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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Asking my boss about going to part-time

    I'm thinking of doing this. I currently work five days a week and would want to go down to four.

    A few reasons: I feel that I could get my job done in four days a week and might actually be more efficient (there are some very busy periods, but sometimes I faff around too much because I don't actually have THAT much to do, and in general it's certainly not a crazy busy job); I'd like a better work-life balance, would like to spend some more time on the stuff I consider personally important; I think it would be better for my health - I seem to be getting stressed and sick all the time, and there are probably a few factors but full time work doesn't help.

    I am apprehensive for a few reasons. Partly I wonder how I would manage financially. I would have to be a good deal more strict with myself and probably wouldn't be able to put much aside at the end of the month. But I think I could probably manage if I did get more strict about budgeting and so forth.

    I am also simply nervous about asking my boss. She is a bit of a dragon/control freak and might look at me like I'm insane and dismiss it out of hand. Then again, she might not. Saving the company a little money might appeal to them, and I genuinely think that I could pretty much get exactly the same work done in four days as I do in five. Or if it had an impact, it wouldn't be much. I do think also that it's more unusual for a single person to want to work part time. It's considered totally normal if you're a parent and I've certainly worked in industries recently where there were a lot of mothers working two, three, four days a week (to be honest, I felt that some of them had jobs where it wasn't suitable for them to work part time, or at least not less than four days...)

    I like my job (except the control freak boss) but five days is just too much. Honestly. I know it's what most "normal" people do but I have a busy life outside work too with other things I consider very important, and sometimes I feel like both my work life and my outside life suffer because of working full time - work life because I'm exhausted all the time, and outside life because, well, I'm exhausted all the time...

    Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone had experience with raising this with their boss, with working part time and how you manage the lower income (I'm single and live alone, btw), etc. Anything would be appreciated
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  2. #2
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    It's important to ask yourself if in the company, there are others able to cover for your longer periods of absence. What repurcussions will it have for the company if you go from fulltime to parttime.

    It's easier to replace a fulltime job than to have to look for another parttimer to work only at the times you don't.

    How badly do you want to keep your job?

    Employees wanting to change their hours are often the bane of employers. Ofcourse in rare cases it could actually be prefered. (If there is a parttimer that wants to do more work for example.). The larger the function base, the easier it is for the company to meet your offer though.

    If you are sure you can do the same amount of work and do your job fully in less time, then the employer should be happy and take you on on your initiative.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  3. #3
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    It's important to ask yourself if in the company, there are others able to cover for your longer periods of absence. What repurcussions will it have for the company if you go from fulltime to parttime.

    It's easier to replace a fulltime job than to have to look for another parttimer to work only at the times you don't.

    How badly do you want to keep your job?
    I do want to keep the job. It suits my skills and interests and for the most part it suits my temperament. It pays reasonably well and the holidays and benefits are great.

    For the most part it's a self-directed job and I don't constantly have to be there for my colleagues to refer to, etc. The main thing I have to do every day is fulfill orders, and honestly it is not essential for those to be fulfilled daily (as we have quite a generous grace period to get them out) and one day off wouldn't impact that much. There are also a couple of others in my dept who could potentially fulfill the orders one day a week, although I don't know if it would be considered reasonable to ask them to do that routinely on top of their other work. (They do that for me when I'm on holiday.) Although it's not normally something that takes up a lot of time per day, except maybe one or two months a year when it's quite a bit busier.

    But it's definitely not the kind of job where having SOMEONE doing it five days a week is a must.

    Not sure, but are you saying you think I could jeopardize my job if I ask...?

    THe job is a publishing role for a drama school, by the way. I have worked in publishing for a few years. Some of that was actually at a publishing company. There are often part-time jobs in publishing available, but the competition is stiff, and they tend to be too part-time for me...more aimed at those women with children...like, two or three days a week.
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  4. #4
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I edited my post with an important addition.

    If you are sure you can do the same amount of work and do your job fully in less time, then the employer should be happy and take you on on your initiative.

    I was just a bit hasty with my post. As I often stand on the other end of this spectrum in a business that requires the company to be available 24/7, dealing with people going downtime is a big hassle.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  5. #5
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    I edited my post with an important addition.

    If you are sure you can do the same amount of work and do your job fully in less time, then the employer should be happy and take you on on your initiative.
    I'm really almost certain I could. Maybe I should make sure I'm ultra-on-top of everything, and also look at my budget etc seriously, and then think about asking... It's not urgent. But I've been working full time for several years and I'm seriously sick of it, and this is the first time in a while that seems like part time might be feasible.
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  6. #6
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Well, you should also be clear on that you can always go back to fulltime if the job becomes too much to handle in less time. This will be important to know for your boss.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  7. #7
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Yeah, I would definitely leave that as an option. They could be willing to do a trial period.

    I mean...one advantage of just being a family-less person who wants to work less for work/life balance, it's not that I absolutely HAVE to have the time off to be with my family or something. I just really feel it would be better for my life, but I've been working full time for several years and it wouldn't kill me to continue (I don't think )
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  8. #8
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    I wonder if they would even consider something like two four-day weeks a month (instead of four days every week). Even that would be better for me (and easier to manage financially), but I don't know if it's too weird in terms of schedules etc. (Could be confusing for my colleagues!)
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  9. #9
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    What you are considering is what I like to call a career-limiting move. Tell your manager that you can do the same job in less time and want to work less, and they see someone who is lazy (doesn't want to bother coming to work like everyone else) and attempting to one-up them (it's the manager's job to assign tasks efficiently). If your manager sees the sense in letting someone else cover your job one day a week, they might just come to the conclusion that someone else can do it five days a week. Beyond that, you are almost certain to annoy your coworkers, since they might end up doing your work one day a week, or people may start asking why they're not working harder. Pursue this course, and you may just talk yourself out of any promotions, or even your job.

    Not every manager thinks this way, and if you have a good rapport with your manager it just might work. However, by your description of her as a 'dragon lady,' I doubt this is the case. If I were you I would just get all my work done quickly and efficiently, and then spend a couple work hours a day 'working' on whatever you want.

  10. #10
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Would it be an option for you to wait a bit and try living on your proposed new salary for a few months and see how tough it really is? I'd worry that switching to part time might be ok with your boss but she might not want to switch you back to fulltime if you get everything done that she needs.

    An alternative that many workplaces will consider is working 2 extra hours a day for 4 days a week, so you still work the same hours but get an extra day off. Depends on the job/boss.
    -end of thread-

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