by Steff Gelston

How to Negotiate a Severance Deal, Catch up on Tweets and Promote Your Work to Your Boss

May 11, 20094 mins

Quick tips from how to negotiate a severance deal to the best way to self-promote your work to your boss.

It’s nearly impossible to think clearly when you’re being laid off. Naturally, this is the worst time to consider a legally binding contract: the severance package that your employer may want you to sign, says Martha I. Finney, author of Rebound: A Proven Plan for Starting Over After Job Loss. It’s important to understand any severance package, says Finney. “Signing that severance package right then and there could cost you many thousands of dollars,” she writes in Rebound.

More on

3 Quick Tips for Negotiating a Severance Agreement

Twitter Tips: How To Search Twitter Smarter

Self-Promotion at Work: 8 Tips for Shy People

You owe it to yourself to review any severance deal and try to negotiate for more if you’re unsatisfied. You have much to gain, especially if you keep in mind the following tips.

1.Stay Calm. Acting angry could blow your chances of getting severance pay. In Rebound, Finney quotes an attorney who says employers have been known to call a loud voice “workplace violence,” which could give them cause to fire you on the spot. So long, severance.

2. Ask questions. Take notes on what management tells you about your layoff. Ask your boss or HR representative such questions as, “What’s your reasoning behind this?” and “Why am I part of the group being laid off?” Says Finney, “If you’re asking them questions, you’re forcing them to go off script. That’s when they could say something that could serve your purposes later.”

3. Take your time.You have a legal right not to sign then and there no matter what the company tells you, says Finney. She suggests telling your employer that you’re going to take the contract home to review it or talk about it with your spouse. Carefully reviewing the document lets you determine whether you have any leverage, she adds. “There are so many reasons to delay signing a document like this,” says Finney. For example, if you’re being laid off toward the end of the month and you’re able to delay your termination date by a few days into the following month, you may be eligible for an extra month of health insurance, notes Finney. To read more, click here.

-Meredith Levinson

Catching up on Tweets

Missed a tweet from the boss­­­? Have no fear: Twitter’s people search can quickly help you find tweets from a person, to a person or referencing a person. To catch up on missed tweets, try these shortcuts using a people search on the main Twitter search bar. When you use the search bars in the advanced search feature, you don’t need to put the @ sign in front of the person’s name.

Type: @lancearmstrong. Twitter will search for: tweets referencing Lance Armstrong’s Twitter handle.

Type: from:lancearmstrong. Twitter will search for: tweets from Lance Armstrong.

Type: to:lancearmstrong. Twitter will search for: all tweets directed at Lance Armstrong (messages that put his name at the front of the tweet). To read more, click here.

-C.G. Lynch

Promoting your work to the boss

Unless you’re a narcissist, self-promotion isn’t an instinctive behavior. But nowadays, it can be a key to self-preservation at the office. Leadership experts say how you promote your work should mirror the tone and style of your audience in a way that’s comfortable for you. For example, says Russ Edelman, author of Nice Guys Can Get the Corner Office, if your boss is a charismatic leader, your self-promotional efforts should match his energy and dynamism. If you act humbly, you may not make your point. Similarly, watch out for situations in which it would be inappropriate to discuss your accomplishments. So if you earned a promotion the same day a layoff was announced inside your organization, it’s not a good idea to talk about your promotion that day, says Peggy Klaus, a workplace communication and leadership expert. To read more, click here.

-Meredith Levinson