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Whether you’ve been hired in a job or as a freelancer, don’t start to work until you have a written and agreed upon contract in place. Without a contract, you’re working without net, which means you can end up working for free. Most people who hire you will be on the up-and-up and already have a contract for you to sign, but you don’t want to risk your financial stability with misplaced trust and no formal agreement. So before you start working, get a written contract or agreement that covers the following:
1) The job description. What are your duties?
2) Your wage or salary, payment methods and payment schedule. Will you be paid by the hour? Will you get a check or direct deposit? Are you paid weekly, bi-weekly or monthly?
3) Hours and days you need to work (if its a set schedule). Some employers won’t ask for set hours, but usually they’ll have some sort of expectation about when work will be done or delivered.
4) Anything else you or the employer deems important. Will the employer supply any materials? Are you expected to have ongoing training in the industry?
Once you and the employer have hammered out the details, you’ll want to make sure the contract is signed by both you and the employer.
Protect yourself and your income by always getting the terms of your job in writing!