are no longer needed. No hugs, well wishes, goodbye parties……nothing, but a cold escort out of the building by security with maybe a few extra bucks from any unused vacation. You literally feel like you have been thrown to the wolves.
I am thankful to say that I am not in the above situation. I have been given a very nice severance package that will allow me almost a full years worth of pay and 1/2 a year of subsidized benefits from the company. Although they offered me a severance package, it wasn’t exactly a warm send off from the company for my 6 long and stressful years of service. As a matter of fact, some of it was a bit of a slap to the face. This is the main reason that I felt so compelled to write this post.
As I mentioned, I spent 6 years with the company. Working long days (and nights) as well as weekends to turn an entire Tax department into a well oiled machine in under 2 years. I spent countless hours revamping their processes and building relationships that would prove to be invaluable in my constant quest to make things better. After all of my hard work, I get a severance package that was super disappointing to say the least.
I had seen numerous severance packages in my tenure with the company as I would have to help the company put together the special tax items related to the agreements……. but this one was a joke! Initially I was scared to death but this is where you really need to pay attention….this is about to get real!
After 5 days of endless thoughts running through my mind about the situation…I got pissed off!
How could the company just drop me like a bad girlfriend? Especially during the start of our busiest time of the year!!! WTF!!! I had always been an amazing employee that never caused any issues. Is this some kind of joke?
Then I realized, they weren’t just dropping me like a bad habit…..they were going to use me to get them through the tough times by trying to play with my emotional well being. Which is already shaky at best! You see….they were counting on me to “freak out” and be emotional about the whole situation and just sign their shitty little agreement… Spoiler Alert……I am not very emotional!
I have always been a strong person who has never been afraid to work hard for what I wanted. So if I was going…….my ass was going out with a bang!
I took their severance package home that weekend and edited that thing like I was writing my memoirs. I took the emotions out of it and started thinking about it from a business perspective. Somewhat like a consultant approach. They needed me just as much as I needed the severance package…. so let’s do this damn thing.
I figured out all of the items that I wanted, as well as the things I thought I deserved after all of my hard work and effort, and put them in the new revised agreement. I crafted them with the thought process of “What’s the worst they could say?” ………….No.
But what if they say yes?
Seriously, I had to take a step back and recognize my worth! This is the most important part so listen up……. Know Your Worth! If you don’t stand up for your worth, then how can you expect someone else to.
I marched into work with a new found sense of confidence that next week.
I made my way up to the HR Directors office first thing that morning and confidently laid out my requested changes to the “Severance Agreement”. I felt like I had just conquered my biggest fear……my lack of being able to stand up for myself when I really needed to. You know….those moments in your life where you want to be bold and brave but the fear is paralyzing.
Well, not this time. I was ready to play hardball and get what I deserved.
Our meeting finished and I happily performed my daily tasks throughout the remainder of the day. Waiting patiently for the next call from HR asking me to discuss the agreement and my requested changes. The day came and went with no call. I remember fear starting to creep in on my drive home that day. I started thinking….”what if they decide to just let me go instead of continuing with the agreement?” “Did I piss them off ?” “Are they putting together a backup plan to go ahead and let me go?”
I thought about it all night and decided the next morning that I would let it go and just wait to see what happens. After all, worrying wouldn’t help the situation.
The call finally came and I ran to HR like an Olympic athlete trying to win the gold medal. The suspense was killing me….What were they going to say?
I calmly sat down in his office and he said….”Well I have some great news, we have agreed to ALL of your requests.” WHAT???? ARE YOU SERIOUS??? I am pretty sure that I almost leaped out of my chair and started jumping up and down like I just hit the lottery.
Well, I sort of did.
I hit the lottery of recognizing my worth and not being afraid to ask for what I thought I deserved.
So I say to you…..Never, ever, ever be afraid to ask for what you want.
They could say yes!
In addition, never underestimate what you’re worth. Be bold & brave!
I can’t wait to share the next part of this story……so check back soon!
Until next time my friends, Christie