severance negotiation

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Topic Author
duckftl
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:25 am

severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

Salutations Bogleheads,

Over the last few years, I have gained tremendously from the collective wisdom of you all. And have also made a lot of progress on the personal finance front. And for this, I am sincerely thankful to all of you.

I am now in a peculiar situation regarding my departure from my megacorp employer.

My background:
I am fairly high on the technical ladder, and although not a manager have managed teams technically. I also have several years of tenure with my employer and I am also a recognized subject matter expert in my field in the company and the knowledge that I have about company products that I have helped develop cannot be replaced by the company without investing a lot of money and time. Management has strategic but not technical knowledge, and I was providing the technical knowledge. Company also has hundreds of customers for these high-value product, and supporting these would be next to impossible for them without the knowledge transfer from me.

My current situation:
Currently am technically leading the development of new product. This new product will also be high-value. For various reasons I had a disagreements with the management and I have now communicated to management and HR that I would like to transition out of the company while cooperating on a transition plan. I have also asked to put in place severance agreements in return for my cooperation during the transition. HR has communicated that they will respond in a few days.

I think I have a lot of leverage in this situation, primarily because employer has many contractual agreements with respect to the new product being developed, and also for supporting the existing product. And because of all the excellent advice I have received here, am in strong position to weather extended periods of unemployment, but I also think my skills will be easily transferable to another employer. And I am also residing in a economically dynamic geographical area with lots of employment opportunities in my field. My spouse will also continue working. I do not have another job lined up.


My questions are as follows.
1. Should I proactively send HR my terms for the severance agreements or should I wait to hear from them? I ask this because my project is currently stopped because I have stopped working on it. And in the interest of speeding things up, I would want to get clarity as soon as possible. in layoff situations employer has offered 2-4 weeks of pay & healthcare for each year of service. If I should send proactively, then what terms should I ask?

2. If I do not send proactively, but employer offers severance arrangement, then in this case should I ask for more? (obvious answer is yes :), but I am not really looking to screw the employer here, they have been pretty good to me and if possible I would like to leave on good terms. And also keep open the possibility of providing work on consulting basis in the future.

I am looking forward to suggestions, pointers from all of you.

p.s. forums have some topics related to negotiations during layoff situation. But did not find anything appropriate for my current predicament.

Many Thanks for reading this and providing your inputs.
duckftl
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Mlm
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by Mlm »

So in other words..you quit. Is that right?
Silverado
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by Silverado »

Be careful not to overestimate your value. I have never seen a single person take down a mega corp in any real amount, no matter how great they thought they were. Not technical, not leadership.
Topic Author
duckftl
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:25 am

Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

Mlm wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:30 pm So in other words..you quit. Is that right?
Yes I am in the process of quitting.
Normchad
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by Normchad »

I wish you the best. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen before, and the person quitting never had the leverage they thought they did.

Or if they did, nobody cared. They were shown the door and the work marched on without them. The people making these decisions, are people. They have foibles and can be short sighted, petty, or vindictive.

So hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.
Topic Author
duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

Silverado wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:30 pm Be careful not to overestimate your value. I have never seen a single person take down a mega corp in any real amount, no matter how great they thought they were. Not technical, not leadership.
I agree. And I am prepared to walk away immediately if megacorp doesn't want me. Also not really trying to make an example. Just trying to optimize my results .
Last edited by duckftl on Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

Normchad wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:33 pm I wish you the best. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen before, and the person quitting never had the leverage they thought they did.

Or if they did, nobody cared. They were shown the door and the work marched on without them. The people making these decisions, are people. They have foibles and can be short sighted, petty, or vindictive.

So hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.
I am prepared to walk away empty-handed. I have informed them a couple of days back. And they haven't shown me the door yet and also still engaging me for KT. I am holding off doing anything substantial for now.
Silverado
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by Silverado »

I was also thinking if they come back with an offer, it may have some serious non compete type clauses as trading stock. And no time to consider it.

So keep working your FMEA
43andcounting
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by 43andcounting »

Now that you have made this known to the management, you should also make it know what you expect, I do not see any advantage in hearing back first and then negotiating.

