Author Topic: Laid off - How to negotiate my last two months of work on this job?  (Read 3001 times)

farmstache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Brazil
Hello, guys,

This is more of a question about negotiating than really about finances, but both things will be involved.

Our team here was recently closed. The other two people working with me (my seniors) were sent off immediately (they will not come back from the end-of-year vacations), but I was asked if I wanted to work an extra two months to help transitioning our functions to the team that will now gain our work as an extra responsibility (and where they are hiring one more person).

This was basically the email I got (after a phone call explaining it not so well to me):

Quote
We will not be renewing your agreement with our company in 2014.
You have been offered a 2-month contract for January and February with the main brand working with the mkt team.
The team manager will contact you at her earliest opportunity to discuss the role.
If you choose not to move forward with the main brand contract we will close out your access to the systems on December 31st and offer you a 2-month thank you bonus equivalent to 2 months of your contract fees.

I'm not an actual employee, I'm a contractor, so usual benefits don't apply.

So, it seems like the initial offer is: you can either work 2 extra months being paid, or get the money and not work. It was also the impression I got on the phone. Obviously, I want to negotiate this in a way that even if I work the 2 months I still get the "free" money.

I do want to work at least one extra month, because I feel in my heart of hearts that it will throw all of my team's work in the trash if we don't transition, it might also be bad for our personal images (or maybe just mine since they don't get to choose), and I simply think it's the right thing to do.

At the same time, in the two days after I got the news, I already lined up so many possible opportunities (and at least 1 very tangible one) that it feels like I'm wasting time by giving this company two extra months of me. On the other hand, it's 2 extra months of a good level of income which I might not be able to reach in such short time (or a long time if I go back to my graduation area of architecture - mkt pays so much better). I'm actually eager and excited to go back to architecture and I am owing my father two designs of houses he will build starting in february, so it's not like any time off work will go to waste. I do believe I'm deciding from a position of strength. We can also survive on my SO's salary alone if needed by tightening just a bit our spend.

I don't know how much they need me there, but I think it's not so little that anything I ask extra will be met with denial and goodbyes. The single person in the mkt team I'm joining is due to go on maternity leave in march, and they are hiring a new person to both work with her and fill her role for maternity leave. She has never worked with my brand and knows nothing of our processes. It's not impossible to start from no knowledge (my team did), but an extra person there for two months will certainly help.

So, the numbers:

My contract for 2013 said I was to earn USD 1350 per month, for part-time work. In november and december I earned USD 2500 each due to one of the team members leaving in maternity leave, and I worked full-time (yeah, lacked negotiation skills there). I'm almost sure my "bonus" will be for the part-time amount (so I should get $2700 as a bonus per standard) that is the contract fee.
I'm not sure they want me to work full time or part time, so I'd work with the two scenarios.

Right now, I work(ed) 2km from home, and went most days by foot. Still, I was reimbursed of about $40 a month of gas and whatever taxis I needed to take for work. The new place will be really far away, (though near the subway). My commute will take about an hour each way (killer! >.<), and will cost daily about $3. I also worked only in the afternoons before, and even while full time I telecommuted most mornings, thus I didn't have to eat at work. This should add some new expenses to my routine (well, if I wasn't mustachian), maybe $8 a day, that I'm thinking they should maybe bill if I was to work full-time. So, considering a 20 work-day month: $60 + $240. Plus I'd expect to be reimbursed in any extra transportation. I would also like to see if I'm able to telecommute a few days a week (the whole day), at least 2.

Now, full-time vs part-time. Honestly, I'm really tempted to ask to go part-time. And maybe not everyday part time (4h30 per day), but 3 full days a week, so I have 2 days totally free for other projects. This would take a toll on my income. What do you think?

So, my question is: how do I write a nice, polite, not entitled, and down to earth offer to my employers? Should I offer a value for these 2 months + the recision bonus? Do you think I should ask for anything extra besides the transportation + food coverage? If so, why?

This is extremely important to me because I know I'm a terrible negotiator, and I'm looking at this as a great opportunity to try and test this (new) skill. Specially good from a position of strength where I won't be extremely sorry to get a "no, bye" for an answer. I do believe I can help them greatly in this transition and would love to do so, but it's not *necessary*.

Also, it has been hinted that if the team leader likes my work she might want to hire me for her team. However, I really am expecting to move to another city in May (my SO is just waiting to be called on a job offer), so I don't see a future there, but a dear friend of mine mentioned that I can only know after working there and who knows, I might love it enough and earn enough to change my mind.

goodlife

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Laid off - How to negotiate my last two months of work on this job?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 12:32:22 PM »
I would definitely call them and "clarify" whether you will get your 2 months redundancy bonus even if you still work for the extra two months. If they say no, then I wouldn't take it if I were you. If they say yes, then ask them when the bonus will be paid. If they say they will pay it after you work those extra two months, then I would ask them to get that in writing. If they still pay it out right away, then great. As for the reimbursement of transportation costs etc., definitely ask for it. In a way, you have nothing to lose, so just draw up a proposal to present to them. Good luck!

farmstache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Brazil
Re: Laid off - How to negotiate my last two months of work on this job?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 03:44:16 PM »
I would definitely call them and "clarify" whether you will get your 2 months redundancy bonus even if you still work for the extra two months. If they say no, then I wouldn't take it if I were you. If they say yes, then ask them when the bonus will be paid. If they say they will pay it after you work those extra two months, then I would ask them to get that in writing. If they still pay it out right away, then great. As for the reimbursement of transportation costs etc., definitely ask for it. In a way, you have nothing to lose, so just draw up a proposal to present to them. Good luck!

It's a good idea to ask for the 2 months bonus in advance even if I work the extra 2 months.

Thanks, I guess I'll draw a proposal. It seems after writing the whole situation here, things are more clear for me regarding what I want. But I'm still a bit afraid of coming out too entitled, you know? I never really negotiated anything to get more money. :-/

goodlife

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Laid off - How to negotiate my last two months of work on this job?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2013, 11:31:29 AM »
Don't overthink it...I am sure people do this all the time, they are probably used to it! And like you said, you have nothing to lose at all. Even if they say "no, see ya later", that's alright, then you just take your 2 months severance and that's it!