Final Contract Negotiation: Don’t Forget This Important Step!

Contract negotiation isn’t complete until you sign on the dotted line, but…

You’ve made it this far! You found that job that fits your needs, and you got the offer!

Time to celebrate like that cool pineapple you are!

The Gap is Crucial

What if I told you the gap between accepting the offer and RIGHT NOW is crucial?

This is your final sprint to the finish line!

Your final contract negotiation is an important step in the process, and don’t feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, or unwilling to ask for WHAT YOU DESERVE.

Take Time to Negotiate

It is time to negotiate a few more things before saying YES to that new job. You’re probably pumping with adrenaline, excited, and just want to get the process over with.

It has been so much work so far! But it’s not over yet!

Don’t gloss over this step, especially if you’re new to travel work, and armed with all of the information in the getting started series that you’ve learned up to this point.

Take time to negotiate! It’s okay if you’re scared, nervous, or haven’t done something like this… The worst your recruiter can tell you is, “no”, but honestly, even after that point things are still negotiable. Just remember to be reasonable in your requests.

There is nothing to lose!

“You do not get what you want. You get what you negotiate.”

— Harvey Mackay

Let’s talk about a few things you should consider negotiating AFTER you receive an offer!

Final Contract Negotiation: Items to Consider


If you’re not from a big city like me… Well, I can tell you that the sticker shock from some of these parking garages is horrific. Traumatizing, even!

Check with the facility interviewing you if parking is included, and if they say employees use a paid garage on site or near the facility then negotiate!

Try to get the entire amount of your monthly parking included in your contract stipend.

Metro Pass

If you’re in a large metropolitan city it is VERY LIKELY you’re going to have to pay to park where you’re working. However, there is a chance your agency will be unwilling to give you the full amount to park.

Try to negotiate it anyway, but…

If you don’t want to deal with crazy traffic, and you’re comfortable navigating the public transport system, then you can probably negotiate a monthly stipend to cover public transportation.

If you’re spending EXTRA cash on parking or public transit then always, ALWAYS ask for it to be included in your contract.

Scrub Stipend

We covered in Part 9 of the travel work series (Part 9: Everything You Need to Know About Interview Prep!) that if a facility requires a specific color of scrubs then you need to negotiate money of purchase those scrubs into your contract.

There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to wear your matching set of navy blues, or your perfect combo of highlighter neons to work without being compensated to purchase the scrubs they REQUIRE.

Higher Hourly Rate

Negotiating a higher hourly rate is a double edged sword and definitely a matter of personal choice if you choose to pursue this.

Let’s cover why your hourly rate matters so much:

  1. If you raise your hourly rate, you raise your taxable income. (Remember, your stipends for housing and food are tax free!)
  2. However, if you raise your hourly rate you also raise what you could potentially receive in the future from social security benefits.

I personally recommend that if you choose to pursue a higher hourly rate you should definitely try to max your pre-tax accounts (like a 401k and HSA) in order to lower your taxable income.

Increased GSA Rate

So, that tax free money you were offered to cover meals and housing… What if I told you that you were being undercut?

Like, what the heck! Okay, calm down.

I have a solution.

Just go ask the government if you’re being compensated fairly, and if you’re not, well, you better get that rate up before you sign anything!

Check out my post on GSA Rates: GSA Rates: Here’s What You Need to Know!

Hotel Stay Reimbursement

This reimbursement offering varies based on the agency you’re working with.

However, if you’re driving to your assignment, and it’s going to take you more than a day to get there I recommend you get a separate reimbursement for your hotel stay.

Some agencies will even offer this up front if you travel over a certain number of miles to get to an assignment!

There is no reason for you to spend out of your savings getting to an assignment. That travel stipend they give you will barely cover gas and food!

Higher Travel Stipend

Maybe your agency doesn’t offer hotel reimbursement, or they’re unwilling to budge.

It’s possible they aren’t giving you the standard mileage rate.

Maybe you’re driving a long distance that your agency didn’t account for.

Your recruiter may have told you they cap pay at a certain amount.

Well, I recommend you take a look at the standard mileage rate set by the IRS to ensure you’re getting what you deserve to make it to your assignment.

These rates are listed as OPTIONAL, so use them as a guideline to ensure you’re hitting the mark! Or at least try to get close to it!

Celebrate Your Success

Whether this is your first assignment of your hundredth assignment… Take a moment to celebrate all the work that went into your contract negotiation up to this point!

No one care about your paycheck, success, or future more than you!

Great job on all the hard work you’ve put in up to this point! Give yourself a pat on the back.

Keep these ideas in mind for every assignment you pursue in the future. You’ll be setting yourself up for a great career in travel work!

New to Travel Work?

Visit our entire travel work series here.

Do you feel more prepared for you next travel job? Comment below!

1 thought on “Final Contract Negotiation: Don’t Forget This Important Step!”

  1. I am a student of BAK College. The recent paper competition gave me a lot of headaches, and I checked a lot of information. Finally, after reading your article, it suddenly dawned on me that I can still have such an idea. grateful. But I still have some questions, hope you can help me.


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