Double Or Triple Your Income By Engineering Your Layoff

One of the reasons why I am so enthusiastic about my book, How To Engineer Your Layoff, is I want to teach more people like you how to potentially double or triple your income. You could essentially earn more than you've ever earned before.

I know some of you are scratching your heads wondering what on earth I'm talking about. Getting laid off typically means no more job income, unless we count unemployment benefits.  

Don't worry, I'm not talking about unemployment benefits. Although you should claim unemployment benefits if you're no longer working. You should have been paying into the system through your W2 payroll taxes after all.

Instead, I want to explain why being laid off could be one of your best financial and mental decisions ever.

Profitable Negotiations Can Triple Your Income

If you're one of the hundreds that have read my book, How To Engineer Your Layoff, you're now prepared to take the leap of faith and negotiate a severance from your employer. If you haven't read it yet, you can purchase it here.

You're no longer afraid of your boss, human resources manager, or the legal and compliance department that watches your every move to protect the firm.

Instead, you've essentially leveled the playing field and equipped yourself with knowledge and a framework to succeed. You also now understand that you could very well be doing your firm a big favor.

I want to provide you a very common example of how I worked with a client to successfully engineer her layoff and double her income. Then, I will highlight how another client managed to triple his income. Read on.

How To Double Your Income By Quitting Your Job

Triple Your Income

Marie worked at one of the major department stores as a clothing buyer for five years. She made about $70,000 a year, but wanted to do something different with her life now that she was 30 years old.  

During every year in her 20's she was absorbed with fashion, studying, following, and participating in every way possible. Unfortunately, she grew tired of the industry. In addition, her colleagues began to get on her nerves.

Marie and I worked on a six month game plan to engineer her layoff. Part of the plan was to discover new companies she'd like to work for. Marie made a list of five companies in the internet space, three companies in retail, and one company that was a direct competitor.  

The idea was to get her talking to people at her target firms over the next six months. This way when she finally got laid off, she'd already have established relationships. As a result she wouldn't come across as desperate when she asking for a reference.

6.5 months after we launched our plan, Marie got laid off with the following severance package:

  • Two months of base pay as part of the California Warn Act: $11,667
  • 10 weeks of severance: $13,461
  • Six months of COBRA (Health Insurance): $2,100
  • 15 days of unused vacation: $2,876
  • Eligibility for unemployment benefits: $1,800 a month

Total Severance Excluding Unemployment Benefits: $30,104

The reason why we're excluding unemployment benefits is because Marie got a new job two weeks later at a startup for the same salary!  

Her severance of $13,461 was paid in a lump sum a week after separation. Meanwhile, I recommended Marie negotiate a start date 1.5 months from the offer. This way she got a 1.5 month vacation fully paid for by her old employer thanks to the WARN Act!

Marie took my advice and essentially doubled her income for three months once she started thanks to her severance package.

How To Triple Your Income By Quitting Your Job

Joe is an investment banker who worked at the same firm for eight years. He got sick of the industry due to the long hours, pay declines, and lack of fun. Things were a blast in the late 1990's. But now, his industry is under the microscope of regulators, politicians, and the public.

His compensation structure was a base salary of $200,000 and a discretionary bonus. It ranged from $0-$350,000, which is ultimately split 50% cash and 50% stock.  

The stock component vests by 33% a year for three years. As you can tell, after three years, Joe's stock portion can equal as much as his entire average year end bonus!

I also worked with Joe to set up a plan to engineer his layoff based off the framework in my book. Since Joe had recently got paid his annual, he was anxious to make his exit as quick as possible. Hence, we worked on a two month plan to get him the hell out.

Joe successfully engineered his layoff with the following severance package:

  • Two months of base pay as part of the California Warn Act: $33,333
  • 24 weeks of severance: $92,307
  • Six months of COBRA (Health Insurance): $3,600
  • 25 days of unused vacation: $13,698
  • Eligibility for unemployment benefits: $1,800 a month

Total Severance Excluding Unemployment Benefits: $139,338

His total of $139,338, excluding $1,800 a month in unemployment benefits, is a pretty penny. Joe would be a fool to just quit and not engineer his layoff. He was able to get a severance package completely above board. In addition, he also got three years of deferred compensation in the form of stock!

Joe has roughly $220,000 in company stock which gets vested in roughly $73,333 increments a year over the next three years. Each spring, Joe will receive net proceeds after tax of roughly $51,000.

By engineering his layoff, Joe is now triple dipping his income. Earlier this month, he joined one of his long time clients on the corporate side!

Thus, Joe earned $92,307 in a lump sum severance, is now earning an undisclosed amount at his new job. In addition, he's got three years of deferred income coming in at $73,333 gross a year no matter what!

