Years and years of study and work go into building a successful career. But how much time will you put into studying your employment contract?
Unfortunately, if you don’t know what’s in the “fine print,” then your compensation, job satisfaction and job security could be jeopardized.
Here are mistakes to avoid before signing an employment contract.
Not having a professional read and interpret the contract. For most people in your position, it’s reckless to not have an experienced employment lawyer analyze the contract. Many people make the mistake of skimming the contract and not taking the time to understand what the contract says and means. The only “outside counsel” they receive is having their spouse “look at” the contract.
This can be a costly mistake, because there could be contract terms you want to change regarding: compensation, medical insurance, professional liability insurance, non-compete clauses and more.
Not thinking about your personal and professional goals. What do you want to do at work each day? How many hours do you want to work each week? When do you want to retire? If you haven’t answered these questions, then it’s impossible to know if you’ll be happy with the employment contract and happy in the job.
Not understanding professional liability insurance. Liability insurance is especially important if you’re a doctor; the terms of the employment contract can have a significant impact on your income. “Tail insurance” is an example. Tail insurance covers a doctor for claims that are made after you’ve left your employer. Tail insurance is expensive, and if the contract you have to pay for all of it, it can take a big bite out of your income.
Assuming this is the perfect job and you’ll never want to leave. Amid the euphoria of landing what appears to be the perfect job, many people pay no attention to clauses that deal with termination. Notice requirements are an example. If the employment contract says you must give 18-month notice, you might have a severe problem in the event you want to leave.
Not being willing to walk away. If you’re not willing to walk away from an employment negotiation, then you weaken your bargaining power and make yourself vulnerable to accepting terms that you may regret.
Do you have questions?
If you have questions about employment contracts, contact an attorney who has experience with this area of the law.