Media Contracts: Don't Sign Until You Read This

Eventually, most people who work in the media industry will come face-to-face with an employment contract. Unlike many other industries, media companies like to lock-in employees for several years to avoid constant office turnover. But there are several factors employees should consider before signing their life away.

1
Pros and Cons of Working Under a Media Contract

A photo of a contract with a lock and chain around it.
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There are many pros to signing a media contract. You know you have value to the company and it is striving to keep you. You may find extra pay and benefits for promising to stick around. However, there are cons, such as the inability to chase your dream job if it becomes available while you're committed to your current job. More

2
The 7 Basics of a Media Contract

After you weigh the pros and cons, you'll want to read over the contract you've been offered very carefully. There are several parts of it that are common to most contracts no matter where you work. You'll see the length of the contract and your salary with any yearly pay raises. But you'll want to find out what would happen if you ever wanted to break your contract before it expires. You might have to pay a penalty or you could be faced with a lawsuit. More

3
5 Tips on Negotiating a Media Contract

Once you've studied your contract, you can decide whether you'll accept the terms as-is, or whether you want more. If you think you deserve a bigger paycheck, you can ask for it, but expect to give up something in return. That's what negotiation is all about. Decide if you're willing to lose some job security in exchange for more money. More

4
What Are Non-Compete Clauses in a Media Contract?

One key component of any media contract is the no-compete clause. It seeks to stop you from jumping to a competitor for a certain length of time, like six months or maybe one year. The idea is to protect the company which trained you and paid you from jumping ship to join a rival. This part of a contract is typically non-negotiable and could extend to competitors in your city or even beyond. More

5
Breaking Your Media Contract the Right Way

Someday, you may be tempted to break your media contract, either for professional or personal reasons. Maybe it's a ​once-in-a-lifetime chance to get your dream job. Or maybe you want to get married and follow your spouse to another city. There are ways to break your contract while not burning bridges with your current company. Make a bad choice and it could haunt you for the rest of your career. More

6
Why Breaking Your Media Contract Terms Is a Top Reason for Getting Fired

There are people who work in media who don't give a second thought to breaking their contract. Forget the promises they had made,  they want to do something different and do it now. Or maybe they've violated a clause in their contract by endorsing a political candidate or taking on some freelance work for another media company. If the boss finds out, then a pink slip could be awaiting. More

Think of a Media Contract Like Buying a House

You wouldn't buy a house without thoroughly considering every aspect of the deal. The same should be true for signing a media contract. You may be told by someone you trust, "Just sign whatever they give you. You can always weasel out of it later." That is not wise advice. You'll be happier in the long run turning down a contract that you believe is unacceptable than signing one just to get a job, hoping you'll be able to leave for a better job later. You'll just be setting yourself up for trouble and possible legal action.