Career Advice by Career Experts J.T. O’Donnell & Dale Dauten : CAREEREALISM


‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at

Dear J.T. & Dale: A few months ago, I started a part-time job at a new nightclub, having been hired before it opened. Since then, my part-time job during the day has become full-time. I don’t want to give up the nightclub entirely, but I’m afraid to ask them to cut the nights I work from four days to two. What’s the best way to persuade them to keep me? — Rob

J.T.: Given the level of turnover in the hospitality industry, my guess is that your boss will be happy to hear that you still want to work a couple of nights. I suggest setting up a meeting with him as soon as possible and sharing with him the new status of your day job. I bet he’ll jump at your offer.

Dale: Don’t forget, however, that you sell an idea by focusing on the other party, not on yourself. Think through what problems your request will cause your boss, and think of ways to ameliorate them. For instance, can you offer to be there on the busiest nights — or maybe it’s the slowest nights when no one else wants to work?

J.T.: Well … I don’t think I’d advise Rob to jump in and start telling the manager how to do his scheduling.

Dale: Good point. You go in with solutions, but you don’t lead with them. Start with a broad discussion, Rob, then offer options as objections are raised. One of the most desired traits in an employee is flexibility, and that’s the one to start with, saying, “I need to cut back on how much I’m working, but I don’t want to create a problem for you.” Say that, and then you’ll be working together to solve the problem.


Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm,, and of the blog, Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with

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