Negotiating a severance was one of the best decisions I ever made. It was the stimulus that led me to create the book How To Engineer Your Layoff.
It’s the only book on the market that teaches you how to negotiate a severance. In addition, it’s full of first hand experience. There are multiple case studies of people who succeeded thanks to the tips and resources in the book.
How To Engineer Your Layoff Is Unique
Before I wrote the book, It took me two years to engineer my own layoff. I was concerned and didn’t know how.
There were no resources on the market that could guide me to quit my job with money in my pocket. What was I supposed to say? “Hey Boss! If you give me $200,000 I’m outta here!” over coffee one morning?
Fears and unknowns wracked my brain. What if I quit my job and my bank account goes dry in six months? And what if I can’t find a new job in a new industry that I really love? What if my entrepreneurial endeavors fail miserably and some exogenous variable knocks me out for the count? Worst of all, what if I turn into a deadbeat with no more motivation to do anything again?
One of the reasons I knew I needed to create How To Engineer Your Layoff is because I know there are millions of people who have these same fears. My book is the only unique resource that helps you prepare for the changes that come after getting laid off. Not only that, it helps you get the most possible in your severance package.
The Need For A Change
I didn’t hate my job, I just didn’t love it anymore like I did 13 years ago. Nothing is worth doing for an extended period of time if you don’t love it. Ten years in a row is the maximum amount of time I can truly commit to one occupation or firm with full enthusiasm.
To go much longer would be unfair to my employer, to others who have a deeper hunger, and ultimately to myself. I kept questioning what type of idiot would quit a good job in this type of economy?
After a while, I started asking myself what type of idiot not to quit in this economy! Wages are down, profits are abysmal, and industries are going through multi-year consolidation phases that won’t be pleasant.
With no kids, a 18 year financial safety net, and a clear idea of what I want to do after my separation, I decided to initiate severance negotiation talks in October 2018 after creating a healthy stream of passive income over the past 13 years.
I was so close, but couldn’t pull the trigger because I was STILL too unsure. What I needed was that one last kick in the pants to send me on my way to entrepreneurship.
Negotiating A Severance Was The Catalyst
Before quitting, I wanted to have that final catalyst that made leaving my job an absolute no-brainer. There are plenty of books that talk about how to land coveted jobs and make lots of money.
However, before I wrote my book there was nothing on the market on how to quit our jobs and make a small fortune in the process!
Unless you plan to work forever, there will be a backstop when you will want to do something else. They say the average person changes jobs seven times in their lifetimes.
Gone are the days when we join a firm right out of college, work there for 40 years and retire with a pension. Instead, it’s a dog eat dog world now. We need to look out for ourselves or else risk getting blown up in the process. I was surprised to last 10+ years at the same firm.
In addition to the inevitability of change, a recent study showed that 70%+ of the American workforce is unsatisfied with their jobs. 70%! What a waste of life! I’m not sure if the percentages are any better in Europe, Canada, Australia, Africa, or Asia. I doubt it.
How To Engineer Your Layoff Is Created
Back in 2010, I knew I had to start doing some research so I could make my exit. I wanted to educate myself as much as possible on my rights as an employee.
I needed to discover my options so I could methodically formulate a plan to not have any regrets when I’m old and grey. The more I prepared for my own retirement, the more I realized I wanted to help other people do the same!
After two years of research, planning, coaching friends, and successfully engineering my own layoff, I present to you a comprehensive guide on how to profitably quit your job.
How To Engineer Your Layoff serves to help people understand their rights as employees, offers step-by-step guidance so you won’t leave money on the table, and discusses the importance of building relationships to get what you want. I want to provide you that catalyst to motivate you to do whatever you truly desire!
Now in its latest edition, How To Engineer Your Layoff has expanded to 22 chapters and is over 200 pages long. The book provides you with the most comprehensive guide to profitably quitting your job.
I set up the appropriate framework, identify the key players involved, highlight important Federal and State level resources to read, provide various strategies for maximizing your separation package, feature many examples of people who’ve successfully quit their jobs, and help you plan for a life after layoff.
I also write never revealed information on my own personal story. For those of you who have been following Financial Samurai since 2009, and plan to follow for several more years, you’ll understand why I write the way I do and take the stances that I take. Hopefully by better understanding my background, you will enjoy this site even more.
Make A Fortune Negotiating A Severance
What if I said you could make and extra $3,800 on your way out the door? If you plan to leave your job anyway, getting $3,800 is like receiving round-trip airfare and a week-long stay at a 5 star luxury hotel as a farewell present!
What if your company gave you $50,000 as part of your severance package? You could pay off all your credit card debt, and have a nice amount of savings to help care for your new baby!
And if you happen to receive $100,000+ in severance like many of my friends in finance, technology, and consulting you might never need to work for anybody again!
Get More Money With How To Engineer Your Layoff
There’s a lot of money out there! The above amounts are from actual case studies in the book How To Engineer Your Layoff. Each person wanted to do something else. And they all succeeded!