However, just based on what you said above, if I were your management, and I have managed dozens in my career, I would ask you to do your assigned job, which will be to document everything and transition your knowledge to others for the next N weeks, and the company would support you in transitioning out. But no severance. The company would expect the same high quality work and progress updates during this time.

Managers generally do not like ultimatums, and they may just terminate an employee instead of setting the precedent that this is normal. HR’s job is to protect the company, and they generally side with the manager.

But I hope it goes better in your case. May be request a resolution of the issues and a raise instead of severance and quitting. Or just accept the outcome of no severance and move on to better things in your life and career.
SnowBog
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by SnowBog »

I have no personal experience negotiating a severance... But a couple of thoughts...
duckftl wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:11 pm I ask this because my project is currently stopped because I have stopped working on it.
IMHO this was a mistake. As I understand it, you have yet to officially quit... Yet you've decided - on your own - to quit working on your project...

If the bridge hasn't already been burned, I'd recommend getting back to work on the project, show good faith that if they elect to offer you a severance it would be mutually beneficial. Otherwise, my concern is this looks like your are attempting to blackmail them...

If your goal was gaining good will, IMHO you lost it...

If your goal was to test how much leverage you have, you'll likely soon find out (and I suspect it won't be in your favor, but I wish you luck)...
duckftl wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:11 pm 1. Should I proactively send HR my terms for the severance agreements or should I wait to hear from them?
2. If I do not send proactively, but employer offers severance arrangement, then in this case should I ask for more?
If it's not too late, and you still have any good well left... (Personally, I'd have continued to work as normal during the entire time.)

In negotiations, it's almost always better to "wait" and let the other side make the fist offer. You might have lost that option though, but under other circumstances...

If you asked for too little, they'd be happy to accept...

But you also run the risk of getting an unacceptably low offer, to which they won't counter to what you'll accept. If that's the case, odds are they would have never met your number, even if you lead with it...

And on the off chance they provide you an offer you think is fair, you are not obligated to try to squeeze them for more... I've seen many times when a "best and final" offer was squeezed for pennies more, only to see the entire deal fall through as there was nothing else to give.
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

duckftl wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:11 pm I am also a recognized subject matter expert in my field in the company and the knowledge that I have about company products that I have helped develop cannot be replaced by the company without investing a lot of money and time. Management has strategic but not technical knowledge, and I was providing the technical knowledge. Company also has hundreds of customers for these high-value product, and supporting these would be next to impossible for them without the knowledge transfer from me.
All these mean Nothing.
If you value yourself so highly, you should walk out and find another employer or start over. That's how Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore started Intel. They got nothing in severance when they quit Fairchild. There are many examples in the Silicon Valley. They all nothing in severance.
JeffAL
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by JeffAL »

Why would you get severance for quitting? It almost sounds like you’re trying to blackmail management.
toofache32
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by toofache32 »

Are there trademarks/patents involved? If so, who owns them?
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NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart »

duckftl wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:11 pm 1. Should I proactively send HR my terms for the severance agreements or should I wait to hear from them? I ask this because my project is currently stopped because I have stopped working on it. And in the interest of speeding things up, I would want to get clarity as soon as possible. in layoff situations employer has offered 2-4 weeks of pay & healthcare for each year of service. If I should send proactively, then what terms should I ask?
Rule of thumb is always let the other make the first offer.

A good response is to feign outrage and indignation and counter higher.

Don't compare this to a layoff; you're not being laid off.

Question - can HR construe your discussion as resignation?

Question - Are you a heterosexual Christian white male under 40? If so you have almost no protected status. IF you aren't, you have more leverage.

duckftl wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:11 pm 2. If I do not send proactively, but employer offers severance arrangement, then in this case should I ask for more? (obvious answer is yes :), but I am not really looking to screw the employer here, they have been pretty good to me and if possible I would like to leave on good terms. And also keep open the possibility of providing work on consulting basis in the future.
When two parties agree on something, neither are being screwed, in my opinion.

Yes, you should ask for more, in most cases.
-- | Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts - Einstein
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NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart »

JeffAL wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:21 pm Why would you get severance for quitting? It almost sounds like you’re trying to blackmail management.
I don't know why it sounds that way to you, it doesn't sound that way to me.

