I am currently in hiring process of a start up company as full time employee that is willing to roll out an lucrative offer, actually they have already sent out a rough draft of work contract.

My Wish

Though the contract seems okay but some clauses related to work life balance aren't upto my satisfaction and I would like to get them changed such as below:

Issue 1: below average number for german 25 while 30 is absolute norm here

  1. One Week more vacation as per industry norm in germany.

Issue 2: Weekend work can be imposed national law permitting

  1. Not being forced to work on weekends the contract currently has clause

as at this moment in my career its important for me to have a good work life balance.

Possible Repurcussions?

  1. If 25 Holidays is company standard and they somehow make an exception for me,

wouldn't it cause rift among teamworkers

in furture when I take those vacations?

  1. If I ask for full quota of 30 Vacations and decline working on weekend in any case, would it cause them retracting the offer back?

Though startups are very unpredictable on many grounds but the normal apprehension about start-up leading to disruptions of normal life seems is strongly being hinted by the first standrd draft sent to me.


After a careful consideration I have decided to move on, they tried to woo me with a promise of giving me a hike after probation period but as Money isnt everything for me I have turned the offer down and also conlcuded that I wouldnt really waste my or the startups time with job interviews in future.


You should ask for the vacation days and protection of your weekends. The worst that can reasonably happen is they will say "no" to your request.

Have a discussion with the hiring manager or recruiter in person or over the phone to discuss the offer and share your desire for additional vacation and weekend protection. Before the conversation, know what your priority improvement is for the offer (more vacation or no weekend work) and whether or not you're willing to walk away without a change. Be honest about your concerns and feelings about the offer and never bluff or lie about alternatives.

So long as you're not cavalier or brag about extra vacation, your team members are likely to not notice and even less likely to care.

Good luck in the negotiation. I hope you enjoy the new role.

  • Be prepared to get one and not the other and decide what you find acceptable - more vacation is easy, for a startup telling anyone they don’t have to work weekends is harder because of the pretty reasonable likelihood of really tight deadlines or problems and limited people to handle them. I wouldn’t hire anyone at my startup with the “no weekends” clause; it’s fine to ask but decide if “no” is a dealbreaker. – mxyzplk Jul 20 at 20:57
  • 4
    Well to be honest then I wouldn't really prefer your startup either. :) – Anirudh Jul 20 at 22:02
  • @Anirudh Long hours is a large part of startup culture in general, because when you have fewer people and higher stakes, the only solution is usually to work more hours to get things done. If that's a problem for you, then you may want to avoid startups in general. – David K Jul 22 at 17:05

Contrary to the other answer, I do think asking to not work weekends may have a negative impact on your overall impression.

Firstly, I totally understand your rationale and where you are coming from.

However, if I was interviewing for my startup, and a candidate had a query about working weekends, I would potentially look elsewhere. It will depend on what the market looks like of course.

The reason I say this, is the startup scene is often hectic, with employees often asked to work very hard during crunch-time. The success of a startup is often down to the effort put in my the workers. The renumeration is often tethered to this.

If work-life balance was very important to you, I would honestly consider not interviewing at a startup.

Having said all this, if this is make-or-break for you, you should ask for the clause to be removed. You never know what they may be able to accept.

If you would simply prefer not to work weekends, you can ask them how often they expect this to occur. Keep in mind that this could very well change.

  • 1
    Yes...thats what I am planning to do. MOVING-ON. Startups aren't my thing anymore. :) – Anirudh Jul 22 at 7:58

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