Asking for an Alternative Work Arrangement Isn’t Easy….But It Can Be
Before we started a family, my husband and I
that when we had children we would work our schedules out so that we would not
have to use day care in the first few years.
When I became pregnant with my son Eric I was in a
professional Human Resource job that I loved.
I really wanted to stay on but could not justify working full time once
he was born given our goal of no day care.
I was faced with the fact that I was going to have to have a
conversation that I was not looking forward to! I had to tell my boss that I would like to work two days per
week. I was afraid that she would
think that I didn’t care about my career or that she would say no and that I’d
have to leave.
The day came. I
was very nervous. I began by
telling her how much I loved my job and how much I really wanted to stay.
I told her that I would understand if she was not able to give me what
I was looking for. I then told her that my goal was to work 2 days per week.
I gave her some basic information for how I thought that it could work
but told her that I was willing to be flexible if she felt that an alternative
method would work better.
To my delight, she immediately said, “we can make this
work.” She said, “I’m not
sure yet how we will do it, but we will make it work.”
So, was it scary? Yes!
Was I aware of similar arrangements in my organization at the time?
No! Was it worth it?
4 years ago.
Since then, I have realized that many organizations, including the one
I was working for, offer alternative work arrangements informally.
There may not be policies available or set procedures but Managers are
allowing their employees to balance career and familial obligations more
effectively by giving them what they ask for!
So, maybe you can find what you are looking for right
where you are!
Kirsten Ross is mother of two sons and is a
Certified Human Resource Professional (SPHR) dedicated to helping women achieve
more life balance.
Visit Womans-Work.com at http://www.womans-work.com
to search a great flexible work job board, search for a job share partner or
read valuable career, life balance and family articles. You may also email
her at mailto:KRoss@Womans-Work.com