Have you thought about quitting your job? The economy is still not good and a steady paycheck is a precious commodity these days. However, there must be some reasons as to why you might want to quit. I left my six figure salary job in July and I haven’t regretted it yet. After 16 years, the job was no longer the right fit for me and it was time to move on. Unfortunately, How to Engineer Your Layoff by Sam @ Financial Samurai came out 2 days after I handed in my two week notice. While I felt that leaving was the right thing for me to do, I left without a severance package and the book could have helped with that if it had come out earlier.
Is quitting better than getting laid off?
Most people think that quitting is better than getting laid off. I guess it’s better to be the dumper than the dumpee, but is that really true? The end result is the same – you won’t have a job anymore. If you can get laid off and collect a severance package, it is better than quitting and walking away with nothing. Of course, every situation is different and if you need to quit now, then do it. This book is most useful for someone who has 3 months to 2 years to work on getting laid off.
Sam also points out the ideal layoff candidate:
- Someone who has worked at their job for three or more years and over 10 years in the industry.
- Someone who has good relationship with his/her superiors and co workers.
- Someone who is financially ready to face months or years of no income.
If you fit this description and have time to work on getting laid off, then How to Engineer Your Layoff will be very useful for you.
HR holds the key
One of the most important points Sam raised was to befriend your Human Resources (HR) manager/representative. I was an engineer and did not know any HR person in my company at all. I never had to interact with them throughout my career and it would have been useful to get their sincere assistance. HR represents the company so they won’t do anything special for you; however, if you know them well, they might be more willing to work with you on various options and at least tell you what to expect.
Before I left my job, I tried to see what kind of severance package was available. I talked to my HR rep and she told me a severance package was not available for me. I worked in this company for 16 years and had good annual reviews for 15 of them. My last annual review was not great and I expected it. The HR rep said they only lay off someone who had several bad reviews. I’m guessing at least 2. I would have had to stay until April 2013 to get a bad review before trying to negotiate a layoff package. My industry is also doing better and there have not been many layoffs in the last few years. If this had been 2008, it would have been easier to get a severance package. I also would have to endure 9 more months of working there. Sam talked about how to positively engineer your layoff without having a bad review and this would have been helpful while I was working.
You can see that I did not have a clear idea of how to get laid off from my company.
- How many bad annual reviews do I need? How bad does the annual review have to be? What happens if I don’t do anything at all for a year?
- I did not know if there is a layoff coming up. I guessed that there weren’t, but I could have been wrong.
- Whether or not I could have a good working relationship with an HR rep. He/she could have helped me navigate the layoff process. Or not… Who knows… Sam gives some good tips on how to engage HR and build a good relationship with them.
The KEY is to build a relationship with HR, your boss, and co-workers. Don’t focus on the performance reviews like I did.
A lot of great tips
This is just one chapter in Sam’s book. Here are some other chapters that would have been useful for me.
- How to lay your cards out for your boss
- What to look for during severance negotiation
- How to make yourself redundant/a dead weight so the company will want to lay you off.
- Case studies of people who successfully quit. Sam coached about a dozen of people through the layoff process and most of them were successful.
- Why you shouldn’t quit/get laid off. Last minute devil’s advocate check list.
- And more…
Here is the bottom line. How to Engineer Your Layoff cost $48. If you are thinking about leaving your job and have the time to implement the layoff strategies, then you need to at least read his book. $48 sounds expensive for an ebook, but you could be walking away with a $4,000 severance package like Lana the bartender instead of nothing. The high end of the severance package that Sam helped with was $500,00 for an investment banker (very impressive.) $48 is peanut comparing to any kind of severance package and it’s worth it to learn what Sam has to teach. This book is for anybody who wants to retire early, change career, go to graduate school, or simply take a hiatus.
If you have any questions at all, let me know and I will try my best to answer them. Have a great weekend!
Follow this link to buy the book – How to Engineer Your Layoff.