Love your job but hate the hours? Then maybe coming up with a plan to develop a flexible schedule will be just what you need. Here's how to put together a plan -- and what to prepare for once your boss hears your idea.
Dear Matt: I really want to change my hours at work. What suggestions do you have for me to go about achieving this goal? The schedule I have now is not working out, and I feel with a flexible schedule I could still get my work done and be as productive, but happier. What tips/advice do you have to make this happen?
Matt: Many people have jobs they love and excel at, but dread the schedule, hours and commute. It's part of the daily grind that professionals deal with on a regular basis. In some professions, flexible work schedules are a great perk, in others, it's simply not possible.
Catherine Breet Byers (changeyourstripes.net), a career consultant and speaker with 12 years experience as a recruiter, says if you want to make this possible, it's important to do your homework and be prepared with an action plan of how you can make this happen - and work - when presenting the idea to your employer.
"Know (and show) exactly what it will do to enhance your productivity," says Breet-Byers, who is also author of "4 Simple Steps to a Great New Job." "Define your job, and the measure of success in your role. How do you and your boss know you are successful? Is that something you can deliver independently, or do you need to work with others? If you need to work with others, what are their core hours? Can you work a schedule that covers the core hours?"
Prepare For Objections
"Put yourself in your boss' shoes," says Breet-Byers. "Why would he or she be afraid of you doing this? Aside from the concern over your productivity, is anyone else in the company allowed to work flex time? If no, there is a bigger cultural concern you'll have to consider - and be prepared to work through."
If there are others currently doing this, speak with them about it. Or, if you know people in other companies with flexible work schedules, talk to them about what works and what doesn't. Each company has its own internal needs, so understand what works for one company or department may not be the same for you.
Be prepared with your sales pitch, the benefits to the boss and company, what you will do to manage your job effectively, and potential solutions to the objections you anticipate your boss having. Then go talk to the boss.
"The worst that could happen is that you'll get a no," says Breet-Byers. "The best is that you'll get everything you want."
Matt Krumrie is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights, and has nine years of experience reporting on the employment industry. This column will answer readers' questions. E-mail questions or subject ideas to email@example.com.