He could quit immediately. That may cause the company problems, that's not the OP's problem. If the employer wants to offer some compensation for him to leave gracefully, it's reasonable for OP to be paid for that.
-- | Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts - Einstein
rich126
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by rich126 »

If I was management and an employee came to me like this, I think I might be tempted to shut down/lock all accounts due to fear of the person removing/taking/deleting data. Hard to say based on a post here and obviously would depend on the relationships but weird things go on and none of this sounds particularly good.
luckyducky99
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by luckyducky99 »

duckftl wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:11 pm 2. If [...] employer offers severance arrangement, then in this case should I ask for more?
If your employer offers you severance for you quitting you should just take it. I've never heard of such a thing. Frankly it sounds kind of preposterous, but hey, props to you for being so audacious to consider asking.
SnowBog
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by SnowBog »

NewMoneyMustBeSmart wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:28 pm
JeffAL wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:21 pm Why would you get severance for quitting? It almost sounds like you’re trying to blackmail management.
I don't know why it sounds that way to you, it doesn't sound that way to me.

He could quit immediately. That may cause the company problems, that's not the OP's problem. If the employer wants to offer some compensation for him to leave gracefully, it's reasonable for OP to be paid for that.
But he didn't quit...

He just quit working on key deliverables while demanding a payout...

As for leaving gracefully, what's that mean at this point? That they don't destroy data, source files, etc.?

If he was still working, it might be different... Maybe they'd ask for help getting to a specific milestone... Maybe they'd ask for a specific transition period/process...

Hope it works out for them...
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NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart »

SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pm But he didn't quit...
Agree. He said he'd like to be paid to stay longer.
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pmHe just quit working on key deliverables while demanding a payout...
I don't think he demanded anything. I understand he told HR he doesn't want to work there any more, and he can leave quickly or slowly.
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pmAs for leaving gracefully, what's that mean at this point? That they don't destroy data, source files, etc.?
That's not what it means to me. It could mean training your replacement, executing things that only you know how to do, keeping a smiling face for customers until the project is done, etc...
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pmIf he was still working, it might be different... Maybe they'd ask for help getting to a specific milestone... Maybe they'd ask for a specific transition period/process...
I'm not under the impression he's stopped working. Perhaps I misunderstood.
-- | Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts - Einstein
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8foot7
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by 8foot7 »

If I found out you just stopped working on a key project and wanted me to pay you to go away, I’d walk you to the door immediately and then try to figure out a way to claw back the money I paid you while you weren’t working. (I would not likely be successful in that latter part, of course.)

Your compensation for knowledge transfer during a transition is your paycheck.
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Nate79
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by Nate79 »

Probably should be fired with no severance and a black mark on your record.
Topic Author
duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

NewMoneyMustBeSmart wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:50 pm
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pm But he didn't quit...
Agree. He said he'd like to be paid to stay longer.
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pmHe just quit working on key deliverables while demanding a payout...
I don't think he demanded anything. I understand he told HR he doesn't want to work there any more, and he can leave quickly or slowly.
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pmAs for leaving gracefully, what's that mean at this point? That they don't destroy data, source files, etc.?
That's not what it means to me. It could mean training your replacement, executing things that only you know how to do, keeping a smiling face for customers until the project is done, etc...
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pmIf he was still working, it might be different... Maybe they'd ask for help getting to a specific milestone... Maybe they'd ask for a specific transition period/process...
I'm not under the impression he's stopped working. Perhaps I misunderstood.
Yes. Still working. Was getting paid for only one job/role but was doing 3 and a half. Still doing the job I'm getting paid for, stopped doing the ones I was not getting paid for.
Topic Author
duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

Nate79 wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:01 pm Probably should be fired with no severance and a black mark on your record.
I'm sure the employer has thought about it.
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duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

8foot7 wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:52 pm If I found out you just stopped working on a key project and wanted me to pay you to go away, I’d walk you to the door immediately and then try to figure out a way to claw back the money I paid you while you weren’t working. (I would not likely be successful in that latter part, of course.)

