Career Counselling – Employment Contracts – All That Glitters Is Not Gold!

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Employment Contracts and Service Agreement – Should you proceed or reject the offer… read more below


In your career and your life it is a wise person that remembers – “All That Glitters Is Not Gold”.

Sometimes we get so lost in the glitter that we forget about the practicalities and fail to dig a little deeper and read between the lines of an employment contract or service agreement (if you are self-employed and contracting your services out to another organisation).

Thus, it is important to ask yourself and ponder a few basic questions (for example but not limited to): –

• Will this position or service agreement make me happy, will it fulfill me professionally or add considerable additional stress to your life?

• If this position will not make you happy then why are you taking on this position or project? Is it that you feel you need to prove yourself to others, are you desperate for work, money, prestige, recognition, to prove something to naysayers etc

• If you undertake this position or contract what will your life look like for the term of the contract or the foreseeable future – can you visualise this in your mind’s eye? Remember each choice you make has consequences – positive and negative – explore these.

• How realistic is the time-frame of the project or the responsibilities of the position?

• Is the remuneration (pay rate) in keeping with industry norms for the position and level or responsibility and/or as a service provider will you make a profit in relation to your services? What does your labour market research say?

• What resources and/or support structures do you have in place or will have to help you on the job if need be?

• When you were interviewed with the organisation or spoke to the service providers representatives – did they provide you with timely responses to your questions in a clear and concise manner or did they use avoidance strategies and string you along, making you wait for weeks on end? What was your first and subsequent impression of the people you would be working with on a regular basis – do you trust them to do the right thing by you as an employee or contractor?

• When you close your eyes and give yourself some quiet time to ponder this opportunity – what does your instinct – gut say for example are you left with a sense of excitement at the prospect of this employment contract or service agreement; or does something not feel right – like someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes?

When considering an employment or project agreement take your time to contemplate the pros and the cons. Simply sit, breathe in and out and ponder the above questions and how the presented opportunity will impact you; remember whilst you may hope for the best (oh this will be a great opportunity for me etc) you also need to consider the practicalities and the potential negatives and the impact they can possible have on you and your career or life in order to make an informed decision.

Morale of the Story: – Only you know what is best for you, do not be pressured into conforming to the expectations of others if the position or contract does not feel right for you; and before you agree or reject an offer sit down with someone you trust and discuss the pros, cons and concerns you may have and finally renegotiate the contract with the employer or service provider if you feel it is in your best interest to do so.

About the Author: – Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW.  Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia and Australian Association for Psychological Type. Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.

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