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6 things to look for in an employment contract

You have reached a point in your career where you are more than an employee. Companies come to you with contracts when they want your services.

It is absolutely critical that you understand exactly what benefits the contract offers. Below are six things you should look for:

  1. Job security: Does the contract protect you from being fired? How much warning should you get and what steps need to be followed if you are going to be terminated?
  2. Reasons for termination: Make sure these are as specific as possible. When things are open-ended, you may not have the security that you want.
  3. End dates and start dates: Is the contract going to last until you resign or get fired? Or will you only work for the company for a specific time, at the end of which, you'll have to negotiate a new contract?
  4. Exclusive employment clauses: If you sign the deal, are you only allowed to work for that company? If you do freelance work on the side -- for a charity you're involved with, for instance -- do you run the risk of getting fired?
  5. The full compensation package: Do not just look at the monthly or yearly pay. Check out retirement benefits, health care options and more.
  6. Your status if the company is sold: Are the new owners obligated to keep you on, or can they fire you and start over with a new staff? Do you get any compensation if the company is sold and you lose your job?

Contracts are binding. Never sign one without proper consideration. Ensure that you know all of your rights and options under the new deal.

Source: Monster, "10 Considerations Before Signing an Employment Contract," John Rossheim, accessed April 11, 2018

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