Your compensation for knowledge transfer during a transition is your paycheck.
But what if you had to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for missed deadlines, and also your bonus being reduced because of it
SnowBog
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by SnowBog »

duckftl wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:05 pm
NewMoneyMustBeSmart wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:50 pm
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pm But he didn't quit...
Agree. He said he'd like to be paid to stay longer.
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pmHe just quit working on key deliverables while demanding a payout...
I don't think he demanded anything. I understand he told HR he doesn't want to work there any more, and he can leave quickly or slowly.
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pmAs for leaving gracefully, what's that mean at this point? That they don't destroy data, source files, etc.?
That's not what it means to me. It could mean training your replacement, executing things that only you know how to do, keeping a smiling face for customers until the project is done, etc...
SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:43 pmIf he was still working, it might be different... Maybe they'd ask for help getting to a specific milestone... Maybe they'd ask for a specific transition period/process...
I'm not under the impression he's stopped working. Perhaps I misunderstood.
Yes. Still working. Was getting paid for only one job/role but was doing 3 and a half. Still doing the job I'm getting paid for, stopped doing the ones I was not getting paid for.
I'm assuming you are salaried... As such, just because you think you've been doing 3.5 jobs doesn't mean anything...

And then you cut your output to 1/3.5 of what it previously was, presumably without consultation or agreement with HR/management to cut back, and then demand them to pay you a severance...

Again I hope it works out for you...
SnowBog
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by SnowBog »

For clarity, I think my posts may come across incorrectly negative towards you.

While I think it's highly unlikely that your unilateral actions to cut back work before negotiating with your employer is going to have the results you expect...

I'll approach things differently myself, but my aspiration is to have enough FU money I can say "enough" some day soon as well. I'm not quite there yet, but I've realized as I'm getting closer, my tolerance for corp BS is quickly shrinking, and I'm far more resistant to picking up "extra" work.

But I'm glad you are willing and able to stand up for yourself, and say "enough". Sounds like you have FU money (thanks JL Collins). And I wish you luck!

Even if you don't get a payout from this, you'll hopefully move onto something better... And you'll learn from the process.
Last edited by SnowBog on Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
sjl333
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by sjl333 »

duckftl wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:11 pm Salutations Bogleheads,

Over the last few years, I have gained tremendously from the collective wisdom of you all. And have also made a lot of progress on the personal finance front. And for this, I am sincerely thankful to all of you.

I am now in a peculiar situation regarding my departure from my megacorp employer.

My background:
I am fairly high on the technical ladder, and although not a manager have managed teams technically. I also have several years of tenure with my employer and I am also a recognized subject matter expert in my field in the company and the knowledge that I have about company products that I have helped develop cannot be replaced by the company without investing a lot of money and time. Management has strategic but not technical knowledge, and I was providing the technical knowledge. Company also has hundreds of customers for these high-value product, and supporting these would be next to impossible for them without the knowledge transfer from me.

My current situation:
Currently am technically leading the development of new product. This new product will also be high-value. For various reasons I had a disagreements with the management and I have now communicated to management and HR that I would like to transition out of the company while cooperating on a transition plan. I have also asked to put in place severance agreements in return for my cooperation during the transition. HR has communicated that they will respond in a few days.

I think I have a lot of leverage in this situation, primarily because employer has many contractual agreements with respect to the new product being developed, and also for supporting the existing product. And because of all the excellent advice I have received here, am in strong position to weather extended periods of unemployment, but I also think my skills will be easily transferable to another employer. And I am also residing in a economically dynamic geographical area with lots of employment opportunities in my field. My spouse will also continue working. I do not have another job lined up.


My questions are as follows.
1. Should I proactively send HR my terms for the severance agreements or should I wait to hear from them? I ask this because my project is currently stopped because I have stopped working on it. And in the interest of speeding things up, I would want to get clarity as soon as possible. in layoff situations employer has offered 2-4 weeks of pay & healthcare for each year of service. If I should send proactively, then what terms should I ask?

2. If I do not send proactively, but employer offers severance arrangement, then in this case should I ask for more? (obvious answer is yes :), but I am not really looking to screw the employer here, they have been pretty good to me and if possible I would like to leave on good terms. And also keep open the possibility of providing work on consulting basis in the future.

