In this week’s Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a job hunter tries to deal with a roadblock that hasn’t even materialized. This is a roadblock that should not be tackled until a job offer is extended.
I have a potental roadblock in a job search. I have eldercare responsibilities that limit my workday to standard work hours (not more than 8 hours, weekdays and daytime only) and cannot travel. Do I disclose any of this to a potential employer, or do I wait until after I get the offer in hand and invoke FMLA and the Small Necessities Leave Act?
I think the best way to say it is not to say it — yet. Wait until after an offer is made. But don’t threaten. (If you want to invoke the law, go for it, but be ready to go to court.) “Thanks for your offer. I’m eager to come to work. I know I’m not required to do this, but I feel it’s proper to disclose that I care for my [mother, father, whoever] when I’m not at work. I am ready to work hard during a regular 40-hour work week, but after an 8-hour day I must attend to my eldercare responsibilities. I wanted to discuss this prior to accepting your offer. I will organize my work day to ensure I get the job done in 40 hours. Is that acceptable?”
How and when would you say it? I think an employer has a right to know you can’t work overtime. But I would wait until after the employer has made a commitment, so you can both try to work it out. Bring it up too soon, and you jeopardize an offer — and you’ll never know whether you were rejected because of this issue. Once the offer is made, the employer has more motivation to work it out with you.
What’s your take on this?