Author Topic: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?  (Read 4793 times)

Seadog

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I'm semi retired I guess, but after 2 years got bored and got a job, sounded interesting on paper, but ended up being away from home 80%+ of the time, and days extending into 16 hours as the companies finances worsened and they tried to take advantage of a "day rate" which they figured allowed for unlimited hours for the same money. I pushed back, and eventually got the point where I was tired of fighting and quit.

I'm potentially open to working again, but I want to avoid a repeat of that. It's not that I even mind necessarily doing that once in a while, but some employers out there are eager to just take full advantage.

I'm an engineer along side many others here, and I find this expectation to "go above and beyond", "do what it takes", "go the extra mile" or comparable bullshit are part and parcel to professional level jobs.

How exactly do you let a would be employer know that you wont be doing that, while not coming off as a slacker?

sokoloff

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 07:01:14 AM »
I am one who frequently goes the extra mile because I love what I do, but much less now that I have kids.

The easiest way to state is to simply leave at a reasonable hour. To me that doesn't mean that your chair is spinning at 5:01 everyday, but if you're on a death march project, just leave at some reasonable hour. What's the very worst case? That they fire you? Does that leave you worse off than today? (Nope.)

jim555

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 09:08:43 AM »
One of the reasons I no longer work.

Eric

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 10:01:11 AM »
I think this is why part time jobs exist.  Find one of those, and they automatically come with the expectation that you won't be going above and beyond.

bacchi

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2018, 11:07:34 AM »
Go hourly with a high rate. Managers have budgets and will respect your time.

RedmondStash

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2018, 11:05:50 PM »
I think this is why part time jobs exist.  Find one of those, and they automatically come with the expectation that you won't be going above and beyond.

Go hourly with a high rate. Managers have budgets and will respect your time.

Both of these. Specify part-time hours, charge hourly, charge a high rate.

Also, set your work-hour habits on your first day and week on the job. If you get up and march out at exactly 3:00 p.m. every day, that becomes normalized for you and those around you. It may feel weird at first, but the people around you adapt.

I've done largely part-time work for many years, and just setting that expectation up front telegraphs to management that you are not going to be pulling 16-hour days.

Good luck.

Seadog

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2018, 06:28:57 AM »
I think this is why part time jobs exist.  Find one of those, and they automatically come with the expectation that you won't be going above and beyond.

Go hourly with a high rate. Managers have budgets and will respect your time.

Both of these. Specify part-time hours, charge hourly, charge a high rate.

Also, set your work-hour habits on your first day and week on the job. If you get up and march out at exactly 3:00 p.m. every day, that becomes normalized for you and those around you. It may feel weird at first, but the people around you adapt.

I've done largely part-time work for many years, and just setting that expectation up front telegraphs to management that you are not going to be pulling 16-hour days.

Good luck.

While I can partially get behind that, does that really exist for professional level jobs? Just about all of them I've seen are on salary. Do part time lawyers really up and leave in the middle of a court case because they've hit the 12 hours they're willing to work that week? A doctor in the middle of a surgery when complications arise as it's beyond their time budget? Invariably it seems you're paid to accomplish something, as opposed to put in X amount of hours. (and that something invariably takes more than 4- hrs a week)

In my experience most hourly contract professionals like engineers are hired for a job ie "get this oil well drilled, or building built as quickly and cheaply and safely as possible" then track your hours and send us a bill. It's never "Get done what you can in 20 hrs a week, then the other 158 hrs this million dollar/day rig will just sit idle"

dude

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2018, 08:04:36 AM »
I know in my federal agency, we had a few "jobshare" positions for attorneys where 2 people would split one full-time position, and yes, they worked their 20 hours and no more.

Plina

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2018, 03:13:46 PM »
You might not walk out of court or surgery but instead you donít go to work next day. I have ben hired for a 40 hour week and some weeks I work 50 hours but in the end it means that I work less some other week.

snapperdude

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2018, 08:20:05 PM »
A doctor in the middle of a surgery ...


Just tell them to patiently wait until tomorrow.