I am looking forward to suggestions, pointers from all of you.

p.s. forums have some topics related to negotiations during layoff situation. But did not find anything appropriate for my current predicament.

Many Thanks for reading this and providing your inputs.
duckftl

Sounds like an immature kid. Im assuming the disagreement you had with your managers was that you wanted more money and they told you no ?

Be careful, everybody is replaceable. Your actions really show what kind of person you are.

If your not happy just leave and go somewhere else.

This whole sheningans makes you look really bad IMO.
123
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by 123 »

Give them a written letter of resignation effective in two weeks. You will then know relatively quickly where you stand.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
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whodidntante
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by whodidntante »

I mean, they told you they will get back to you, so wait and see what they say. There are some issues that might trip you:
1. You never really know how people see you, even if you think they told you. They may have told you what they had to in order to get what they needed from you.
2. The cemeteries are full of indispensable men. Yet, the economy roars on and fortunes continue to be made.
3. There may be a concern that you will be ineffective with your dubious level of commitment.
4. You've had disagreements with management and they might welcome the change.
5. People may actively undermine you.

Of course, it's not a personal comment and I have no idea how close your perception is to reality. Maybe they will offer you the keys to the kingdom. Either way, I think you will learn something. Good luck.
Topic Author
duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

NewMoneyMustBeSmart wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:27 pm
duckftl wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:11 pm 1. Should I proactively send HR my terms for the severance agreements or should I wait to hear from them? I ask this because my project is currently stopped because I have stopped working on it. And in the interest of speeding things up, I would want to get clarity as soon as possible. in layoff situations employer has offered 2-4 weeks of pay & healthcare for each year of service. If I should send proactively, then what terms should I ask?
Rule of thumb is always let the other make the first offer.

A good response is to feign outrage and indignation and counter higher.

Don't compare this to a layoff; you're not being laid off.

Question - can HR construe your discussion as resignation?

Question - Are you a heterosexual Christian white male under 40? If so you have almost no protected status. IF you aren't, you have more leverage.

duckftl wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:11 pm 2. If I do not send proactively, but employer offers severance arrangement, then in this case should I ask for more? (obvious answer is yes :), but I am not really looking to screw the employer here, they have been pretty good to me and if possible I would like to leave on good terms. And also keep open the possibility of providing work on consulting basis in the future.
When two parties agree on something, neither are being screwed, in my opinion.

Yes, you should ask for more, in most cases.
Thanks for your tips. I will try this if I get a chance. I am not in a protected group by any means, but I have valid reasons to believe that direct management has been deceitful to me. I have let HR know about this. I won't sue, but I will consult with an attorney anyways. Just to know the actuality.
Topic Author
duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

toofache32 wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:26 pm Are there trademarks/patents involved? If so, who owns them?
Employer owns them. But I would like to get access to certain assets for my portfolio to show to prospective employers in future.
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duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

123 wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:34 pm Give them a written letter of resignation effective in two weeks. You will then know relatively quickly where you stand.
That's essentially what I have done. I have told them they can fire me, or get me an agreement with duties etc spelled out for the transition.
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duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

whodidntante wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:08 am I mean, they told you they will get back to you, so wait and see what they say. There are some issues that might trip you:
1. You never really know how people see you, even if you think they told you. They may have told you what they had to in order to get what they needed from you.
2. The cemeteries are full of indispensable men. Yet, the economy roars on and fortunes continue to be made.
3. There may be a concern that you will be ineffective with your dubious level of commitment.
4. You've had disagreements with management and they might welcome the change.
5. People may actively undermine you.

Of course, it's not a personal comment and I have no idea how close your perception is to reality. Maybe they will offer you the keys to the kingdom. Either way, I think you will learn something. Good luck.
Thanks for your insights. I will keep on the lookout.
Definitely not under the impression that I'm indispensable. But it would be very difficult for them to keep timelines while trying to find a replacement at the same time. Anyways I will find out soon enough.
I will let everyone know what I hear from them.
Topic Author
duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

SnowBog wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:26 pm For clarity, I think my posts may come across incorrectly negative towards you.