To Triple Your Income, Plan And Plan Some More

As you can see from the two real life examples above, engineering your layoff can double or even triple your income for a period of time. I talk to so many people who are afraid of getting laid off because they lack awareness.

Without the guidance and insights available in my book, those who are afraid don't know yet how to negotiate. Nor do they know their powerful rights as employees.

My book encourages you to plan, build relationships, and execute strategies I used for my clients and my own six-year separation package. The playing field is completely unfair if you plan to quit your job with nothing.  

I know this because I was a manager for the last five years of my career. As a result, I went through an intensive amount of managerial training. In addition, I got the HR and Legal departments on my side. Employees, on the other hand, have nobody but themselves.

An Opportunity To Double Or Triple Your Income Awaits

Knowledge is power. It's the only way you'll be able to negotiate your worth upon departure. You must devise a plan and work on it over the normal course of three to six months.  

Some of you might take longer. I patiently took two years to engineer my own layoff. Ultimately, there's no magic bullet to leaving your job with a nice goodbye gift. You've got to work for it if you want the chance to triple your income.

Again, please never just quit your job if you've been there for longer than even just a year. You will leave real money on the table to your employer's delight.

Don't Leave Money On The Table

For example, I know a guy who just quit his job because he was so confident he could find another job for similar pay within six months. Well, it's been nine months and he's still jobless, with no unemployment benefits, and a completely spent emergency fund. If he had engineered his layoff instead he'd have been much better off.

Another person I know quit her job because she wanted to leave on “good” terms just in case her freelancing failed and she wanted to come back. Turns out her freelancing efforts did fail and she's also burned through all her savings. To add insult to injury, her old employer has a hiring freeze and won't let her come back.

Speak Up For Yourself And Get Paid

I don't know what will become of these two folks, but I will certainly try and help them out. Don't be so cavalier with your career or life by not researching all your rights and arming your brain with knowledge before quitting your job. You are worth more than you think!

If you're planning on leaving your job anyway, ask yourself what's the worst that could happen if you try and negotiate a severance? I strongly believe if you don't ask, you don't get. Look out for your own best interests in your career and journey to growing wealth.

Learn More, Make More Money

Here are some additional resources I've put together that will help you on your financial journey to earn more, save more, and hopefully double or triple your income!

Stay In Touch

If you enjoyed this article, please sign up for the Financial Samurai Newsletter here to receive exclusive content. 

Further, you can subscribe to the Financial Samurai podcast for even more insights and tips.

Readers, what would you do with an extra $13,000-$100,000 dollars in severance money if you had another similar paying job lined up?  

Do you think people are unaware of their rights as employees, and therefore are unaware of how large severance packages can be?  

Why don't more people try and engineer their layoffs? 

Note: If you've barely worked at your job for a year and are miserable, suck it up! You've got to pay your dues, because nobody will care that you want it, and you want it now.  

The good thing is you now have the opportunity to empower yourself with knowledge and devise a plan. There is no magic Genie who is going to save you. Put in the effort once you've armed yourself with knowledge. Nothing good comes easy after all, but it's worth it in the end!

Buy How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune Walking Away. It's newly updated with more case studies and strategies than ever before!

About The Author

42 thoughts on “Double Or Triple Your Income By Engineering Your Layoff”

  1. my experience (prior to reading your book) is that I wish I was a subpar employee b/c they tend to be the ones that get “let go” and that always comes with a nice severance package and unemployment after.

    In my previous job (around 2008/2009) they were doing mass layoffs and everyone was getting these deals, except me, b/c I was too good of a worker. I actually ask to be laid off, as I was planning to leave. I ended up leaving after 10 years with nada.

    In corporate America it is very hard to get fired now a day, so they have to come up with strategic ways of eliminating jobs, and then giving them nice severances to keep them from suing.

    I feel like I would have a better exit strategy if I wasn’t such a good employee :)

    1. It’s kind of like being a high income earner. You don’t get as much government assistance, and are probably taxed aggressively as well. If you can earn less and spend less time working, you could get some subsidies!

  2. Odd that you list that both of these people are “eligible for unemployment benefits”. For that to be true in CA, they must “Be unemployed through no fault of his/her own”, which certainly isn’t true if they’ve engineered their layoff.

    I recommend researching these issues at Knowledge is power, and a careful research of eligibility requirements would preempt confusion that some people may have that your program is little more than another way to usurp extra money through dishonesty.

    1. When your company lays you off, there is no fault of your own.

      If we included unemployment, this article would be how to Triple or Quadruple your income.

      Do more research.

