Don’t Be Side-Swiped by a Buyout

Posted January 30, 2009 by

With various sectors of our economy falling apart left and right, many businesses are closing, or cutting back at the very least. As a result, thousands of employees each month are being let go.
Some of the businesses that have been around longer are handling the need to let employees go by asking them to take a voluntary buyout package, which usually involves a hefty compensation package. Depending on the person, this could be good or bad. If you have been, or are about to be, offered a voluntary buyout package, take some time to learn the pros and cons. This way, you won’t feel side-swiped by the request.
Are They Offering Enough Money?
Not that you’re setting out to be greedy, but they are asking you to leave the company, right? This means you need to make sure that you and your family will be well taken care of until you can find another job. Some companies offer employees two week’s pay for each year of service. For some, this adds up quite nicely. But does it measure up to the amount you could receive if you just stuck around and retired (that is, if your job will last that long)?
If you really think that leaving might be the best option, but you’re not sure if you like the buyout amount they’re offering, you may want to inquire about additional money owed. This might include making sure that you have money equivalents for unused vacation and sick days thrown into the package. Depending on what you have leftover, this could beef up your package quite nicely.
Will You Lose Your Seniority?
Another question to ask yourself when contemplating whether to take the buyout package is will you lose your seniority? Some companies will offer a large sum to employees they would like to buyout. But the downside to that is that when the employee tries to acquire another job, they will have to start at ground zero. For someone who has put in over 25 years at one establishment, this prospect can be very disheartening. This is especially true when taking into consideration that your job downsizing may mean the rest of the industry may be doing the very same thing. You want to make sure that the money you receive will be worth losing your seniority at best, and eliminating your prospect of a new job at worst.

Is It Worth Sticking Around?

Finally, before you turn down a buyout package flat, think about whether it’s worth sticking around. If the company is going out of business soon, and stock prices are falling, you may want to snatch the amount they offer before you lose your chance at such a high amount in the future. Determining the fate of the company will take some research on your part. But it will be well worth it to gather the insight you’ll need to make the best decision for your financial well-being.
Before you agree to accept any type of voluntary buyout package, you will want to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help you decide whether leaving is worth it. And also show whether the numbers that the company is offering (which may seem impressive) are really enough.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. Need a resume writing service? Compare the top ones in the industry at http://www.resumelines.com.

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