While I think it's highly unlikely that your unilateral actions to cut back work before negotiating with your employer is going to have the results you expect...

I'll approach things differently myself, but my aspiration is to have enough FU money I can say "enough" some day soon as well. I'm not quite there yet, but I've realized as I'm getting closer, my tolerance for corp BS is quickly shrinking, and I'm far more resistant to picking up "extra" work.

But I'm glad you are willing and able to stand up for yourself, and say "enough". Sounds like you have FU money (thanks JL Collins). And I wish you luck!

Even if you don't get a payout from this, you'll hopefully move onto something better... And you'll learn from the process.
Not quite in the FU money category yet. But because of lybm and bogleheads, have around 10x with hopefully 20+ working years remaining. I'm actually okay to just move on without anything. But would like some employer paid padding in case finding new job takes longer than expected.
123
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by 123 »

duckftl wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:36 am
123 wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:34 pm Give them a written letter of resignation effective in two weeks. You will then know relatively quickly where you stand.
That's essentially what I have done. I have told them they can fire me, or get me an agreement with duties etc spelled out for the transition.
You were too vague. Business management often only responds when there is an immediate crisis at hand. A two week time period will let you know how valuable your skillset is to them. What you've done so far is just given them an opportunity to find your replacement. When they have your replacement why should they keep you?
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
Whakamole
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by Whakamole »

The industry is smaller than you realize. I would be concerned that word would get out that (a) you stopped doing your job ("my project is currently stopped because I have stopped working on it") and (b) you've announced that you will quit, and expect either severance in exchange for a hand-off (something most employees just do) or you will quit (at least my interpretation), and (c) you know full well that this will inconvenience the company, the customers of the company, and the co-workers who will have to pick up the slack.
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duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

I have myself tried to find my replacement for 2 years. Not easy. Very niche domain.
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duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

Whakamole wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:34 am The industry is smaller than you realize. I would be concerned that word would get out that (a) you stopped doing your job ("my project is currently stopped because I have stopped working on it") and (b) you've announced that you will quit, and expect either severance in exchange for a hand-off (something most employees just do) or you will quit (at least my interpretation), and (c) you know full well that this will inconvenience the company, the customers of the company, and the co-workers who will have to pick up the slack.
I fancy my chances outside. Industry is small but my skillets are transferrable to another industry. Getting talent from another industry into my role has proved challenging to say the least. Employer will most likely be transferring to outsourcing provider. I just jumped the gun a bit. But otherwise you are right on about a,b c above.
Last edited by duckftl on Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
vfinx
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by vfinx »

In my industry, it’s a generally accepted practice that once someone has decided to leave, they set aside grievances, and spend their last weeks helping their team transition. This is because the world is small, and doing anything else can really stain one’s reputation. And that reputation is much more valuable than any severance windfall. In turn, the company rewards this with some extra time off while still being paid, and vesting more stock. It’s an unofficial bonus that usually doesn’t have to go through HR.

Also, I have seen even the most brilliant folks move on, with much fear that the world is coming to an end. It has always turned out to be anticlimactic. Someone else steps up and the world moves on.

I have been a manager and a manager of managers in the past. I would have never entertained any such discussions of severance under these circumstances (severance is for people being laid off). In fact, my priority would have been to get the person out ASAP. Not due to any vindictiveness, but because there is an emotional drain to having someone on the team that isn’t committed to the work.
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duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

vfinx wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:42 am In my industry, it’s a generally accepted practice that once someone has decided to leave, they set aside grievances, and spend their last weeks helping their team transition. This is because the world is small, and doing anything else can really stain one’s reputation. And that reputation is much more valuable than any severance windfall. In turn, the company rewards this with some extra time off while still being paid, and vesting more stock. It’s an unofficial bonus that usually doesn’t have to go through HR.

Also, I have seen even the most brilliant folks move on, with much fear that the world is coming to an end. It has always turned out to be anticlimactic. Someone else steps up and the world moves on.

