Contracts may be the most nerve-racking part for physicians during their employment process, as they can significantly affect their working conditions and total compensation. Although you may think you have landed the best job ever, you need to give the contract several thoughts before signing. The good news is that you can always take professional help from contract review specialists to make physician contract negotiations less stressful and more in your favor.
However, you must still play your part and be careful during the contract negotiation process. If you want to know everything about achieving an optimal contract, keep reading this article!
Before You Negotiate
Before you start negotiating the terms and conditions of your employment contract, it’s essential to sit down and think carefully about what matters to you most. For instance, are you looking for higher pay? Do you want career advancement? Or, is it essential for you to have a work-life balance?
Asking such questions will allow you to prioritize your terms, i.e., you will be able to tell what points are deal-makers or deal-breakers. Prioritizing will help you only negotiate the terms that mean the most to you and leave out the least important ones to not cause inconvenience for the potential employer.
It’s also imperative for you to communicate effectively with your future employer. Whatever questions you have in your mind, be open and ask them with a positive attitude. Clarifying queries from them will help in modifying the contract that is most suitable for you, and they will also be more inclined towards amending it according to your preferences based on your interest.
How to Negotiate
Most physicians shy away from negotiating with their prospective employers and feel like they are asking way too much, which may lead to losing spectacular job opportunities.
However, you must know that most employers expect you to negotiate the terms. If you don’t negotiate the contract, chances are you will be settling for less, which may lead you to look for another job after a few years.
Here are some tips to help you effectively negotiate with your future employer to achieve an optimal contract:
1. Make It Comfortable for the Employer
You should make it easier for the employer to negotiate the terms in regard to communication. For example, you must ask them if they prefer online or face-to-face communication.
Some aspects may require you to understand their body language and act accordingly. Let’s say if their body language tells you that they want to get straight to the point, you should do so without frustrating them.
2. Justify Your Demands
Whether you’re asking for extra money or added benefits, you must also provide a reason to your potential employer for that. That reason could be related to your experience, the location of your soon-to-be job, or the timings of your services. Whatever it is, justifying your demands will persuade the employer better.
3. Have a Positive Attitude
The employer can easily tell a physician’s attitude, which mirrors their willingness to work. Having a positive attitude also means that you are ready to compromise on some terms and conditions of the contract, and this will also allow the employer to be more flexible with you.
4. Negotiate Before Signing the Letter of Intent
Before you conclude negotiations, you must not sign a letter of intent handed over to you by your potential employer. Since it still is a written contract before the “official” employment letter, you should be aware of the conditions on the basis of which you will sign.
Of course, you can’t expect your employer to change the conditions in the employment letter once you sign them on the letter of intent. So, it’s vital to be vigilant and ask them to make necessary changes before you sign.
Reviewing the Contract
Most physicians would review the contract, but they may not understand the technical/legal jargon, which they may overlook. This can cause a huge problem down the line. Although it’s ideal to hire an employment lawyer who will explain the contract in layman’s terms, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t rely on a verbal agreement – If you agreed on a specific term with your employer verbally and it isn’t written in the contract, it simply doesn’t exist. Hence, you must review the contract and ensure everything you discussed with your employer is there.
- You’re bound by the contract – Since you may not be able to understand a few provisions in the contract due to technical language, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to adhere to them. It’s crucial for you to understand each and every single point before signing the contract to prevent any trouble later.
- Get specific – You need to ensure that everything related to your duties is clearly mentioned in the contract, such as your schedule. Otherwise, you may feel disgruntled during your employment term.