RedmondStash

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2018, 11:05:19 PM »
I think this is why part time jobs exist.  Find one of those, and they automatically come with the expectation that you won't be going above and beyond.

Go hourly with a high rate. Managers have budgets and will respect your time.

Both of these. Specify part-time hours, charge hourly, charge a high rate.

Also, set your work-hour habits on your first day and week on the job. If you get up and march out at exactly 3:00 p.m. every day, that becomes normalized for you and those around you. It may feel weird at first, but the people around you adapt.

I've done largely part-time work for many years, and just setting that expectation up front telegraphs to management that you are not going to be pulling 16-hour days.

Good luck.

While I can partially get behind that, does that really exist for professional level jobs? Just about all of them I've seen are on salary. Do part time lawyers really up and leave in the middle of a court case because they've hit the 12 hours they're willing to work that week? A doctor in the middle of a surgery when complications arise as it's beyond their time budget? Invariably it seems you're paid to accomplish something, as opposed to put in X amount of hours. (and that something invariably takes more than 4- hrs a week)

In my experience most hourly contract professionals like engineers are hired for a job ie "get this oil well drilled, or building built as quickly and cheaply and safely as possible" then track your hours and send us a bill. It's never "Get done what you can in 20 hrs a week, then the other 158 hrs this million dollar/day rig will just sit idle"

There are a lot of part time doctors who only work a few days a week. In fact, most of my highly specialized surgeon friends only work part time because there is only part time work available for them. Two of my family members are presidents of conpanies and they only go in about two days a week unless absolutely necessary, and no, they donít really work from home much.
DH works with a bunch of executive level government contractors who are only in a few days a week.

There is a TON of professional level work that can be done on part time/contract basis.
No, that doesnít mean that everyone can set the exact terms under which they will work, but it isnít at all uncommon to be able to set firm and reasonable limits on work expectations.

I canít dictate that Iíll never work through lunch, itís a given due to the nature of my job, thatís not ďabove and beyondĒ thatís low level, basic run of the mill level responsibility given the nature of the work. The same way a lawyer canít walk out on a trial and a surgeon canít bail on a procedure. But all of us can firmly dictate the reasonable limits of what we are willing to do and not to do.

It may take some creative thinking in order to find opportunities to work with a solid balance, but that doesnít mean those opportunities donít exist.

Agreed.

Seadog, I'm not sure what you mean by "professional level" jobs. I've worked at well-paying jobs in software and video-game development -- fields known for months-long crunches and tons of overtime -- and made my PT hours stick. But I also know how to manage and budget my time, and I've never missed a deadline. Once in a while I'd work longer hours, but that was rare, and I made sure to go back to PT hours afterward, and that my management understood it was an unusual circumstance. So still part-time overall.

I've actually turned several ostensibly full-time jobs into part-time jobs by negotiating for what I wanted up front. My managers were happy to save the money, and I was happy to have the extra free time. And I've turned down otherwise appealing opportunities whose managers did not see the benefits of my working part-time. It's partly about selecting for what's important to you.

I think part-time work is possible in a wide range of fields; it's just that so many people need full-time work that you rarely hear about it.

seattleite

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 03:17:34 PM »
I think one of the really nice things about FI is that you don't need to worry about "not getting that big raise" or even losing your job because you are a "low performer". Just go to work, do your job, and leave after 8 hours. You don't need to tell people up-front that you are just going to be a good worker and do your job. The freedom of making money just for a little extra cash or for just something interesting to do is so so awesome. 

infromsea

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 06:55:55 AM »
Good post and good discussion.

After a nine month retirement I found a work from home position in project management. Most of the team I work with works from home and many of them are trying to re-create the office environment, updating their skype status every 30 minutes, responding to emails within minutes, gossiping on group calls, just TRYING to develop a "real" office environment (which I abhor). [It seems none of them have read anything on productivity]

I can accomplish the job requirements in about 1/3 of the time it takes others, I think they are stuck in the "gotta do 40 hours a week" mentality. Because I already have passive income and no debt but a mortgage, I'm in the position of doing the job "my way". So far I've been at it 60 days and have sought feedback from MGT, which has been "doing great" keep it up. I see a future where we cut my salary and I move to 3 days of "work" a week.