I have been a manager and a manager of managers in the past. I would have never entertained any such discussions of severance under these circumstances (severance is for people being laid off). In fact, my priority would have been to get the person out ASAP. Not due to any vindictiveness, but because there is an emotional drain to having someone on the team that isn’t committed to the work.
I would have liked to have a sensible manager like you. you probably never deceived your employee.
seppatown
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by seppatown »

If the company recognizes how critical you are to the product, they will attempt to negotiate with you.

If the company thinks you are actively trying to sabotage or blackmail them, they will let you go regardless of need. Like others have noted, your actions could be noticed by other employees, and management doesn't want to set a precedent.

Do NOT proactively send any requests out to HR. Take some last-minute PTO. Get your butt out of there. It was a mistake to request severance and put yourself at the negotiation table without their asking. But I get it - I was there before. The human ego will do whatever it needs to claw back dignity. Just sit tight and focus your attention on the future - plan a vacation, look into new jobs, spend more time with your spouse.

You say this exercise is about getting some more money, but deep down you know it's about proving a point. No need for that. If I were you, I would pick and stick to a departure date. It'll offer more peace of mind.
SnowBog
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by SnowBog »

duckftl wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:42 am
Whakamole wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:34 am The industry is smaller than you realize. I would be concerned that word would get out that (a) you stopped doing your job ("my project is currently stopped because I have stopped working on it") and (b) you've announced that you will quit, and expect either severance in exchange for a hand-off (something most employees just do) or you will quit (at least my interpretation), and (c) you know full well that this will inconvenience the company, the customers of the company, and the co-workers who will have to pick up the slack.
I fancy my chances outside. Industry is small but my skillets are transferrable to another industry. Getting talent from another industry into my role has proved challenging to say the least. Employer will most likely be transferring to outsourcing provider. I just jumped the gun a bit. But otherwise you are right on about a,b c above.
Do you have job offers?

If not, what you think isn't helpful... If you really wanted a position of strength to negotiate, you'd have:
  • Continued to do all work you've been doing
  • If you needed to cutback or get help, communicate clearly with leadership to adjust
  • Interview and find out if your assessment matches reality
  • Ideally, have 1+ offers in hand that may your needs
Then when you turn in your two week notice, if they don't go out of their way to "save" you (and assuming at that point you even want to stay there), you easily move onto the next thing...

This is what I've always done anyway... Honestly, each time my employer jumped through hoops trying to keep me. But at that point - for me - it was too late...

That said, I still busted my butt for them through the last day I was employed. And a few even called me back later for consulting gigs. (But those were short lived.)

I'm a big believer in never burning bridges. It's amazing how small the marketplace is, and people talk...
seppatown
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by seppatown »

duckftl wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:48 am I would have liked to have a sensible manager like you. you probably never deceived your employee.
I would also venture his type of story applies more to stable, mature work environments and less to start-ups and disruptive industries.

OP stated he worked 3 jobs in 1 and I wouldn't discount him a cent of that. From my experience, superstar-workaholic employees who aren't tactical with their careers often have these kinds of blowup experiences. You have to be in his shoes at some point in life to understand what it's like to truly sacrifice everything for your work and lose control of it or not have things pan out the way they "should". It's the downside of having the owner-founder drive but none of the equity or control.
SnowBog
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by SnowBog »

duckftl wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:48 am I would have liked to have a sensible manager like you. you probably never deceived your employee.
I hope you understand that managers are sometimes put in impossible situations...

Managers are sometimes unable to share information... They are often obligated to keep information secret, think things like layoffs, mergers, restructuring, etc., often with penalties including losing their jobs and likely financial losses.

So what you might perceive as "deceiving" you might have been information they simply weren't allowed to share with you at that time...

It could also just be their incompetence... Maybe they didn't realize they were doing whatever your thought was deceitful...

Or maybe they were a horrible boss, and lied with every breath...

Ultimately, does not matter... If it's not the right fit for you, move on... But move on with a positive attitude...

If you attempt to leave on a negative note, with a chip on your shoulder, you are likely to "tell all" when your are asked in an interview "so why did you leave your last job?" Professional tip - potential hiring managers will be turned off hearing about how bad your last manager/employer was... They'll assume (maybe correctly) you are high maintenance, will be hard to manage, and clearly will air dirty laundry when you eventually move on...

