Being offered a new job is great. However when it comes to signing your contract there are things all employees should look for. The last thing you want to do is to see you have a good salary, sign the contract, and then find out you are working here, there and everywhere with varying hours, all because your contract stated so and you were unaware because you didnt read it fully.
So, what are the main things to focus on before signing your contract?
Salary, Benefits and Bonuses
Make sure you check to see your salary which should reflect on what has been already stated to you. But also check to see what benefits you are entitled to. For example, pension, car, health cover and so on. Also check what bonuses you have and what you need to do to achieve them if they are not garanteed. If it is based on performance, check to see what you must do to make sure you can reach these objectives.
Job Title and Responsibilities
This is a very important subject that can not be ignored when reading your contract. This will define what your exact role will be, including what duties are expected from you. The broader your role is, the more flexible your employer must be in order for you to take on more work. Make sure you check that your job description suitably reflects the role you are applying for. And does not seem to impose added resposibilities that you cannot or do not want to do!
You must check what is written on your contract regarding your working hours. Do not agree with a working pattern stated on your contract that you will later regret! Check that it will be something you can commit to and if you cannot, then present the reasons why and try to negotiate with your employer to see if something is possible. Main things to lookout for are if there are any shift patterns, if you are required to work weekends or evening and if you are required to do overtime on frequent basis. To clarify, make sure it is something you can commit to before signing.
You do not have the complete choice when taking holidays and it will always be approved by your emloyer. The things you really need to check are whether you are prevented from taking holidays at certain times of the year, due to high volumes of work. Whether there is an enitlement to roll over any untaken holidays into the following year. Also understand when your holiday year runs from, to help you keep track on how many days you have left.
Just make sure you read carefully your contract before signing it and highlight the uncertanties with your employer.