Time for another dispatch from the job-search. As you likely know, I'm in job-search mode after having been laid-off in a corporate outsourcing effort from my long-term IT job. And I've been looking for something rather challenging - a reduced hours (or at least flexible schedule) position that pays well enough and provides meaningful work. I'm out to prove that a man requesting flexibility is every bit as dedicated and effective on-the-job as one who wants standard hours.
Well, I found something close to my goal a few weeks ago. An IT position in a company about three miles from home, with interesting work assignments and room to grow. Everyone I met during my three rounds of interviews stressed how the company was so family-friendly and flexible. I was assured that "people come in late, leave early, and no one cares." Stuff I was surprised anyone wanted to admit to me. I was also told that there was nothing about the open position that would require such fast turnaround that it couldn't wait until the next day or so. Perfect!
After I was offered the job, I opened up the negotiations for flextime. I asked for reduced hours first (32-36/week) - the answer was "no." I then asked for flexible full-time hours - perhaps four 10-hour days or three 10-hour days and two 5-hour days. Again, I got the big "no." I must have given these people 25 options, including on-call arrangements, and they wouldn't budge an inch. Except to offer me more money.
So much for flexibility. It seems that they can brag about cutting corners but they can't legitimately allow a guy to work the schedule that would give him a balanced life and time with his kids. I don't want a job where I'm sneaking out to make daycare pickup. I want people to be able to count on me, and me on them.
This job looked great on paper, but was not what it seemed. Pretend flexibility isn't what I'm after. Onward....