So I'm graduating soon from my masters in CS and will start looking for jobs. I am in Germany. I read a review that was written by a candidate about a startup company in Berlin. In the review the guy said that his interview went well and then the company offered him the job but then he declined the offer. He said he declined it because it was a "1-year initial contract". However he didn't explain why is that bad.

Since I have never worked in the industry before, my questions:

1- What does a "1-year initial contract" mean?

2- Why is it bad to accept it such a contract?

3- Why would the company offer such a contract? Does it mean the guy wasn't good enough?

Because something like this could happen to me so I would like to be prepared in advance :)

  • a close vote without a reason?
    – Jack Twain
    Dec 25, 2014 at 13:23
  • You can see the reasons given for close votes by clicking close yourself. That's harmless if you close the pop-up window without clicking the "Vote To Close" button. Generally a reason is only auto-posted here if it's something unusual or the close has actually happened.
    – keshlam
    Dec 25, 2014 at 18:15
  • Actually a reason is posted when the closer selects duplicate and then it provides a link to the alleged dupe.
    – Chris E
    Dec 25, 2014 at 18:25
  • I don't think this is too broad. What is it, why would a company offer it, and what are the consequences of accepting it seem to go together -- I'm not sure splitting it up would improve things. Dec 25, 2014 at 20:02

2 Answers 2


It means you only have a contact for a year

The Guy in question probably

Wanted a full time job

A lot of employers are trying to get people to take short term contracts but only pay the full time rate and not the contactor one or in this case they may be trying to get around the maximum allowed probationary period (6 months).


Employers first hire you for a year, and then decide whether or not to keep you. This decision is based on your performance and how much work they have.

In The Netherlands, it is very rare to get a permanent contract right away. You first get a series of short term contracts, with a maximum length of three years. After that, the company has to give you a permanent contract or fire you. This does not depend on how good you are, everyone first gets temporary contracts.

Do mind that a fixed contract in the Netherlands is a much bigger deal than in some other countries, say the US. From what I could find the system is quite similar in Germany. In some US states, you can be fired for any reason at any time. This supposedly makes employers eager to hire, as they can get rid of you quickly at any time. These first few temporary contracts in the Netherlands fulfill a similar role: it provides some flexibility to the employer, while protecting the employee by limiting the length of temporary employment.

  • I am working in The Netherland and got a permanent contract right away. I am not sure how rare this is, but not too rare.
    – Bernhard
    Dec 25, 2014 at 22:20
  • 1
    I have to disagree in many eu country's employers are trying to get round the employment laws by employing people on short term contracts - employment law already provides for a probationary period.
    – Pepone
    Dec 26, 2014 at 13:19

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