severance en-US How to Get Laid Off: A Step-By-Step Guide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-laid-off-a-step-by-step-guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="The Axe" title="The Axe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems ironic in this economy, and with a high unemployment rate, that anyone would want advice about getting kicked from a job. But last week a question was posed to me, and it was genuine &mdash; &ldquo;How do I get laid off?&rdquo;</p> <p>When I dug below the surface of the question, I realized that the person in question was just done with the job (<a href=",8599,1883614,00.html ">like this</a>), but didn&rsquo;t want to quit outright. Instead, being laid off was a <a href="">more favorable option</a>, with reasons including severance pay, vesting for stock options, contractual obligations, and a much more fitting job opening up soon in another company. Some people even call this the &ldquo;<a href="">no job vacation</a>.&rdquo;</p> <p>In this obviously rare situation, quitting is not ideal. Being <a href="">laid off</a> is a better solution, but believe it or not, being let go or even &ldquo;fired&rdquo; can be difficult if you&rsquo;ve been doing everything right. You need to change the dynamic. As someone so tactfully explained to me, it&rsquo;s like purposely acting like a jerk in a relationship so that the other person breaks up with you.</p> <p>So, if you&rsquo;re in the awkward position of <a href="" title="&quot;I Hate My Job&quot; Guide">looking for a way out</a> of your current job, here are some tips I have received from different industry professionals and HR websites that give you a way out without destroying your career. Some are perfectly ethical, others, well you decide for yourself.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>To start with, the ethical list:</strong></p> <p>1. First and foremost, check in with HR to see what kind of severance pay and other benefits your company offers. You need to know where you stand.</p> <p>2. If all looks well, let HR know that you&rsquo;d volunteer to take redundancy if there was downsizing at the company. Not only are you making life a whole lot easier for HR, you&rsquo;re also planting the seed that you&rsquo;re not 100% committed to the job.</p> <p>3. Let other people take credit for your good work. And, adversely, you can take some of the blame for projects that went wrong. Even if you weren&rsquo;t actually working on it, people love a scapegoat.</p> <p>4. Nurture your own replacement. If you see a bright, shining star with serious ambition, you can let everyone know that they&rsquo;re perfect for your role. A few comments here and there like &ldquo;wow, that Brian kid is one amazing worker&hellip;he&rsquo;s even teaching me a thing or two, and I earn way more than him!&rdquo; OK, well choose your own words, but you get the idea.</p> <p>5. Start using up your remaining vacation time. This is free money and it&rsquo;s also a good way to get noticed for being absent a lot.</p> <p>6. Have a computer? It&rsquo;s time to become a web surfer. Employers really don&rsquo;t like you using the Internet at work to do your shopping and watch movie trailers. Don&rsquo;t be blatant about it, but if Ebay is on the screen whenever your boss walks by, it won&rsquo;t make you look like employee of the month.</p> <p>7. Sleep at your desk during your breaks. Not every day, but dozing off once in a while can certainly help you stand out as a mediocre employee. If you don&rsquo;t have a desk, use the break room or another public place. Remember, there&rsquo;s nothing that says you can&rsquo;t take a nap during your breaks&hellip;it just doesn&rsquo;t look great.</p> <p>8. Renegotiate your salary. It&rsquo;s usually a delicate subject but now, you have nothing to lose. It can give you the confidence to ask for more and you may just get it, giving you a reason to stay. If you have a new job offer, why not take the terms you received at your new job and ask your old job if they will match it?</p> <p>9. Look into employee benefits and start asking thoughtful, insightful questions. For instance, why doesn't your company have a day care program? What&rsquo;s the paternity leave policy? Can I get reimbursement for professional conferences? Start circulating this discussion among other employees. At the very least, you will stand out as a hero to them and, possibly, a thorn in the side of HR.</p> <p>10. Start enjoying every available company perk. If you have employee discount programs, use them often and in large amounts. If you get reimbursed for further education, take lots of classes.</p> <p>11. Talk enthusiastically about additional education and training in a field completely unrelated to your job. For example, if you work at a tech company, talk about how excited you are about getting your new real estate license.</p> <p>12. The most important rule, and the simplest: Do the minimum. Be less than you can be. You should never be exceeding expectations if you&rsquo;re looking for a <a href="">pink slip</a>. As I heard once, &ldquo;she had delusions of mediocrity.