There is no better feeling in the world when you get that call from an employer informing you that you got the job – all the stress was worth your while. Now it’s just a matter of signing on the dotted line, but this is by far the most important part of getting the job. So many people don’t read through contracts thoroughly and often don’t know what to expect in their contracts. The job has to always look as good as it sounds. There is always a reason that contracts are as long as essays, it is meant to be read, queried if need be and then only can the ink do the talking.
Below is some good advice to take into consideration before signing your life (and sometimes your sanity) away:
Make sure it is a legally binding document
It is pretty straightforward that a contract includes your terms, your salary, bonus structures etc. but that doesn’t mean that it is necessarily a contract. A contract has to have very specific start and end dates and of course a termination clause. Make sure you lookout for this.
Some contracts have very specific details around termination. If certain KPIs are not fulfilled termination can come into effect etc. Look out for things like automatic termination clauses. Nobody would ever agree to this. Make sure that there is something specific in your contract that both parties need to give 30 days notice for example.
All about the money
When it comes to your salary, things should be pretty straightforward in terms of the amount and when it will be paid into your account. When it comes to things like performance bonuses etc. it can get a little bit more complex. Make sure the terms around this are clear.
In these tough times, most people have some work on the side that they do for extra income. Always make sure that there are no restrictions in your contract that prevent you from doing so. If there is a clause like that, be open and declare your extra work and see if you can negotiate around it. Usually, if it is not a conflict of interest it shouldn’t be a problem.
Negotiate before you sign on the dotted line
It doesn’t matter what a contract looks like, it is always within your right to query certain things and negotiate around it. It is all in the detail and fine print. Don’t get caught up in the pure excitement of getting a new job, make sure that you are covered and that you are happy with your employment terms. An employer needs you just as much as you need them.
Signing a contract doesn’t have to be a daunting experience, just make sure you read, take your time and even get someone to go through it with you as an extra pair of eyes and an objective opinion. Good luck and enjoy that new opportunity!