I'm simply going to keep doing the job in my own way. For example, I'm not checking emails every 15 minutes, if I have nothing concrete to do I go cut the grass, trim some trees, do some woodwork etc. etc. etc. I refuse to sit in front of the monitor (stand really, built a stand up desk last week) and wait for someone to "ping" me. I batch check emails, send documents quickly and don't mess around on group conference calls.

If this works out, it works out. If, at some point in the future someone tells me I'm not responsive enough or should take longer to accomplish the job requirements, I'll politely inform them that I'm not going to change my work habits, if my current habits are not sufficient, then we should part ways, simple as that.

I hope you find the situation you are looking for. I got lucky (so far). I didn't mind going back "to work" as long as it was within my parameters, mostly distance from home, can't get much closer than the next room...

Livingthedream55

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 07:47:07 AM »
I'm semi retired I guess, but after 2 years got bored and got a job, sounded interesting on paper, but ended up being away from home 80%+ of the time, and days extending into 16 hours as the companies finances worsened and they tried to take advantage of a "day rate" which they figured allowed for unlimited hours for the same money. I pushed back, and eventually got the point where I was tired of fighting and quit.

I'm potentially open to working again, but I want to avoid a repeat of that. It's not that I even mind necessarily doing that once in a while, but some employers out there are eager to just take full advantage.

I'm an engineer along side many others here, and I find this expectation to "go above and beyond", "do what it takes", "go the extra mile" or comparable bullshit are part and parcel to professional level jobs.

How exactly do you let a would be employer know that you wont be doing that, while not coming off as a slacker?
[/b]

I think you ask in the interviews - "How committed is this company to work life balance?"  "How often are "Code Red", "All Hands On deck" emergencies that require late night and weekend duties?

Depending on the answer you can assess how attractive that opportunity is to you. Of course, if they downplay the amount of extra hours in the interview and then it turns out to be a real disaster you can still set boundaries around your behavior and of course you are always ultimately free to leave the job (the power of FU money!).

As others have said, you teach others how to treat you. I have worked in workplaces where employees climb right up on the "corporate cross" and become martyrs for the cause. I have seen adrenaline fueled crisis junkies (one of whom died from a heart attack one hour after leaving work on a Friday evening and countless others with serious stress related illnesses) who had no meaningful life or relationships outside of the job.

In my current job, I started the first day leaving on time and then I decided it would make for a better commute if I arrived an hour earlier and left an hour earlier. I just started doing it (never asked permission) - it's been two years now and I am still employed and get rave performance evaluations because I do a damn good job within a typical work day.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 07:49:17 AM by Livingthedream55 »

infromsea

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2018, 06:10:51 AM »
I think you ask in the interviews - "How committed is this company to work life balance?"  "How often are "Code Red", "All Hands On deck" emergencies that require late night and weekend duties?

Depending on the answer you can assess how attractive that opportunity is to you. Of course, if they downplay the amount of extra hours in the interview and then it turns out to be a real disaster you can still set boundaries around your behavior and of course you are always ultimately free to leave the job (the power of FU money!).

As others have said, you teach others how to treat you. I have worked in workplaces where employees climb right up on the "corporate cross" and become martyrs for the cause. I have seen adrenaline fueled crisis junkies (one of whom died from a heart attack one hour after leaving work on a Friday evening and countless others with serious stress related illnesses) who had no meaningful life or relationships outside of the job.

In my current job, I started the first day leaving on time and then I decided it would make for a better commute if I arrived an hour earlier and left an hour earlier. I just started doing it (never asked permission) - it's been two years now and I am still employed and get rave performance evaluations because I do a damn good job within a typical work day.

Damn that's some good advice 55!

You sum up the average work place very well. I've worked with those folks as well, smartest thing I ever did was leave my position in the rat race and move on to freedom, having the FU money gives us so much power and freedom, it's too bad everyone can't experience this...

