Tips for Executives Facing an Employment Offer or Termination

Whether you have received an employment offer or a termination notice, you are facing the chaos of making complex personal and professional decisions. This is your life — it is not simply a business deal — and your family and your future depend on the outcome.

Determine Your Vision For The Future

When faced with a career-changing event, start by taking stock of your situation. What brings you to this day? What is your ideal outcome and what does a happy ending look like for you?

Many factors impact the decision to accept a new career opportunity. Consider how these elements will affect your personal and professional life:

  • Long-term incentives
  • Non-compete and non-solicitation clauses
  • Relocation
  • Remote work arrangements
  • Severance policy
  • Sign-on bonus to replace compensation lost when you leave your employer voluntarily

Devise A Strategy

As an executive, you are accustomed to being in control. Now, with a separation agreement or an offer in hand, you are uncertain about the future. As you face this chaotic period, you are called upon to make major decisions rapidly. It is crucial to separate your emotions from business reality.

As you develop next steps, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who has the authority to make decisions regarding the terms of my employment or separation Agreement?
  • Should I be talking to anyone in my company with whom I have a personal relationship?
  • Is there a pending change in control that will affect my alternatives?
  • As you consider these questions, you will develop a clearer sense of how to achieve your ideal outcome. If you opt to partner with an attorney, being able to communicate these details — as well as the events leading up to your offer or termination — will be crucial.

Find An Advocate

You might consider working with an experienced attorney who will answer your questions and suggest solutions, offer vigorous advocacy, ongoing strategy, negotiation frameworks and legal support for the challenges you confront.

An attorney will help you anticipate and avoid common pitfalls, determine the best outcome, negotiate to achieve it, and provide the confidence to make crucial decisions to launch your new career. In other scenarios, a lawyer may litigate in support of the benefits and compensation you earned.

Even if you feel confident negotiating your own employment or severance agreement, leveraging the experience of an attorney knowledgeable about current compensation trends and tax implications will highlight opportunities to improve your current terms. When you have a strong strategy — and a team well acquainted with the intricacies of employment and separation agreements — it becomes more likely that you will achieve your desired outcome.

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