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what does this phrase mean in changing a job ?

 
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Couple of weeks ago I just changed a job and submitted resignation letter.  Some Coworkers knew that I was about to leave, and one of them emailed me: "Heard you are leaving,  Good luck, hope your parachute  is golden."  I was little bit confused.  I thought usually when employee is fired or laid off, the company paid the employee some severance package and that's called parachute and, if the package is very good it is called golden...  Is my understanding correct ?   Do you use "golden parachute" for people who voluntarily quit their jobs ?
 
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As Wikipedia says:

A golden parachute is an agreement between a company and an employee (usually an upper executive) specifying that the employee will receive certain significant benefits if employment is terminated. These may include severance pay, cash bonuses, stock options, or other benefits.



I'm assuming you aren't in that category.    As for voluntary or involuntary termination, I suppose that depends on what the employee's contract says. You would think that an upper executive would negotiate a contract which persuades the company not to fire them, because of the cost of the golden parachute. But in these days of extravagant executive compensation, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that there are contracts which provide the golden parachute no matter why the employment was terminated.
 
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For executives it's not uncommon to get a golden parachute even when fired, odd as that may sound. A friend of mine got a significant cash sum recently when he quit of his own accord, and he was by no means an executive. So it can happen even in unusual situations. But most often for executives a company wants to get rid off quickly and without a fight. It avoids lengthy and potentially embarrassing termination lawsuits.
 
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Tim Moores wrote:For executives it's not uncommon to get a golden parachute even when fired, odd as that may sound.



That's the origin of the term, actually. You got kicked out of the plane, but they were kind enough to provide you with a parachute - unlike the grunt employees, who typically just get pushed out of the hatch at 35000 feet.

And it's "golden" because it's ridiculously large.

Ordinary people get severance pay - if they are lucky. These folks get a cushioned ride.

Being  part of the top tier in modern business means that you can earn more as a total failure than most people could earn in ten, if not a hundred lifetimes.
 
Jack Mutansan
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I am just an ordinary employee so there was no such golden stuff...   So I think that email to me was more like a joke.  Now I can only guess that person might think I was terminated instead of voluntarily leave...
 
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Take it as a plain simple joke. Nothing else intended.
 
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