Congratulations! You’ve bagged your dream job, negotiated your way to a brilliant salary, and you’re ready to sign on the dotted line…but wait!
Before you sign your employment contract there are a few things that you need to check out, so stop your celebratory dancing and pay attention to these five points.
1. Your job description
Yes, yes you know what job you interviewed for but have you stopped to read the fine print? Your contract should give a brief outline of the work that you will be carrying out every day and where you will be working from.
Your remit should be clear from the get-go. Will you be working in one location or required to travel? What will your average day look like? If it is not precise you may find yourself doing things that you don’t want to or your workload may be too intense.
2. Your salary
You should always check your salary. It might sound basic but hiring managers are usually juggling a few new starters at any one time so sometimes mistakes are made.
You should know exactly how and when you will be paid. This section may also detail additional incentives like bonuses and travel expenses. Read these sections carefully so you know what you are due.
You probably won’t be thinking about holidays straight away but it is important to know what you are entitled to. Your contract should detail how many days of holidays you are allowed to take per year. It should state whether or not you can carry holiday days over into the following year. Some employers will outline certain periods when you can not take holidays e.g. during the busy Christmas period for hospitality staff.
Your contract should also state when the calendar year runs from. Is it January to January or March to March for example. You should bear this in mind if you’re planning a trip.
Boring, we know, but it is important especially if you’re in a creative role. Your employer may claim copyright on any work that you produce while you are employed by them, even if it is something that you do in your spare time. So, that passion project you work on every Saturday? Yup, that could belong to your employer if you’re not careful.
5. Your notice
Leaving your job is probably the last thing on your mind right now. After all, you haven’t even properly started but it is something you should take into consideration. A 1-3 month notice period is usually the norm. A notice period that is too long may stop you from being able to secure a new job while a short notice period may not give you enough stability.