Non-compete agreements and enforcing them are big business for a lot of lawyers. And that's OK if the terms are equitable and fair.
But sometimes, they're just complete nonsense.
One non-compete I reviewed prior to hire was so vague and open-ended, I requested one of three options:
- change several clauses with non-vague clarifications and full disclosure on all counts so that it would be possible for me to comply with
- leave the contract as-is but increase my hourly wage to slightly more per hour than what their legal team was making per hour in order to accept the future liability in my own personal capacity, or
- I'll pass.
They opted to allow me to pass and I was OK with that. I know that contracts are not supposed to be vague.
This one was over-the-top nonsense and would have pretty much tied my hands in my profession forever. I also passed on a few "words" to their legal team for "knowing better". Because they did and they needed to know that I knew they did.
Contracts have to have a meeting of the minds (understood by all parties), be legal, and have the ability to be complied with.
If things are written so vaguely, how is it possible to even keep the terms of the agreement for the years it stipulated without accidentally somehow violating one of the terms?
I never mind asking about this or asking for changes in the contract when it's my own personal liability and ability to provide for my family on the line.
How do you even go about asking for a change in a contract? Once you learn more about contracts, the questions will come almost naturally. Thing is -- most employers are are expecting a "take it or leave it" attitude and or aren't simply expecting a job candidate to ask for revisions.
But you can. It's a contract.
I've asked for modifications more than once to make language more clear and more often than not, an employer (once past the shock of me asking) has been willing to at least discuss it.
Now that I know more about contracts from taking the legal course, it makes this type of negation and discussion much easier.
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