Starting a new job means it is time to sign formal documents, including an employment contract. This is your chance to make sure your employer has fairly represented you before you make a formal commitment.
Contracts often contain a lot of content that might overwhelm you. When you know what to look for, you can confidently determine if you should go forward with the job.
Policies regarding time off
Most companies have strict expectations for taking time off. This could include time needed for vacation, recovery from an illness or addressing personal problems. Look for a place where your employer outlines their policies regarding PTO, vacation time and sick leave.
Most companies will require you to sign a form of confidentiality. This includes confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure forms and non-compete agreements, among others. The purpose of these documents is to protect the company from potential conflicts of interest. According to Business News Daily, prior to signing confidentiality agreements, find out if the employer will provide some type of pay during the dark period between jobs.
Benefits and compensation
One of the most important things to get in writing is information regarding your benefits and compensation. Depending on the employer, there might also be a portion that discusses the potential for growth and career development initiatives. There should also be information about bonuses, commissions and overtime pay.
Other parts of an employment contract to look for include a description of your job and performance expectations. Thoroughly reading through your contract will give you clarity prior to making a formal commitment.