If your employer decides to cut your hours, you have a few options. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Has your employer recently reduced your hours at your hourly or part-time job? You’re not alone. In this recession, reduced hours are affecting young workers more than any other age group. If your boss cuts your hours, it’s not an easy time to pick up and find new work. There are, however, a few steps you can take to try to win some hours back.

1. Be Flexible

The most important thing you can do to show your boss you want more hours is to be available to take them. Of course, you may not be able to skip a college class to pick up an extra shift. On the other hand, if you’ve taken Saturday nights off for social reasons, consider amending your availability. Also, if your employer has multiple locations, indicate that you’re willing to work at more than one if it means a fuller schedule.

2. Be Better Than Your Coworkers

Employers often cut everybody’s hours in lieu of laying off a small number of employees. That saves a few jobs, but it hurts everybody’s budgets. At any job, and in this economy more than ever, you must look out for yourself. That means you must do excellent work, show enthusiasm, and go above and beyond. (And make sure your boss knows about it.) If you stand out among your peers at work, you’ll be first in line when hours come back.

3. Be Persistent

Never assume that your boss knows you want more hours. Believe it or not, she may just assume that if nobody says anything, everybody’s okay with the cutbacks. Tell your boss regularly that you’re looking for extra hours. Do it every week, or even every shift. Don’t be a nag, but slide it into conversation whenever you can. The squeaky wheel does get the grease.

4. Be Creative

Think outside of your job description. Ask your boss—or even your company’s owner (if it’s a small business)—if there are additional responsibilities you could take on a few hours a week. This can be an especially smart strategy if you have specific skills that your current position doesn’t take advantage of, but you think the company could use. Sell your boss or the company’s owner on how paying you a few extra hours could increase business.

What About You? Have you had your hours cut? How has it affected you, and what do you plan to do about it?

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