If you’ve read Negotiating Flexible Work Arrangements:  Part 1, you know that the most important factors to negotiating favorable alternative working hours or arrangement are to sell yourself first and to know your own worth. 

Now it’s time to get down to details. 

Describe Your Perfect World 

Whether you’re asking for a compressed workweek, job share, or a part-time schedule, start with your ideal.  If you want Tuesday mornings off to volunteer in your second grader’s classroom, say so.  Maybe you want a full day off for errands and shopping.  You might want afternoons off for Tai Chi in the park or to write that great American novel.  Whatever it is, spell it out. 

Explaining why the arrangement is important to you helps the employer empathize.  Chances are you will be admired.  You had a good reason for stepping off that spinning gerbil wheel.  Don’t be afraid to share it.   Be realistic.  You’re not likely to become the next partner or national sales director while working twenty hours a week, but nothing’s impossible.  Let the employer know your career is still important to you while other things are as well. 

Communicate Flexibility & Professionalism

Understand what the employer sacrifices to accommodate your schedule, but don’t mention it.  Communicate that you are a team player, willing to help out in crunch times just as much as anyone else. 

Make sure you have a support network of friends, family, and neighbors in place.  Regardless of the flexibility of your schedule, the unexpected still occurs and if you know you have it covered, you’ll be more confident negotiating. Just because your hours are different or reduced does not mean you are less of a professional. 

Let your employer know how you plan to maintain your training and involvement in professional organizations. The more you are seen as someone who can adapt to the changing needs of the business, the more you will be viewed as someone still on a career track, and a valuable asset to be retained.   

Become a Consultant

Working for your self is the ultimate flexible arrangement.  While this isn’t a solution for everyone, becoming a consultant can work well in certain situations.  Sometimes, because of the quantity or timing of the work to be done, it is easier for a company to use your services on a contract basis.  Smaller firms that may not have the volume to support another full time employee will love the option of getting high quality skills without the cost and commitment of an employee.   

Keep in mind that your income may vary significantly.  And if you need company sponsored benefits such as health insurance, this probably isn’t your best option.   

You don’t get anything until you ask for it so take the risk.  Know you are a valuable asset, ask for what you want, then paint a picture of how you’ll deliver.  You’ll be surprised what you can get when you ask with confidence and an expectation of positive results.