This word can shake, rattle or roll you! It’s a fact of life today that people are terminated due to many underlying business circumstance. In fact, I have worked with a few clients who pray to be terminated so they can add to their investments with a handsome severance.
Depending on the country or even geographic regions within countries, termination packages can vary dramatically. In some cases, the severance for long tenures can be sadly very low. On the other hand, severances can be very generous, not as much as they use to be, with the so-called golden handshake, but still can be very fiscally rewarding.
Beware though, this money can be exhausted fast! I’ve seen it many times where clients have taken their very substantial termination package and partied around the world. Then, suddenly, reality settles in and the bank balance is depleted. Furthermore, as that balance approaches zero, they haven’t thought for one minute about their career management, their job search plan, let alone have an up-to-date ATS friendly resume and a compelling, fully completed LinkedIn profile. Now, the panic sets in. They feel stranded, somewhat alone, somewhat foolish and in an air of desperation is shown in their demeanor, dialogue and daily life.
A severance is just to tie you over until your next opportunity. It is not a license to spend liberally, it’s a hint that perhaps you should take a little while off to refresh but also to plan and execute a job search without the financial pressure and desperation.
All too often, I have seen senior business leaders from across the world, who a year or two earlier, received a very welcoming and substantial package come to me with less than a month on their severance and expect to pull the genie out of the bottle and win their next challenge in a vastly reduced time frame.
Severance does work for you but doesn’t work for you when you watch that bank balance drop close to zero!