How to Deal With Workplace Inflexibility


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You've been a model employee: responsible, industrious, creative and productive. You've gone the extra mile time and again, with a smile.

Now you have a family.

Quite reasonably, you expect that when you ask for an altered work schedule that better fits your family's needs, your employer will go along with you. You've done your homework and developed a written proposal demonstrating that your new schedule is in your employer's interest.

But someone in the organization sees the matter differently and opposes your plan.

Now you face a tough question: IS THIS CONFLICT WORTH THE COST?

Sizing up your choices takes political savvy. How powerful is the person who opposes you? Might you face headaches later if you “win" now?

Are you better off standing your ground, or backing down? Or, is it time to seek work elsewhere?

Can you come up with convincing rebuttals to your boss's objections?

Maybe the negative reaction to your proposal points to unhealthy workplace dynamics that have long simmered beneath the surface.

Talk to someone you trust about your situation. Proceed carefully, taking pride in your capacity to act with integrity and grace in a difficult situation.

Then, no matter what happens, you will hold your head high.

(c) Norma Schmidt, LLC

Norma Schmidt is a parent of two and a former Lutheran minister. Her career includes serving as a pastor, campus minister and cancer center chaplain. She has also worked with children with disabilities. Norma offers workshops on parenting and on living with serious illness. Her writing has appeared in “Coping with Cancer" magazine. Download her free report, “61 Great Ways to Teach Kids about Money” and look through her other articles by going to


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