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Negotiate for Flex Time Instead of 80 Percent

Posted on August 15, 2013

Christina Mangurian (bio) makes a case for requesting flex time and not taking "no" as the final answer.


And so, I'm also extremely against women taking 80 percent jobs at academic medical centers, as, like, a research position because we all work way more than 40 hours a week, and if you get paid 80 percent time, you're just going to get paid less for doing the same amount of work.

I think there's a fantasy that you will then get to spend more time with your daughter or son. But unless there's some explicit thing that says that — and I have not had this happen — but you can just say to your boss, "Hey, I want flex time. I want to be able to do — I will do my job; you will have your deliverables, but I don't want to have to be here every single day."

So, I'm very against 80 percent time. I would not negotiate for that. I would negotiate for flex time, if possible, especially for people with young kids. I wouldn't let things go because one person says it's not possible.

But, so, don't take no as the final answer. Work your way up and see if there are work-arounds. And one of the things that one of my female senior mentors told me is, "There's always exceptions."

So, there are all these policies, but there's always an exception with a policy. So figuring out how to get yourself more money, more time, more resources — just always ask.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2013 Career Development Institute for Psychiatry in Palo Alto, CA.


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