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6 Steps to a Schedule With Flexible Hours

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Just one in five working mothers with minor children say full-time work is the ideal situation for them, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Most want flexible hours.

But it's hard to find part-time work unless you're a sales clerk or preschool teacher. Indeed, the best way to get a satisfying, well-compensated part-time position is to negotiate a more flexible schedule with your current employer. You may not even need to reduce your workweek if you can complete your duties through telecommuting. Or, perhaps you can shift around work hours to accommodate doctor's appointments and school events.

Follow these six steps to achieve a flexible schedule at your current job:

Talk to friends and colleagues with flexible schedules. Ask them what they like or dislike about the arrangement. See whether it's hurt their career or earning potential. Make sure to think about the full range of possible schedules.

  • a compressed work week means four longer days, but you get Fridays off
  • working a 6 or 7 hour day in the office and finishing up after the kids are asleep
  • job sharing may be the best solution for time-intensive professions, like law
  • reducing your hours can be tough in client-driven fields; you don't want to get paid less and end up working full-time because of the pace of the industry
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