Top Tips For Negotiating Your Employment Contract
A carefully prepared and negotiated employment contract is key to starting off your employment on the right note. The goal of negotiation is to ensure that the agreement reached is one that meets your needs as well as your employer’s. This agreement should extend beyond negotiation of compensation, and encompasses a wide range of factors that if not discussed, can have significant impacts on your happiness within your workplace. Conducting negotiations with an experienced contract lawyer in Melbourne, or any major city, will ensure that you are fully aware of all obligations and requirements under your employment contract.
There are a number of important tips to follow when negotiating employment contracts that will have significant impacts when you commence your employment.
Know your professional worth
Before entering negotiations, it is important to know the average salary for the position in your specific industry. This should be considered alongside your professional worth which involves the consideration of your skills, qualifications, proven results and other individual skills. Having an expectation of your salary with this in mind can ensure that you establish a reasonable minimum salary that you will be willing to accept to ensure that you do not undervalue yourself and accept less than your professional worth.
Understand the elements of a contract
Before signing an employment contract, it is important to have at minimum, a basic understanding of the key elements of a contract. This ensures that the key considerations in an employment contract are very clearly and completely addressed including:
- The compensation package
- Business expenses
- Health insurance and retirement plans
- Paid leave
- Work status (full or part time)
- Moving expenses
While it is easy to be fixated solely on the compensation offered in an employment contract, these other key terms will have long lasting and considerable financial impacts.
Research the employer/practice
Knowing the size of the practice and their need for your services will have an impact on their potential flexibility in negotiating the terms of your contract. Having an understanding of the future direction your employer is heading and any potential career progression that is available should also be addressed in negotiations. Researching the reputation and credibility of the company is also an important step to take before entering negotiations.
Know when to compromise and when to stand firm
Before entering negotiations, it is important to know which terms you are willing to be flexible on and which terms are non negotiable to you. The goal of negotiation is to work together to find a middle ground. In order for this to be achieved however it is important to enter with a firm understanding of the terms you may be willing to sacrifice in order to reach this middle ground.
Take time to consider every offer
If the employer makes the first offer, it is important to ask for time to think over and thoroughly read over the terms of the contract in consultation with an experienced contract lawyer. Whilst an offer can initially seem too low or too high, it is still important to examine the finer details and terms of the contract before it is signed. Seemingly low compensation can be accompanied by extra bonuses or other perks, while a seemingly perfect offer can have finer details that make the contract less appealing.
Consultation with an experienced contract lawyer can ensure that when you sign an employment contract, you are fully aware of each detail and obligation that comprises the contract. Starting your employment with a full understanding of your rights, compensation and expectations will ensure that there are no unexpected surprises that may later affect the relationship between yourself and your employer.
Bio: Laura Costello is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Law/International Relations at Latrobe University. She is passionate about the law, the power of social media, and the ability to translate her knowledge of both common and complex legal topics to readers across a variety of mediums in a way that is easy to understand.
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