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I am a graduate student looking for a job. Thus far, I have gotten two offers. One starts in a few months and the other in a few days. I would like to take the offer which starts in a few months. At the same time the other company seems also attractive and I would like to work there until the other starts.

Is it rude to decline a permanent contract and make a counter offer for a fixed-term contract?

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    During the interviewing process, have you constantly made it apparent you were looking for a permanent position? Backpedaling now and only asking for a few months may not look great on you (they might think you wasted their time for example).
    – Dnomyar96
    Jun 8 at 8:46
  • No, it was just a standard ad on LinkedIn. Where I am coming from, most positions are permanent contracts.
    – WhoAmI
    Jun 8 at 8:51
  • Is a "two weeks notice" a two weeks where you live? And is a trial period of employment a thing where you live?
    – Mołot
    Jun 8 at 9:13
  • Yes. The trial periods lasts 6 months. During that time, both sides can cancle the contract within two weeks.
    – WhoAmI
    Jun 8 at 9:25
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    How much an option would be for you to enjoy your last long summer out of work and get into a new work fully refreshed?
    – STT LCU
    Jun 8 at 9:48
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It's not necessarily rude, but it is unusual.

Companies usually aren't very flexible about this parameter. They have something specific in mind. If they offered a permanent contract, they want someone who will be there for the long term.

But, you never know until you ask.

You could phrase it something like, "Thank you for your offer. Unfortunately something unavoidable has come up in my future plans which would preclude me from working here after [approximate date], so regretfully I cannot accept it. However, I would still be able to work under a fixed-term contract until then. Would you still be interested?"

I wouldn't, however, be optimistic that they'd agree.

It's also worth considering that, just on a human level, they will probably also be curious about what the future event is, and it would probably be both inadvisable to tell them "I've got a job I like better than this one lined up", and awkward to keep insisting that you can't tell them them what it is.

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  • "and awkward to keep insisting that you can't tell them them what it is." Wouldn't a simple "it's a private situation I don't want to discuss" suffice? Yeah, if they keep pressing you on it, it's not going to be fun, but I honestly doubt they will.
    – Dnomyar96
    Jun 8 at 8:58
  • @Dnomyar96 in theory, it is sufficient. In practice, company might be more willing to agree for such request if the event is something like amputation or taking care of a family member taking chemo, than if it is undisclosed.
    – Mołot
    Jun 8 at 9:10
  • I've done this, as part of a merger. A company I didn't want to work for bought my startup. They gave me a full time offer. I told them I didn't want to work there full time, but for a sizable bonus I'd work a few months through the transition. They accepted. Of course it helped that several people were being given short term contracts that they didn't want to keep on, they ended up giving me that with some extra money, and giving one of them a permanent offer. Also helps that I was the lead dev of the biggest selling product of the startup. Jun 10 at 4:03
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Is it rude to decline a permanent contract and make a counter offer for a fixed-term contract?

It's never rude to tell the truth. It would be rude to not tell them and just quit after a few month.

However, be prepared that they won't give you a time limited contract if you aren't working a McJob (so retail, burger joint, delivery driver etc). A large part of any complex job is training through the first few months. If they consider 3-6 months of training and learning on the job ok for a permanent full time employment, they will not consider giving you a 4-months contract, that would be pointless.

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You said:

The trial periods lasts 6 months. During that time, both sides can cancle the contract within two weeks

Most sensible thing for you, then, is ask for a trial period. Then, two weeks before the better employment starts simply give your two weeks notice. If the company will ask why are you quitting, you can give some general reason like "I don't feel this position is right for me." and that's it.

In the case that second employment won't happen in few months, or if you'll find yourself perfectly happy in the first one, simply do not give the two weeks notice.

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  • it's a superb answer
    – Fattie
    Jun 8 at 13:17
  • Looks like I got a downvote, but I honestly don't know why.
    – Mołot
    Jun 8 at 18:01
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    you can completely ignore voting on this site, it's often very irrational
    – Fattie
    Jun 8 at 18:26

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