Negotiating a work-life balance
February 25, 2010 8:54 PM Subscribe
What are the things to negotiate/discuss prior to taking a new job to ensure a work-life balance particularly as a new parent?
posted by otherwordlyglow to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For the past 4 years I have had a staid, predictable, low-stress job that leaves me with a lot of mental and physical energy to devote to life outside the office. In the time that I've been at this job I met my husband, got married, and had a baby.
I leave work at 5pm and almost never have to think about my job until I walk in the door at 8:30 the next morning. However, I'm bored to tears at this job and am tentatively venturing into the job market to see what else is out there.
I have an interview tomorrow for a job that seems pretty awesome in many ways. It would be interesting, challenging, fulfilling, and satisfying if everything is as it seems and I think I'd be really good at it. But now that I've had a chance to experience a full life outside the office, I'm a little worried about getting sucked in to a job that demands everything of me. Are there things I should be negotiating or considering when talking with them? How is looking for a job different when you have a family as opposed to when you're single and childless?
Prior to this, I'd always looked for a new job based on what I wanted to be doing while looking for a good salary but it seems like more is at stake now and the needs of my family also need to be considered. I'd like some help in figuring out what those considerations might be: flex-time options and telecommuting come to mind but what else is there to think about? Are there things I'm not thinking about that would impact our child (they don't have child care options, for example)?
Since my husband is a freelancer, I carry the benefits for him, our 20-month old daughter, and me so obviously I need to ensure that's adequate if I change jobs but what specifically is the most important (health insurance, retirement accounts, vacation/sick leave, other) for family stability? (This is in California, if it make a difference).
What do you wish you had negotiated in your current job to allow you to maintain a happy and healthy family life outside your work?