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How to review an employment contract

When presented with a job offer, it's easy to get so excited that you agree to anything that's requested of you. This includes signing an employment contract before reviewing the finer details.

Here are three things to focus on as you review an employment contract:

  • Job description: This gives a clear overview of the tasks you'll be responsible for upon starting your job. If you don't understand anything in the description, such as a detail that is too vague, ask for clarification.
  • Terms and conditions: If there are specific terms and conditions, such as those associated with receiving severance, make sure you're comfortable with them.
  • Compensation: This is the one area that most people focus on the majority of their time. In addition to your hourly pay or salary, focus on compensation such as bonuses, commission, profit sharing and retirement match.

If everything checks out, make a copy of your employment contract and submit it to the appropriate party.

Conversely, if there is something you don't understand or want to negotiate, consult with your human resources department as to the steps you should take. If you neglect to do this, it could come back to haunt you in the future.

With an employment contract in place, you'll feel much better about your ability to receive everything that's owed to you. This holds true both during your employment, as well as if you're terminated or decide to move on.

If your employer breaches your contract for any reason, learn more about your legal rights and take the necessary steps to protect them.

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