Let's face it: Many modern working moms want and deserve it all, but we are coming to realize the 1980s Superwoman ideal is just a big fat myth. No one can easily be in two places at once and give their physical, intellectual or emotional best given the demands of parenting and of most professions.
Now might be the ideal time to present your employer with some creative options as companies are trying to find ways to work smarter, not harder, in this tough economy.
Creating a flexible work schedule, at least in some professions, can offer the best of both worlds and create new efficiencies for your employer. While not all careers can withstand the interruptions of a screaming toddler or cranky baby as you try to run a complex spreadsheet or Power Point presentation, there are plenty of positions that can allow you to complete projects, presentations or sales calls between naps, at night or during weekends.
Creating job-family balance is possible, however, if you partner with your employer on the following:
Here are four tips to help you negotiate a winning flexible schedule with your employer:
Ask your employer if she's open to the idea. Be bold and ask your boss if the company is trimming "fat" (translation, layoffs) and if so, would they be willing to read a flexible job proposal that would save them money. Your creative assertiveness might just save your paycheck.
Next, spend some time evaluating your goals, deciding which are critically important and non-negotiable, and which you're willing to let go or negotiate. The process moves in a reverse pyramid as you consider the big picture below, and then whittle down to the details in the next step:
This is when you get down to the nitty gritty details to present to your employer. Write out several scenarios within each category listed below that you're genuinely willing to negotiate. Don't suggest anything you won't or can't seriously execute, or you'll lose all credibility. For example, don't offer to work every third Saturday when you can't imagine missing one of your son's soccer games. Budge when you can, stay firm when you must. Address each of the following in your proposal:
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