&rdquo; So should you. This is a surefire way to place your head on the layoff chopping block, and when used with another tip from above, it could get you the pink slip and severance package you&rsquo;re looking for.</p> <p>Now, I also got a whole lot more tips that were phrased as &ldquo;more sketchy&rdquo; ways to get laid off or fired. I would say some of them are unpleasant, others just plain rude. I would also say that this is a list of <strong>things you should avoid</strong> in your quest for the pink slip. This may get you fired, but you don't want to burn a bridge completely that may affect your career later down the road.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" /></p> <p>13. Take a look at the code of conduct for your office and begin to bend a few rules, or even break them. Start to mess around with the dress code. Play your music a little louder.</p> <p>14. Create your own, more flexible hours. Turning up five minutes late, taking longer lunch breaks and leaving early shows a nice lack of commitment.</p> <p>15. Redirect your efforts to the wrong places. Spend 8 hours on a pointless task that should take 30 minutes. Rush a job that needs more attention. You&rsquo;re still doing your job, but you&rsquo;re doing it poorly.</p> <p>16. Get noticed for all the wrong reasons. If you have a lot of meetings to go to, don&rsquo;t feel afraid to make comments that are completely inane or make no sense at all. You can also say nothing, and spend the whole meeting doodling and staring out of the window. Put you phone on extra-loud and get people to call you all day. Let your appearance go, stop brushing your hair, allow a stain or two to appear on your shirts.</p> <p>17. Be annoying. A great way to do this is to start cornering people with pointless questions that are a waste of time. Spend 10 minutes discussing something that should take 10 seconds. Ask the most obvious questions that you should already know the answers to. Hang around in the coffee room and start long conversations. When people start to avoid you, you&rsquo;re on your way.</p> <p>18. Become the biggest naysayer in history. Now, every idea is a bad idea. Nothing will work. The coffee tastes bad. The boss sucks. No one wants to work with someone so negative, and it puts you at the top of the lay-off pile.</p> <p>19. Stop smiling. Be miserable. Act depressed. Remove yourself from conversations. Use one word answers. If you can&rsquo;t annoy people with your loud music and silly comments, you can get under their skin by being about as much fun as a funeral.</p> <p>20. Start forgetting things. Small things, big things, just have a memory like a cargo net. From meetings you should be at, to vital tasks, this is another surefire way to raise the red flag that your time has come.</p> <p>21. Interrupt people, often, and with nothing more to add. That guy who keeps butting in when you&rsquo;re talking, only to basically repeat what you just said, well maybe he&rsquo;s looking for a way out of the door.</p> <p>22. Memorize a bunch of useless quotes and start repeating them whenever possible, especially if they&rsquo;re out of context. You can make quite an impression in a meeting if you&rsquo;re asked for projected sales figures and instead come back with &ldquo;Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.&rdquo;</p> <p>23. Send emails &ldquo;accidentally&rdquo; to the wrong people, revealing facts and figures that should not have been revealed. If the boss gets an email from you that was clearly meant for someone else, and the contents are less than flattering, that will certainly be a red mark against you. You can also send pointless or personal emails to the whole company instead of just friends, like a funny youtube video or your own ad for a garage sale.</p> <p>24. Be messy. Stop cleaning up after yourself in the break room. Miss the trash can when you throw things away. Leave your office or cubicle looking like the aftermath of a twister. Untidy is one thing. Being a slob is quite another.</p> <p>25. Use the office equipment for personal use, including job searching (obviously not the actual one you&rsquo;re going to). It may even be prudent to leave your resume in the photocopier. And make plenty of personal calls, preferably talking loudly while doing so.</p> <p>26. Do not keep secrets. If the boss tells you something private and personal, and asks you to keep your mouth shut, you may want to let that one slip out.</p> <p>27. Start parking in the reserved spots. It will really bug those people who think a reserved car parking spot is important, and they will most likely be in charge.</p> <p>28. Become a prankster on a daily basis. Whoopee cushions under chairs in the meeting rooms. Fart gas. Glue on the phones. Once is enough, but when you keep doing it you become a disruptive pain.