Ocinfo

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2018, 07:03:47 AM »
My wife recently dealt with this after getting a new developer job. She’s basically been training them that she gets to work at 7:30 and leaves at 4 (official hours are 8:30-5+). Her boss kept scheduling meetings at 4:30 or 5. She’d decline, tell him to schedule earlier. He finally scheduled one at 4 but was late so my wife just left. She almost has them trained.

The thing about professional jobs is that, especially in the current economy, you’re usually hard to replace and especially hard to replace with someone cheaper. Couple that with being FI (or, in our case, 50% of the way there), it’s really all about your own mindset and acceptance simply walking away each day.


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Plina

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2018, 09:09:50 AM »
My wife recently dealt with this after getting a new developer job. Sheís basically been training them that she gets to work at 7:30 and leaves at 4 (official hours are 8:30-5+). Her boss kept scheduling meetings at 4:30 or 5. Sheíd decline, tell him to schedule earlier. He finally scheduled one at 4 but was late so my wife just left. She almost has them trained.

The thing about professional jobs is that, especially in the current economy, youíre usually hard to replace and especially hard to replace with someone cheaper. Couple that with being FI (or, in our case, 50% of the way there), itís really all about your own mindset and acceptance simply walking away each day.


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I am also a big believer of it is your mindset. And never ask permission to do things, exception is if its affecting someones budget. Better to apologize. If I am going to take time off, I inform I do not ask for permission. This week I have worked from home 3 days because it fit me better and there was nice weather so I could work from the balcony. If you deliver and do what you are supposed to do my experience is that you have a lot of freedom to come and go as you please. My boss ask if my time off affects the clients and my response is that I have informed them and it is no problem. Because my clients and colleagues have been trained that I donít answer on evenings or weekends. Neither on vacations if it is not a real big emergency according to my standards.

effigy98

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2018, 05:27:20 PM »
My wife recently dealt with this after getting a new developer job. Sheís basically been training them that she gets to work at 7:30 and leaves at 4 (official hours are 8:30-5+). Her boss kept scheduling meetings at 4:30 or 5. Sheíd decline, tell him to schedule earlier. He finally scheduled one at 4 but was late so my wife just left. She almost has them trained.

The thing about professional jobs is that, especially in the current economy, youíre usually hard to replace and especially hard to replace with someone cheaper. Couple that with being FI (or, in our case, 50% of the way there), itís really all about your own mindset and acceptance simply walking away each day.


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At my officespace big tech company, many people work crazy hours, others leave for the day after only being here 5 hours or "workfromhome" (slackFromHome). What is the difference? Well many of the work crazy hours are people who are still learning on the job how to be good at their job so it takes them a lot longer to produce the same amount of work. There is also people who are so in debt, missing a single paycheck would be devistating. The higher up the chain you go, a lot of times, the less work you do. Your main job is to manage perception above all else. The "game" is to ONLY do things other people notice and deflect all the busy bullshit work. Take the mentality that this job is only 6 months and you will start to structure your day more favorable to yourself. Also, networking and keeping a lot of allies is helpful and gives you another layer of security.

When the low working hours people get called out (which they frequently do) they just comment how they had some errand or family matter to take care of, or they have to be home at a certain time to care for their daughter, or something like that... They usually always get a pass and eventually they get accepted for working low hours and people just work around them not being there or going the extra mile and they still get paid EXACTLY the same as the hard working people. I find using the family excuse is like a FREE pass to working less hours than everyone else with usually no questions asked. It is unfair, but bosses will take from people as much as they can get, but are usually too lazy to fire you and replace you.

Reader

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Re: Letting would be employer know you wont be going the extra mile?
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2018, 05:23:22 AM »
The higher up the chain you go, a lot of times, the less work you do. Your main job is to manage perception above all else. The "game" is to ONLY do things other people notice and deflect all the busy bullshit work. Take the mentality that this job is only 6 months and you will start to structure your day more favorable to yourself. Also, networking and keeping a lot of allies is helpful and gives you another layer of security.

This! i read somewhere that you should prioritise to do between 3-6 things a day well and deflect away all the busywork. seen it often at work and like you said, perception mgt is everything.