Reading your employment contract might be the last thing on your mind after that long-awaited phone call or email. But, sad as it is you need to stop your victory dance and keep your cool. It is important to ask a few questions before signing on the dotted line.
Job title and responsibilities
This is vital to ask about because it defines your exact role and what responsibilities your employer can and cannot ask of you. The broader the job description, the more scope your employer has to ask you to take on more work. Make sure that the job description mirrors the role you are applying for and doesn’t have responsibilities in it that you are not able to do or want to do. Make certain that the job title is correct. If it’s a manager’s position, then you don’t want the job title stating that you are an executive.
Ask about working hours and flexibility
Of course, you will need to know what your working hours are going to be. It’s not as simple as finding out that you will work normal office hours, Monday to Friday. You need to find out how flexible these set hours can be. Is it possible to leave work early to drop the kids to music lessons and make up the hours the following morning?
Besides asking about the flexibility of the role, you should also find out if you must work at weekends at any time. Will there be overtime required when there are big projects? Do you get paid more for overtime? Do you get the time back in your holidays?
Place of Work
If you have agreed to work in other offices and locations or even abroad your company will be well within their rights to ask you to relocate even if you don’t want to. So, make sure to ask about this before you take the role. If working from home is something that has been agreed upon then make sure it is stated on your contract. Your entitlements to a redundancy package could be affected if you reject to work in a new location even though you agreed to it in your contract.
Salary & bonuses
Starting out in the job is the best time at which to discuss your salary. Some industries can be rigid when deciding how your offer compares to the average. Try and figure out where you stand on the scale and make a decision on the basis that you’re happy with it.
Once you are happy with the salary, then discuss bonuses and progression. Find out if bonuses are guaranteed or discretionary. It may seem a bit overconfident to ask, but ask if there are opportunities to move up in the company and is there goals you have to strive towards. Is it to move forward in the company or is the position going to lead you to leave the company to get better career progression?
You should clarify with the company about your holiday allowance and when you can take them. Clarify if there are any periods in which you are not allowed to take holidays because it could be the busiest time of the year. Some companies automatically deduct holidays for the Christmas period. You should clarify whether or not you are allowed to carry any unused holiday days over to the following year.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can accept or decline the job offer. You know that you’ve made the most knowledgeable decision possible. Even if opportunities in your line of work are few and far between you don’t have to take just any role that comes your way. At the end of the day, it’s worth finding a job that’ll truly be a good fit for you and won’t have you job searching again a few months down the line.