I was a bit of surprise and a teensy bit of jealousy when my friend Tara first told me that her full-time work schedule was a 32 hour work week. She had every Friday off and didn't have to make up the hours during the rest of the week. I always wondered how people were able to get such sweet deals like that.
She told me her secret: Ask for it.
Well, duh! How simple!! But I've never really tried to negotiate for anymore beyond salary because my perception was that the companies were rigid in their structure and would be turned off by my demands.
But this time, I did ask.
I applied for a part time position at a great local company here in Richmond. They have a great corporate culture and an amazing attitude towards their employees. I've been trying to find a good job fit with this company for almost a year now. After many, many, many interviews, I was the final candidate for the position.
As we sat down to discuss compensation, start date and other details, I found it deep down inside me to open my mouth and ask. Even though it was a part-time position, I asked if I could get health benefits. I explained that coming into this, I wasn't expecting benefits so it wasn't a deal breaker for me, but I'd be willing to take a reduced hourly rate in exchange for health coverage.
To my utter surprise, the recruiter said she'd check into it and see what they can do.
I got the official job offer yesterday.
And I'm getting health benefits!!
Ask for what you want! I would have *never* expected a part-time job to provide me with benefits. But by increasing my hours per week slightly, I qualify.