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 I know I have nothing until the offer.......

but I'm going to ask this question anyway! I am applying for a position as Director of Marketing at a local non-profit. It's a job I would love to have, but I am currently a full-time stay-at-home mother and not quite ready to reenter the full-time workforce. The way the job description reads, I could easily perform very well in a flex-work, telecommuting arrangement. 

If I am only interested in this role if a different work arrangement from 8-5pm in the office can be agreed upon, when do I mention this in the interview process? Or do I wait until the offer and counteroffer with a work arrangement?

I do have a contact at this company and I plan to take him to coffee this week, but wanted to get your expert opinions, too!

Thanks -

Liz

afmoffa's picture

Before you have the offer, a tricky schedule is just one more reason for them not to offer you the job. Once the hiring manager hears herself say "We'd like you to come work for us/ We've decided to offer you the job" those words are audible and will start to take on extra meaning for her.

You should have a detailed plan ahead of time for how telecomuting would work for you. How fast is your home Internet? Who supplies the computer/software/phone? How will you get to the office if there is an urgent meeting?

There may well be some hesitation or even pushback from the hiring manager. You should have some diplomatically truthful responses that are incremental in their firmness. In other words, if she says, "Well, I'm not sure about that..." your first answer must not be a blunt "It's a dealbreaker for me, so take it or leave it."

mmann's picture

 Like AFMOFFA says, bring it up after you have an offer.  Funny thing about the interview/offer process.  Throughout the interview and up until the offer, the hiring company has all the cards and you have none.  In most parlor games you'd pick up a card or two throughout the play, but not in this game.  In interviewing they hold ALL the cards and at the point they make an offer they hand ALL the cards to you.  That's the time to bring up concerns.

Keep in mind, they still have the option of calling your bluff and rescinding the offer, or saying no to any or all of your requests.  

Choose your words carefully.  There's a difference between being in the full-time workforce and telecommuting.  You might want to begin the discussion asking questions about why this role is considered full-time.  Be prepared to answer how many hours you can commit each week and how you both can objectively measure your results.

--Michael

tomw's picture

There's a really important thing here: your perceptions on how the description reads. There's no guarantee that the hiring manager has any intention of allowing that to happen.

It's possible that the position is not available part time AT ALL. Some jobs expect 50 to 60 hours a week, but they never list that in the description.

Teleworking is much more common than is used to be, but all too many people know that out of sight is out of mind, and they prefer to have you in the office whenever possible.

Even their offer itself would have to be re-thought after it is made, since it would be based on a 40+ hour week and now you want full time. They will definitely want to pay you less for part time work.

To use AFFMOFFAs quote, "It's a dealbreaker for me, so take it or leave it." (which I think is phrased highly unprofessionally), be ready for them to leave it.

It's kind of a no win situation:

  • If you tell them up front, you risk not getting an offer.
  • If you tell them after the offer, you risk them saying no and thinking badly of you since you didn;t tell them (and it's a small world out there to .risk that)

 

Mark's picture

If you don't get the offer, your concerns are moot.

If you get the offer and they are inflexible, you'll say no.

The only bad outcome of waiting is they retract the offer (incredibly rare) which would be equivalent to them not making it.

WAIT.

Mark

tmliz's picture

 Thanks all for the advice. I'll let you know how it goes!