can I negotiate a later schedule before accepting a job? — Ask a Manager

here are the 10 best questions to ask your job interviewer — Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

Are hours ever negotiable? I’m in the late stages of interviewing for what I honestly think is my dream job: I love the team, the manager, the work, everything about it, and the salary is a huge step up from what I’m making now. But I am leaning towards turning it down for one and only one reason: the role would start work, in-office, at 8 am every day.

I am NOT a morning person. Even if I go to bed quite early, I almost never wake up naturally before 10-11 am, and that has been consistent my entire life. I’ve worked remote 9-5s most of my career, and waking up right at 9 is already a struggle that leaves me groggy the entire morning. (I did a brief stint in a part-time evening job and it was the healthiest and most well rested I have ever felt in my life.) My biological clock just does not like an early-morning job. I am quite skeptical that I’d be able to last in a role that requires me to consistently wake up at 6:30-7 am regardless of how great everything else about it was.

Is a later start time something I could potentially negotiate for if I got an offer? If so, how should I phrase the request? The early start is such a major dealbreaker for me that I’d be willing to give up some salary or PTO days in order to bump it a few hours later.

Context in case it’s helpful: this IS a role and an industry where mornings are much busier than afternoons. However, 8 a.m. is not necessarily busier than, say, 10:30 a.m. in most offices.

In theory, yes, sometimes you can negotiate a later start time.

In reality, I don’t know how realistic it is with this specific job. If the mornings are busier than the afternoon, you’re talking about not being there for two or more hours of the busiest period every day. Without knowing more about the work, it’s hard to say how much that would matter. But if it would mean other people would need to cover for you or clients or colleagues wouldn’t get answers as quickly as they’d normally expect them … it’s likely to be an issue.

That said, if the start time is a deal-breaker for you, then you have nothing to lose by asking. Even if they agree, though, I’d be somewhat worried about the ramifications once you’re on the job — like whether colleagues will resent you or the employer will decide the schedule isn’t suited to the work at some point after you’ve already started.

There’s also the frustratingly puritanical thing about how people judge later-than-average schedules differently than they judge earlier-than-average ones, as if you’re a lazy layabout who lacks work ethic rather than someone whose internal clock is simply set differently. (For some reason, people who go to sleep earlier are never viewed as lazy, even though they’re doing the exact thing at midnight that you’re judged for doing at 9 am.)

But if you decide to try it, can you plausibly describe your sleep situation as a “sleep disorder”? I’m not suggesting you claim a sleep disorder if you don’t have one, but it sounds like you actually might meet the criteria for one. If so, you could use language like, “I have a sleep disorder that affects my ability to wake up in the mornings. Would it be possible to work a schedule of [fill in details of your desired schedule]?” If they have concerns about how well that would work for this job, they can raise them at that point, and you can talk about whether there’s a realistic way to make the job work for both of you.

Source link

Receive the latest news

Ready to find your dream job?​

Receive personalized alerts to stay up to date with the latest opportunities. Don’t miss out – start your journey to success today!

By signing up now, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use and to receive emails from us.

Skip to content