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Essential considerations before signing a new employment contract

In their excitement about a new job in Florida, some job applicants who receive an employment offer fail to spend enough time on their employment contracts. This can cause big problems once the honeymoon phase of the new job has ended.

Here are some of the things prospective employees should think about before putting pen to paper.

Are employer and employee on the same page?

According to Forbes, one of the most important things an employee can do is ask clarifying questions to make sure that she and her employer both understand the contract the same way. If a compensation plan includes bonuses, they should discuss how those bonuses accrue, how much she can anticipate earning each year and even the circumstances under which she might lose her bonus. Along the same lines, they should work out the fine print on the payment of moving expenses, educational reimbursements and other benefits of the job.

The contract process can be a valuable opportunity to negotiate for better employment terms.

Spell out contingencies, but stay flexible

In its guidance to new physicians embarking on their careers, the American Medical Association recommends thinking to the future before signing an employment contract. This is good advice for anyone. Before a worker signs a contract, she should consider her professional and personal goals for the next decade. The contract need not be so explicit that the parties feel uncomfortable making necessary changes to the workload, responsibilities or schedules as circumstances evolve.

While some details can remain subject to reworking, others are essential to nail down. For professionals, this includes the liability coverage offered by employers. The contract should also clearly describe dispute resolution procedures and the circumstances under which employer and employee can choose to end their relationship. The extra effort spent communicating about these issues now can really pay off in the future. 


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