Ready to Be Fired -- Before You're Hired

Increasing numbers of job-seekers are asking prospective employers to lay out the severance packages they can expect if things go sour

With the U.S. economy in a lingering funk, the chances of getting the sack seem to rise every day. That's why a growing number of job seekers say they want assurances when they're hired that they'll be taken care of if the day ever comes when they are told to take a hike. Indeed, 63% of some 1,100 prospective hires polled in September and October, 2001, by TrueCareers, an e-cruiting business, said negotiating severance agreements at the outset is an important consideration when taking a job.

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