If you are in the overwhelming category of employees who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, then you are in essence a free agent. With the evolution of the workplace, acceleration of new technologies, and the increase in job specialization, many employees are becoming unique and distinctive in a variety of ways. You have unique and specialized education, training and experience. You also have particularized personal circumstances. Perhaps you want to pursue opportunities in the public or non-profit sectors in order to further a mission-driven purpose. Perhaps you prefer or need to maintain a part-time schedule for family or other reasons. These are important individual values that drive your employment decisions.
As a modern-day free agent, you are responsible for your own employment relationship with your employer. You negotiate the commencement, the modification (hopefully improvements), and the termination of that relationship. Most people have a realistic sense of what they want and they have a good idea of their priorities. The elements of any employment relationship are contractual (whether written and formal or unwritten and informal). These are the understandings and expectations of the employer and employee. How are these understanding and expectations arrived at? Are both you and the employer clear on the job description for your new position? Are there any modifications, enhancements, or tradeoffs to be made before you enter into an employment arrangement? How should you approach negotiations? How should you package or otherwise formalize the agreement?
Our firm has plenty of experience helping clients in the negotiation, modification and termination of employment relationships. Whether you seek our advice or not, you owe it to yourself to do your homework, make a list of priorities, and reach a clear understanding of the terms of the employment relationship. Keep in mind that literally everything is negotiable and you will become your own best free agent.