  3. You are doing everyone a valuable service! In the middle of 2009, I saw the writing on the wall. Another department was getting laid off with a month of pay for every year of service. I had four years (4 months pay) and some unused vacation days. In the meantime, I was lining up my next gig with a slight pay increase. Sadly I didn’t know about WARN. It was scary at the time, but it was the best move at the time. What also pushed me was there was suspicion that one of my team members was on the chopping block. I took the bullet, moved on to green pastures, and he’s still happy there. Everyone won!

  4. I wonder if the packages are so generous because California is a liberal state. It’s policies are against businesses and pro labor. But, if you come to South, it’s all together a different ball game. Have you given any thoughts to different state laws, and how applicable your strategy is for other states? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    1. My strategy is based on developing the right relationships to make the layoff happen. Hence, it applies across all States. Furthermore, each State has their own labor laws, all of which will reveal more rights than an employee knows if they take the time to learn the laws as all the HR and legal people have learned.

  5. It definitely warms my heart to see people empower themselves with knowledge that could change their lives. I like seeing people do something about their situations.

    With no benefits, what do you do for tax deferred retirement savings, dental, health care?

    1. Unless you plan to work forever for your same company, there will always be a point of exit.

      Engineering your layoff is not easy. It’s a delicate process that takes some time, hence why I wrote the book.

  6. That is quite impressive. I am going to do some research to see if the warn act applies in my state and if I get closer to switching career paths, I may ask your advice.

  7. So here’s the deal…..I’m a bedside, emergency room nurse, and I’m “per diem” at that, meaning I don’t get benefits (my husband provides health insurance for me) and I don’t have an office Job. I don’t think that it would even be possible for me if I wanted to. Have you heard of any nurses doing this?

    1. I haven’t specifically heard of nurses and pier firm cases. What are the other employment options you can have as a nurse?

      My fundamental principle is that you do have more rights than you realize. Start with the hospital HR or administrator.

  8. At my level, severance would be 12 month salary and bonus, plus pro-rated bonus for that year, 12 months benefits, acceleration of pro-rated LTI, and job search assistance. If they decided to let me go, I would have a job lined up in days. Unfortunately, it is rare for them to let people go at my level.

    1. That’s great package!

      You can either wait and hope to get laid off when the time comes. Or you can prepare and read and put your destiny in your own hands when you really want to make a move.

  9. wow, this is a great strategy. But I’m curious, how does this relate to public workers? For instance, with teaching, each year thousands of teachers get “laid off” I believe without a severance package. I’m not entirely clear on this since as a sub I don’t have the same benefits as RIF’d teachers. Does this plan transfer over to government employees?

    1. The best advice I can give you is to actually ask a teacher what her experience and package was like when she got laid off. Reverse engineer the process and use my book’s framework. The plan of planning, ascertaining important information which your superiors will hope you dont know, and developing relationships with the right people will transfer over to the public works for sure. Things may be just more structured.

  10. California is a great place to live because of the weather and diversity, but not so much if you’re running a business. But the state is committed to helping employees through it’s extra layers in the WARN act and all the other hoops it makes businesses jump through.

    That’s so neat you’ve been able to help so many people Sam!

    1. Thanks Sydney! It does feel so great to open people’s eyes and allow them to recognize their rights! It’s as if workers have been zombies for all these years, doing what their told, and not thinking for themselves.

      I want to empower the millions of people out there who work at a traditional 9-to-5 job for a living who want to do something else.

      CA is very employee friendly, but so is New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Colorado, and a whole host of other States.

      Then we go to the Socialist countries like France, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada, and Australia, and the benefits are even more amazing! South Korea is pretty darn good too, where employers almost cannot fire you without serious documentation for the past two years!

      1. James Brian

        That all sounds great but the harder it is to fire someone, the less likely a borderline talented person gets hired in the first place.

        1. That’s why many employees are doing their managers and HR a favor by engineering their layoffs. It is becoming harder and harder to fire people, and not b/c it’s just personally hard to do.

  11. Sam, Although this wouldn’t work for me, as I am a principal in my company, it is an intriguing strategy. I think the examples add to the picture, as on the surface it’s a tough concept to grasp. I’m sure your book lays things out with more detail. Good luck in your new endeavors.

    1. Hi Barbara, how do you know it wouldn’t work for you? What is a Principal? The higher up you go and the longer you are at the firm, I’ve found the easier it is to engineer your layoff.

      1. James Brian

        Principal is usually a more professional way of saying Owner. I use it myself as being President of a 1 person company sounds pompous.

        – you fixed the spammer checkbox message

  12. Money Beagle

    I, too, wonder what the WARN act is and will probably take a look. Never heard of anything remotely like that here in Michigan, so I’m guessing that if you’re not in California or a state like that, you can take that off the top.

