I've been offered a long contract extension after having worked relatively short period. The salary would be the same as before and I'm thinking that if I sign it, I won't be able to negotiate the salary anymore during this long period.

The contract will be between me and the contracting company, which then works with a second contracting company, but the second contracting company said they'll want to move me to other projects in a few months. Now I'm thinking they'll move me on other projects but the salary will remain the same while the workload, etc. will be different.

I'm quite new to freelancing, so I don't know how to correctly handle this situation.

Thank you!

  • Is this US? Is the salary enough for you to be comfortable for the duration of the contract? Is this a guarantee of work or pay over the duration or is it an at will contract? – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 2 '12 at 11:13
  • It's just the contract that was proposed by them - I didn't receive it yet, don't know the exact clauses but I know it will be extended for a longer period. – shining-light May 2 '12 at 11:43
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    @Chad If the OP is looking for guidance on possible negotiable points before signing a contract (since you don't have to sign the first one you see), I think people can answer in that regard. – jcmeloni May 2 '12 at 12:33
  • @jcmeloni - I never said we could not. That is not what the OP asked for in his question though. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 2 '12 at 13:11
  • Are you not an employee of the prime contractor and not a self employed contractor at all? Maybe negotiate a rate now and say it in increased by 3% or the cost of living index in your country for the second year – Pepone Jun 28 '14 at 15:39

You could try to add a clause into the contract that specifies that you have a regular salary review. I would expect this to be annual, so is the contract much longer than a year? You say that you're expecting to move to different projects - this could be an opportunity to renegotiate salary too.

However, be careful what you wish for here. A renegotiation could be down as well as up.

Most permanent full time jobs usually only offer annual reviews (at best) so a more frequent salary review would be unusual.

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    Another option is a shorter contract (3-6 months) with the option for an extension - At each extension you can renegotiate your rate if it's warranted. – voretaq7 May 3 '12 at 14:40

In the US most employment contracts are at will. This means that you can leave the contract at anytime. The majority of the contracts I have been on had a clause that requested at least 2 weeks notice, but generally the primary penalty for failure to give notice was no longer being eligible for rehire.

My experience has been that after a normal time period(6 months - 1year) you can request a rate review and generally receive a bump in pay if there is room between your rate and the companies break even point. In order to make the best case for this I do my best to keep in contact with my recruiter, and manager at my home company. Having them on your side when you request a bump is always a plus. In addition they will know if it is possible or not.

I would try to get to a rate where you feel comfortable committing for the entire length of the contract at that rate. If expenses increase while in your contract explain that to your company. They are businesses, but they are in the business of managing people. If the company gets a bad reputation for misusing its contractors that is bad for their business. For this reason, generally, contracting companies build in a buffer so they can give you a pay bump, or other benefit to help keep you happy. If their customer(the people you are contracted to) see that their employees are struggling to survive it does not look good upon your company. It is good business to keep you happy.

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