Author Topic: How to ask to go to PT work with current employer?  (Read 2101 times)

hoping2retire35

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How to ask to go to PT work with current employer?
« on: February 10, 2016, 01:06:26 PM »
I think with my current job I could technically move to only working PT AND from home. This would obviously be awesome in lots of ways for me personally and I would potentially not want to RE any time soon. I could also go on ACA if I couldn't keep my benefits.

I believe I could be more productive without the office distractions and could maybe work something out that would make sense to my current employer, finacially/production wise.

However I am concerned this could just seem too weird to them and they won't get it and shoot me down, but also that they could begin to scout for my replacement but more likely just think I don't have enough work and push more stuff my way.

Has anyone done this, successfully/unsuccessfully? How close to FI should I be? Any other considerations I should be aware of?

little_brown_dog

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Re: How to ask to go to PT work with current employer?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 02:08:09 PM »
I dropped to part time after working at my job for a few years. They went for it, but in retrospect, I think they only accepted it because they were probably afraid of losing me completely. I needed to reduce my hours for health reasons, so it wasn't like I just felt like a change. They were aware of my health so they knew I was a real flight risk if they weren't flexible.

I think you are going to have a really hard time convincing them to go part time and work from home at the same time. If an employee came to me saying they wanted to cut their hours AND avoid the office, I'd need a pretty darn good reason why. Try to figure out which you want more - part time or work from home - and focus your energy on requesting that.

Part time work is great for many reasons- no gaps in the resume, you still make money, you may be able to keep your benefits. But there is a really sneaky downside too. Very very few employers accurately adjust their expectations when a full timer goes part time. Even if they say it is fine, most of us who make this change find that the boss and company still expect us to get the same amount of work done, or that they become frustrated when we aren't available to help on days when we aren't working. I ended up working quite a few unpaid hours for "emergencies" and "quick questions" when I was part time, while still getting a strong vibe that I wasn't pulling my weight because I was no longer as available. You will need to set really strong boundaries and expectations from the start to keep their frustration from turning into a belief that you aren't working as hard any more. 
Essentially when you ask to go part time you are saying "you are no longer my priority - I have more important things to do with my time." As a result, you have to be prepared for a less than enthusiastic response.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 02:10:01 PM by little_brown_dog »

mm1970

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Re: How to ask to go to PT work with current employer?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2016, 03:52:59 PM »
Maybe start with baby steps, like working from home.

You could ask for one day a week.

Or...you could just do it?  Like, for me -
Several years ago I was pregnant, and occasionally I'd have my doctor's appointment at 10 am.
It didn't make sense for me to drive to work at 7:30 (10 miles), drive back to the doctor (which was near my house) at 9:30, drive back to the office at 11.
So I started just taking my laptop home and working from home those few hours.

I do the same thing now if I need to meet a plumber in the morning, or if I'm sick, or a kid is sick.  (My current boss is VERY understanding - but even when I had previous bosses, they didn't really care - they understood if I had "something to do").  Depending on the boss, I may or may not let them know.

So work from home 1/2 day when you have to meet the plumber.  Do that a few times.
Work from home when you have a sniffle, because you don't want to spread it around the office.  Do that a few times.
See how it goes over.

I've never moved to the "working from  home" for a full day thing though.  I did work PT for awhile, but I had kids.

lhamo

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Re: How to ask to go to PT work with current employer?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2016, 09:00:50 PM »
Part time work is great for many reasons- no gaps in the resume, you still make money, you may be able to keep your benefits. But there is a really sneaky downside too. Very very few employers accurately adjust their expectations when a full timer goes part time. Even if they say it is fine, most of us who make this change find that the boss and company still expect us to get the same amount of work done, or that they become frustrated when we aren't available to help on days when we aren't working. I ended up working quite a few unpaid hours for "emergencies" and "quick questions" when I was part time, while still getting a strong vibe that I wasn't pulling my weight because I was no longer as available. You will need to set really strong boundaries and expectations from the start to keep their frustration from turning into a belief that you aren't working as hard any more. 

This x1000.  It is a huge risk of going part time. It happened to me, and pretty much ended my career at one organization -- when I said I was ready to go back to full time after one year they tried to give me a 25% paycut  I fought it and clawed back my old salary, but it led to an ugly confrontation with my boss and six months later I resigned.

PT work can be great, but there are definitely risks.  If you can find other people in your company or even in your industry who have done it successfully, try to learn as  much as you can from them about how they made it work

Good luck!

hoping2retire35

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Re: How to ask to go to PT work with current employer?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 11:16:43 AM »
Thanks for all the replies.

I use a desktop so doing this on random mornings when I need to run an errand in the morning or something isn't feasible. Actually all my work goes through inter(intra?)net almost instantly or every time I update. I use a big program that is strictly on my machine so I could not use my home computer either.

Most of my work is pretty production oriented on what I do individually, so there is very little need for meetings(maybe once a month at most). My basic concern was that my supervisor wouldn't get why I was wanting to 'downgrade' and others in the office would get jealous(even if I took lower pay/benefits) and he wouldn't want the discord. However if I asked they could believe I needed more work and which would be my biggest concern (simply telling me no was the worse then I would ask right now).

I guess the thing is I would like to be able to quit in a few years but I would do this arrangement for many more years if they would go for it.