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If and when you get called into that dreaded meeting, you need to be ready to negotiate your severance package, and to do that, you need to do some research beforehand, says Stacy Francis, a financial planner in New York. "If you have even a whiff of possibly being laid off, start to find out what type of severance packages are out there in your industry. This is something people are willing to talk about, and you want to understand the typical range so you know if you're getting a good deal or if you should ask for more."

Employers expect you to negotiate, so long as you do it professionally. If you're unsure what to ask for, consult an employment attorney before signing on the dotted line.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.

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