So for us common managers who have done well but have yet to reach that level in our careers where we have pre negotiated severance packages, there are a couple of things that you can do to mimic the big boys and girls in building a safety net in case you need to exit stage left in your current assignment.
First, never ever stop updating the resume. Think of your resume as your passport, without it you will not be able to travel very far so keep it relevant and updated with the latest accomplishments and buzzwords.
Typical severance packages favor longevity which is quickly becoming a thing of the past so you will have to supplement that small severance package with 6 to 9 months of your net salary so start saving now. Do not rely on your 401k or retirement funds because you will end up paying a hefty toll to the IRS.
Sign on bonuses are not easy to negotiate however, companies are well aware that most senior managers are bonus eligible in the December to April range and the timing of payouts typically line up with recruiting and hiring spurts since budgets have been approved and departments start the recruiting process during the 1st quarter of the year. Try and time your pursuit to ensure that you can secure your bonus from your present employer which extends your savings and allows more time to pursue opportunities.
This may sound disingenuous but always keep your eye on the next job. Remember, that joining another company is like deciding to date someone new. It feels good at first because everyone is putting their best foot forward, but what if something goes wrong or you find out that you had too many blinders on in making the decision. There is nothing wrong with having an if then scenario in case you find that the job you were promised never existed. In short order, never take a job without having an idea of where the next one might come from.
About the Author Gary Garris has spent twenty plus years working in the insurance and financial services arena leading voice of the customer and sales initiatives. He has a well-rounded operational background in underwriting, sales, auditing, claims and application development. Gary has a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and received his Master’s degree from Thomas Edison College. Gary is the author of Odd Man Out Fighting for Visibility in Corporate America. You can contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org.