Much like the retirement advice to "retire to something, not from something", I'm a believer in focusing on what you want to move to (and ignore/learn from what you leave behind)...
Topic Author
duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

seppatown wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:03 am If the company recognizes how critical you are to the product, they will attempt to negotiate with you.

If the company thinks you are actively trying to sabotage or blackmail them, they will let you go regardless of need. Like others have noted, your actions could be noticed by other employees, and management doesn't want to set a precedent.

Do NOT proactively send any requests out to HR. Take some last-minute PTO. Get your butt out of there. It was a mistake to request severance and put yourself at the negotiation table without their asking. But I get it - I was there before. The human ego will do whatever it needs to claw back dignity. Just sit tight and focus your attention on the future - plan a vacation, look into new jobs, spend more time with your spouse.

You say this exercise is about getting some more money, but deep down you know it's about proving a point. No need for that. If I were you, I would pick and stick to a departure date. It'll offer more peace of mind.
Yes, I am now convinced to not send anything to HR until I hear back from them first. I have a date in my mind. 2 months down the line. In many ways I am glad to be just moving on from here. And I really don't want to jeopardize the project or the team. But I just had to think about my sanity and had to get out. Working there even one minute on the current terms would be too much. But I don't mind working on terms mutually agreeable.
Topic Author
duckftl
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by duckftl »

SnowBog wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:30 am
duckftl wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:48 am I would have liked to have a sensible manager like you. you probably never deceived your employee.
I hope you understand that managers are sometimes put in impossible situations...

Managers are sometimes unable to share information... They are often obligated to keep information secret, think things like layoffs, mergers, restructuring, etc., often with penalties including losing their jobs and likely financial losses.

So what you might perceive as "deceiving" you might have been information they simply weren't allowed to share with you at that time...

It could also just be their incompetence... Maybe they didn't realize they were doing whatever your thought was deceitful...

Or maybe they were a horrible boss, and lied with every breath...

Ultimately, does not matter... If it's not the right fit for you, move on... But move on with a positive attitude...

If you attempt to leave on a negative note, with a chip on your shoulder, you are likely to "tell all" when your are asked in an interview "so why did you leave your last job?" Professional tip - potential hiring managers will be turned off hearing about how bad your last manager/employer was... They'll assume (maybe correctly) you are high maintenance, will be hard to manage, and clearly will air dirty laundry when you eventually move on...

Much like the retirement advice to "retire to something, not from something", I'm a believer in focusing on what you want to move to (and ignore/learn from what you leave behind)...
I am in fact trying to move on. But I will just not work on the current terms.
WienerG
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by WienerG »

I dont want to be the bad egg here but if you quit then your employer is only obliged to fulfill the exit clause as described in your emoloyment contract.

WienerG
flaccidsteele
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by flaccidsteele »

This isn’t Canada

American wage slaves are at-will employment. Odds of severance is zero
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
Cruise
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by Cruise »

OP: I’m assuming that your company’s IT Security team is already finished combing through your activities, and are consulting with the General Counsel’s office as the company considers protective/punitive actions in their future dealings with you. Go back to your company and withdraw your severance demands. Offer to stay at your job for as long as X time to help with transition. You may be able repair some of your lost goodwill and avoid future conflict. Good luck to you.
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stickman731
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Re: severance negotiation

Post by stickman731 »

As someone who was on the technical ladder then move to the business side, I think you already made a mistake by stating your intentions to quit.

Since it is a "mega corp", I would expect them to have a detailed severance package procedure that relates to $/year, remaining vacation time, and other benefits (bonus accrual, stock option, ...). I would recommend reviewing it and that should be your starting point, but most likely endpoint because you have "quit".

I would encourage you to negotiate the time frame for you departure, typically end of year is best as you may accrue next year vacation and fully qualify for year end incentives. I would also try to make it "non-voluntary" so that you also qualify for unemployment benefits as the job market may look down on this "voluntary" departure - many people talk and have contacts thorough an industrial segment - your reason for departure will get out.

I would recommend you re-think you departure and try to tolerate it as you look for another job.
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