</p> <p>So there you have it; some advice to follow, and even more advice to avoid. Do you have any more tips? Do you think anyone trying to get laid off is just asking for trouble? Let us know. And remember, this is not advice for most of us &mdash; just the few people who desperately want an exit strategy.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">12 Reasons You Deserve to Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">12 Ways You&#039;re Being a Terrible Employee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">5 Online Tools to Help You Land a Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Fired? Here&#039;s How to Keep It From Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How to Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building benefits downsizing fired How-To Guide hr pink slip severance Fri, 23 Oct 2009 15:00:03 +0000 Paul Michael 3746 at What should you do when you are asked to repay an overpayment of severance? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-should-you-do-when-you-are-asked-to-repay-an-overpayment-of-severance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>TechCrunch recently reported that the software giant Microsoft<a href=""> made mistakes on the severances</a> it paid to its laid off workers. As a result, Microsoft sent out letters to an unknown amount of employees asking for a repayment of the overage. This<a href=""> has happened before</a> in many other companies, and it is bound to happen again in the current economic climate.&nbsp; So what should a laid off worker do when his or her former employer comes knocking for the money paid by mistake?</p> <p>First of all, you should look over your severance package and see how many weeks or months you are supposed to be paid.&nbsp; If you do have a formal severance agreement in writing then it is fairly easy to figure out if your former employer made a mistake or not.&nbsp; A formal&nbsp; severance contract also makes it hard for you to keep the extra money if they did make a mistake.&nbsp; You should also check if the amount of money your ex-employer is demanding is correct, because there is no guarantee that they are not mistaken about the overage.&nbsp; If it is truly a clerical error the honest thing to do would be to return the money that was overpaid. If you find that you are actually not overpaid then you should respond to your ex-employer in writing with your calculations.&nbsp; A professional accountant could also help here in determining&nbsp; the exact amount of severance you are supposed to be getting.</p> <p>It gets a bit tricky when there is no formal severance package because the severance you get is&nbsp; completely arbitrary.&nbsp; In this case it would just be mean spririted for a company to pay you a severance in a certain amount and then demand back a big chunk based on an error that may or may not be a mistake. It is questionable whether or not you have to pay the money back in this scenario because you are no longer an employee and the company cannot do much to you if they cannot reasonably prove that you owe them money.&nbsp; It also may not be worthwhile for them to file a civil suit for a small amount of money since lawyers may cost a lot more than the money they overpaid you.</p> <p>If you do end up paying money back to a former employer you should also make sure that your tax statements are adjusted correctly.&nbsp; It is possible that the overpayment might add to your tax burden if your W-2 is not adjusted&nbsp; for the money you repaid.</p> <p>If you have already spent the money that you are supposed to pay back then it is possible to work out a repayment plan with your old company, but both parties have to agree to the plan and you should make sure you get credited for the repayment somehow.&nbsp; It is tough to repay money you do not have when you are unemployed, and hopefully your ex-employer understands this.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>The bottom line is that this is a sticky situation that should not happen at all.&nbsp; I would definitely consult with some professionals about this if you are asked to pay a very large sum of money back.&nbsp; If this happened to me I probably would not pay the money back&nbsp; until I make sure that it was truly a mistake.&nbsp; Some Microsoft employees have expressed that Microsoft should just overlook the mistake and let them keep the money.&nbsp; What do you think should happen and what would you do in this scenario?<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The Federal Minimum Wage Increases This Week - Are You Getting a Pay Raise?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Book Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Financial Aid for College (Second Edition)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Depressing Jobs That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Replacing a Crappy Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income Consumer Affairs jobs Mistakes severance Mon, 23 Feb 2009 08:51:35 +0000 Xin Lu 2863 at