Everyone wants to move up in the world and get a bigger and better job that they enjoy and that pays more. However, people really must be careful when those supposedly great opportunities come along. They do not want to sign a job contract before they really understand everything that it contains as well as how elements or phrasing in the contract could affect them down the line.
Understand the Contract
Read the entire contract and make sure you actually understand everything that it contains. Everything should be clear, but that is not always the case. While it might seem easy enough to read a contract, they can often have fine print that can be rather confusing. The best option is to consult with an attorney who understands contract law. He or she can go over the contract to make sure there are no unfavorable, or illegal, clauses or demands in them. Check this great article from regarding the clauses you should never be without your contract
What Is the Salary?
Know the salary for the job. Some jobs, such as sales, might be commission based, either fully or partially, and anyone who signs on to a company will want to know this before joining. Know whether you will receive a flat salary for the year, or if you are receiving hourly pay. The contract should also state how the company compensates for overtime for hourly employees.
Know the Demands
What type of work will you do at the company? You want to know what they will demand of you and what work you are supposed to do. Those who sign on to work in sales will want to know if part of their expected duties would be running the front desk area for part of the day as well. The contract should give you an idea of exactly what you will be doing at the company. Check this great infographic showing the demand in IT contracting jobs.
What are the grounds for termination at the company? Firing offenses may not always be the same from one company to another. The contract should outline their termination policies, and it may outline their punishment policies for various types of behavior, such as chronic tardiness.
In some industries, it is actually common to have non-competition clauses, which might prohibit you from working for another competing company for a certain period after you leave. If there is a non-competition clause that seems very prohibitive, it might be a good idea to talk about it before signing the contract.
Benefits of the Company
What types of benefits might you expect if you sign onto the company? Do they offer health benefits? What is the sick time and vacation time? While these are not questions you might normally ask in an interview, all of the details of employment need to be in the contract.
Never sign a job contract just because it seems like a good idea at the moment, and never sign it after a lunch with the boss where you may have had a glass or two of wine. Always try to distance yourself emotionally when you look over the contract.
Ben is a freelancer contractor advisor currently staying in Cyprus. He enjoys helping young entrepreneurs with their freelancing business contracts