In previous posts, we’ve explored the questions of “What do you want to do?”, “Who do you want to do it for?” and “Where do you want to do it?”. Here we explore the question of “When do you want to do it?”

In many cases, the world of the job being a 9-to-5 Monday through Friday with no holidays, no weekends, no on-call nor overtime isn’t the norm any more. We all have our preferences, limits and boundaries when it comes to being available to work. It’s important to understand what guidelines we set during a job search. It makes it easy for us to pass on those jobs that don’t work for us and our lifestyles.

Some things to consider:

  • Are you willing to work shift work?
  • Are you willing to work rotating shifts?
  • Are you willing to work split shifts?
  • Are you willing to consistently work overtime, paid and/or unpaid?
  • Are you willing to be on-call after hours, paid and/or unpaid?
  • Are you willing to work weekends?
  • Are you willing to work on national holidays?
  • Are you willing to do extra-curricular volunteer work on behalf of company interests?
  • Are you willing to work on traditional religious non-work days?
  • Are you willing to work on the early or late side of the normal work day?
  • Are you willing to fill in for a co-worker when they can’t be at work?
  • Are you willing to sacrifice your planned vacation if the need arises at work?
  • Are you willing to accept the sick leave and vacation policies of the new company?

Knowing your answers to these questions and others like them will help you figure out some more of your work-life tolerances. It may help you in limiting the jobs you apply for, or help you understand where you need to adjust your expectations in order to land a job that is otherwise a great fit for you.

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