Real Case Studies
- One woman who received $3,800 was tired of bartending and is now a full-time artist.
- Another woman received $50,000 negotiating a severance from her job as a marketing manager. Now she is a stay at home mom who never wants to go back to work again.
- One man who received received hundreds of thousands of dollars getting laid off from his banking job is now working for one of his clients.
- Another man not only negotiated a better severance for himself, he got better terms for his entire department. And this all happened during the pandemic to boot!
There are multiple detailed case studies in the book including an in depth look into the examples above. I’ve helped many people take the next step by advising them on a clear plan. And they are all better off financially and are happier because of their willingness to learn.
I have also included a fascinating case study about using Family Medical Leave Act to negotiate a severance. I’ve also highlighted how I was able to help negotiate a severance for a high-performing employee.
Can Great Employees Get A Severance?
Over the years, the #1 pushback I get from potential buyers is: why would my employer ever give me a severance if I’m a good employee? The answer is that the more valuable you are, the easier it is to negotiate a severance because you don’t want to just quit and leave them in the lurch.
Further, I highlight how one employee negotiated a severance because her employer didn’t want to be “put on blast” and sullied over social media. We’re in a new age folks. Employees have much more power than they think!
Do Not Quit Your Job Before Buying My Book
Please do not quit your job before you read How To Engineer Your Layoff. On the same note, please do not retire before you read my book either! You could be leaving some serious money on the table if you do not arm yourself with the knowledge and strategies in the book.
One friend quit his job of 10 years and learned a week later his entire department got laid off with two weeks of pay for every year worked plus a full year of healthcare insurance (COBRA)!
In other words, he left two months of mandatory severance + 20 weeks of salary + $8,000 in health care premiums on the table. We’re talking over $70,000 in lost severance if he had only listened to my advice of sticking it out for several more months! Furthermore, he is ineligible for $21,600 a year in California unemployment benefits!
First Hand Experience
Everything I’ve written is based on my own experience of successfully engineering my layoff and helping others in the process. There is no fluff, nor are there any presumptions.
Feel free to spend some time reading some of my most popular posts to get an idea of my writing and my habit of being as thorough as possible.
Engineering my own layoff put another six years of full living expenses in my bank account!
New success stories from readers who also negotiated their own severance packages continue to come in. Even amidst the craziness of the global pandemic, readers have been able to negotiate successfully.
If you fear your job is at risk of a mass layoff, all the more reason to take matters into your own hands. You have the power to negotiate and get the best deal possible if you act swiftly and wisely.
Who Should Buy How To Engineer Your Layoff?
Many people can benefit from reading How To Engineer Your Layoff. For example, people who:
- are looking to change careers,
- want to be an entrepreneur,
- feel burnt out and want to take a long break,
- want to retire early and join the FIRE movement,
- don’t know how to start,
- are afraid to blow themselves up in this delicate process,
- don’t want to miss out on unemployment benefits,
- realize life speed accelerates and don’t want to have many regrets,
- want insight into how the layoff process works at some firms,
- feel short-changed by their company,
- want to preempt a layoff or firing,
- are meticulous planners or need help with planning,
- want to take control of their lives,
- wish to spend more time with their children,
- hope to spend more time with their aging parents,
- are interested in developing a deeper understanding Sam’s existing & future posts,
- are managers who want to prepare for the wave of employees looking to engineer their layoffs,
- believe the value of freedom, unemployment benefits, and a potential severance is far greater than the price of my book!
How To Engineer Your Layoff Will:
- Go through exercises to make sure you are ready to move on.
- Guide you on establishing a plan to switch careers or retire.
- Help you understand the players involved in engineering your layoff.
- Provide you with multiple strategies on how to maximize your severance package.
- Teach you how to leave your company without burning bridges.
- Explain how higher and lower performers are both able to engineer layoffs.
- Prepare you for a life after separation.
- Give you a much better fundamental understanding of current and future FS posts.
- Entertain and motivate you with success stories.
- Teach you how to collect thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits if you are laid off.
- Potentially allow you to walk away with a healthy severance package.
- Save you precious time in figuring out how to lead your new life!
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Negotiate A Severance And Be Free
I arm readers with the knowledge, skills, and courage to take that leap of faith as I have done. Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for being able to negotiate a severance that equaled five years of comfortable living expenses. The financial runway was huge for me to patiently build Financial Samurai without having to worry about revenue.
When you engineer your layoff with a nice severance package, you will walk away feeling like a winner. Thanks for your support and congratulations for taking the next step closer to freedom!
About the Author: Sam worked in finance for 13 years. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary and got his MBA from UC Berkeley. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $250,000 a year in passive income. He spends time playing tennis, taking care of his family, and writing online to help others achieve financial freedom too.
Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 and has grown it to be one of the largest independently owned personal finance sites in the world. You can sign up for his free private newsletter here.