    I also come back to the question of why employers would agree to lay you off and pay you weeks and weeks of income when they get nothing to show for it. If they keep you on, they at least get the productivity out of you? If you’re performing that poorly, they will fire you and you won’t be eligible for the severance.

    This also seems to assume that the companies are in the process of wanting to reduce headcount. I can’t see a growing company saying, OK, instead of using our resources to hire more people we’ll pay someone not to be here (and likely have to replace them anyways, essentially doubling their cost). You have to be ‘lucky’ to be with a company or department willing to downsize. In which case, yes, I could see this strategy working.

    1. Your response is one of the main reasons why I wrote the book. So many people do not know their rights! I don’t know whether it’s because people forgot to read their employer handbook, aren’t willing to do research online, but it baffles me that not more people do research when it comes to making such a big life change.

      Here is the Michigan WARN Act info on Michigan’s Department of Tech, Labor, Management, & Budget:

      Companies lay people off every year, especially in the past three years.

  13. I see today, Yahoo’s Levensohn is “moving on”! He apparently negotiated a great deal. I think many of us overlook negotiating in certain situations. Everything is negotiable! Unfortunately, I cannot take advantage of this in teaching.

    1. Yep! Senior folks engineer their layoffs ALL THE TIME. They can afford lawyers to negotiate great terms for them. The common person, cannot.

      The best is when pro sports players like baseball get their full contracts paid out and get cut. They then find another team and really double up their income!

  14. Congrats on your book helping others make so much money! I am curious what the California WARN act is and if other states have similar programs… but I take it you detail this information in your ebook?

  15. The Financial Blogger

    Wow! I didn’t know that you could get that much to be laid off in the USA! Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this in Canada (we get 4% of our income + a package (depending on the job) but not 2 months as California law states!). It’s almost an incentive to get laid off and pick a similar job elsewhere ;-)

    Quick question; why the vacation pay is smaller than the regular pay?
    ex: 10 weeks of severance at $13,461 makes $1,341 per week
    but 15 days of vacation at $2,876 makes only $958/week (assuming you work 5 days a week, right?)

    it’s the same thing for the second example. is there something you don’t calculate in the vacation week?

    1. The beauty is, the 2 months WARN payment isn’t even the severance! I suggest researching more on Canadian labor laws. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

      As for your second question, it depends on how many weeks you think is in a year, and how many days are in a week.

      In America, there are 52 weeks a year, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year when we amortize pay. Hence, take SALARY / 52, and SALARY / 365, multiply by the number of weeks or days to get your package.

      It is mandatory by law that an employer must pay for unused vacation, even if one quits. However, it’s not always the case of you quit, and the company is falling on hard times. You might have to fight to get the vacay pay, but you should get it unless the company goes bankrupt.

      1. The Financial Blogger

        You are getting paid for weekends? We are usually getting per hour worked. Even when you are not paid per hour, there is a “normal workweek” of 35, 37.50 or 40 hours in a week to calculate an hourly wages. If you get 2 weeks of pay it will equal to 10 days of work. if you get 15 days of vacations, it’s 3 workweek.

        I’m surprised there are so many difference between the two countries! Note: we don’t get severance package for regular jobs. Trust me, unions would make sure their guys get the biggest part ;-)

        Speaking of which, do you have unions? they are pretty strong in Quebec unfortunatetly :-(

        1. I guess you can say these two examples get paid weekends, but that’s just semantics. There is no “normal workweek” considered by their company, nor was there one for mine. It was annual pay, and bonuses for a salaried employee. For hourly waged employees (generally lower level), then calculating per hour works.

          Vacation days is vacation days is workdays off. So, 15 days of vacation days is 15 days. You can say “three weeks off”, but then that’s misleading. What if one week has two public holidays, and another week another holiday? Is that not three and a half weeks off then if you take those weeks off?

          Everybody should check with HR or their employer handbook to see how they are compensated. The point is to empower people with knowledge.

          There are unions in the US, but their strength is slowly weakening and are a minority now I believe.

  16. I never thought of all the possible options I may have if I get layed off. I’ve been with my company for 6 years and just assumed I would get roughly three months pay if I were let to. 2 weeks for every year worked. You’re California Warn Act is a bonus. I don’t know if we have something like that her in Ontario, but it’s worth looking into.

    1. Definitely look into it. Six years is a perfect amount of time at one company to engineer your layoff if you want to do something else. A respectable amount of time where your managers and HR will work with you. Good luck!

        1. It’s funny you mention grammar bc I didn’t notice your mistakes and I always have mistakes. Our minds automatically correct misspelling and grammatical mistakes

          Hope you enjoy the book!

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