I am about to start a new job at a tech firm. The original offer includes base salary + ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) scheme. The contract I've signed so far is not concerned with the ESOP package (that has been mentioned only in the letter of intent). They explained that I will sign the ESOP package after starting.
Unfortunately, I failed to read the ESOP package terms carefully and I now found a term that states that If I resign voluntarily before x years (where x is a relatively big number of years after the cliff period - and it covers the whole vesting period), I lose all vested options. I was surprised to see that since in the offer letter (as well as during the recruiting calls) the compensation was expressed as an annual estimate (including base salary + ESOP) - without reading the second document carefully it is hard to imagine that you lose the vested shares. Normal tenure at the company is way below the x amount of years also.
I wonder, how can I now negotiate for better terms given that I haven't yet signed the ESOP package? Could I ask to update those terms upon good performance in the first year?
To add a bit more context; At the period of signing the contract, I had significant negotiation leverage that I didn't actually exercise, as I was getting competing offers that, in retrospect, had better terms in them.