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My fixed-term contract is ending in August and I am debating how to go forward.

I am in a company where the CEO (My N+2) wants (said that multiple times) to be informed if I am looking at leaving the company at the end of the contract.
At hiring, they were clear on the fact they wanted to keep me after my fixed-term, but they're (the company as a whole) now absolutely silent on whether they still want to keep me and for what package.

Should I be proactive and try, ideally without burning bridges (probably the hardest thing), to know now about whether getting an offer is on the table, and then decide based on that, or should I wait it out with the risk that I get told on very short notice I'm not kept?

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  • What are the normal notice periods in your country? I know they don't apply to your contract ending, but they set expectations. In my country they are long, so telling someone you leave (even though they fully well know) two weeks before the fact would be "short notice", while in an US at-will state, two weeks might even be deemed excessive and opening you to risks.
    – nvoigt
    Commented May 16 at 6:34
  • Communicate. You likely aren't the first thing on their minds.
    – DogBoy37
    Commented May 17 at 11:51

5 Answers 5

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Should I be proactive

Yes, of course. That's what the CEO asked you to do and it's in your own interest as well.

Something like

Hey CEO, you asked me to keep you posted on my contract situation and future plans: My current contract will be expiring on XXX. I'd be happy to stay around if you want me to, but so far I haven't seen or heard anything about an extension or renewal. Ideally I would like to have a new contract signed by YYY. How do you suggest we should proceed ?

Adjust tone and to your local culture as needed.

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Are they absolutely silent, or have you not asked? As I understand it, you're 90 days out. Your contract expiry may not be top-of-mind for many of the people that rely on you.

If you haven't asked, you reminding them is the professional thing to do and will likely be looked upon favourably. If you have asked and are getting nowhere, it may be time to ask the CEO point-blank*.

Your approach must be culturally sensitive though. I'm Dutch, we can be fairly direct. Given your previous conversations with the CEO and assuming a good rapport with your direct manager, a friendly email to the two of them would not burn bridges in any company I've worked at.

Simply remind them of your contract's end date (and if relevant, your notice period), clarify that you're open to a new contract.

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I'd say it's certainly fair to ask if they plan to hire you, extend your contract, or end the relationship. Knowing benefits them by letting you plan how to wrap things up cleanly if you're leaving, and obviously benefits you since you would want to start lining up your next gig as quickly as possible.

I don't think asking would do any harm.

Of course until a contract is signed, they -; or you -- may change the plan. That's unavoidable unless they're willing to sign now.

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Should I be proactive and try, ideally without burning bridges (probably the hardest thing), to know now about whether getting an offer is on the table, and then decide based on that [...]

Do you mean by "decide based on that" that you would consider leaving even if they give you an offer? Is it a matter of pay or length of another fixed-term?

Make sure you know what you want and under what conditions, then be proactive about it and state your interest to stay and the conditions. This will not burn bridgets as long as your conditions are reasonable/understandable. But be aware that you might not get a chance to negotiate if they do not want to meet your conditions. Showing your initiative and willingness to stay might even reflect positive on you. On the other hand, if they are not willing to meet reasonable conditions there is no point in saving the bridges.

However, I think it is best to have som certainty as soon as possible so you have enough time to look for another employment.

If they meet your conditions make sure to get a signed contract as soon as possible!

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How exactly can they expect you to inform them if you want to leave if you where never part of the company in the first place?

Independent contractors are not employees. They dont answer to anyone they contract to. They are there own boss or at least should be if your employer is not mis-classifying employees as independent contractors.

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