How do I negotiate some flexibility at my full-time job?

The backstory: 

My side hustle is starting to take off. How do I negotiate some flexibility at my full-time job to accommodate? Is it the right thing to do? 


— B., NJ

Alex's Advice

B. —

Let's start with the harder question first: is it right to negotiate for flex time when you want to use it for personal projects?

My perspective is that if your manager agrees to flex time and it's not impacting your work, how you use that time is up to you.

Here are my 3 tips for negotiating flex time at work:

  1. Make it about your manager: they don't care why you want the flex time, they want to make sure your performance doesn't suffer. Reassure them with a plan for how you'll get your work done and what communication methods you'll be available on and when.
  2. Do a trial run: offer to try working from home on Fridays for a few weeks, with the agreement that you'll check in regularly and reevaluate whether it's working for everyone at the end of the month.
  3. Overcome objections: use what you know about your manager's preferences to anticipate what his or her sticking points may be and come prepared with solutions. Find out if there is a precedent or policy you can rely on to support your request.


What negotiation questions do you have? Hit reply on this email and let me know.

— Alexandra Dickinson
CEO + founder

Ask Alex is our monthly advice series. CEO + Founder Alexandra Dickinson answers your most burning negotiation questions. Subscribe to our email list for more advice and content. We'd also love to hear from you! Submit your questions to hello@askforit.co.

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Alexandra Dickinson

Alexandra Dickinson is the CEO and founder of Ask For It, a boutique consulting company working to close the gender wage gap by effecting change at both the institutional and individual level. We work with companies, schools, organizations and individuals through a combination of trainings, workshops and consulting. Our goal is for women and men to be paid based on their talents and skills, regardless of gender, and for our company to have been an important part of that change.