Author Topic: How would you prepare for part time employment?  (Read 3583 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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How would you prepare for part time employment?
« on: October 24, 2014, 08:38:38 PM »
I am seriously considering going part time next September.  I may do a case study of my own situation, but gathering general ideas at this time, and taking inspiration from others' situations.  So!  If you were considering going part time, how would you prepare in order to make it happen?  What steps would you take?  What arrangements would you make?  What would you have to change in your own life?

Future Lazy

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Re: How would you prepare for part time employment?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 10:05:48 PM »
Hmm, this is a pretty interesting notion. I'm thinking 6 months forward on some internships that might be part time, and also have to consider this for myself. Why not do it here and now?

I would:

  • Definitely build up a solid emergency buffer, probably 2-5k, based on my current expenses and depending on my expectations. Right now I save 50% of my income, so if I was working part time for the same wage, then I wouldn't have any extra income above my pay, and would need a buffer in case of car breakdowns or medical things.
  • Make sure that my monthly bills are consistent, my budget is stable, and that I'm already practicing a tight leash on my spending, to minimize any chance that it could get away from me while my income was minimized. This also means that the free time that comes with part time work doesn't get used on anything that costs much at all.
  • Try to maximize all savings between now and when I plan to be working part time, and dump them into investment accounts to make sure that money continues to do it's work while I'm focusing on making life changes, like the kind that usually occur around a decision to work less.
  • Get rid of all debts possible, of course, that way I can't get caught unable to pay them if for some reason part time employment becomes no time employment.
  • Do lots of research on health insurance options, since most part time employment situations don't come with great benefits/any benefits at all, and be sure this fits into my projected part-time budget.
  • Take public transportation to my part time job, since I'll have all this spare time to do so. :)

This is an interesting concept, looking forward to other's responses!


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: How would you prepare for part time employment?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2014, 10:43:27 PM »
I'm currently part-time and generally do 20-25 hours/week M-F, mainly in the afternoons but it's fairly flexible. I figured it would be a great way to ease into RE.

- The hours/week is based on what I need for expenses + 401k + Roth + HSA and insurance.
- I take a week off every few months (~6 weeks off total).
- I created a M-F work schedule but should have created a M-Thu work schedule. Only working half days is great but having 3 day weekends is better.
- It was made clear that, at half time, I would be producing half the work the full-timers produce. This is obvious but it should be emphasized.
- There may be some unspoken displeasure from your co-workers. "How can you work part time and pay your bills?" "How come you get to come in at noon and leave earlier than us?"

Working part-time is fantastic for work-life balance and I'm happier overall but not having full days off does mean some projects still get pushed into the weekend. It's tough to get rolling on replacing an alternator, for example, when you know you have to get cleaned up and get to work in 2 hours.

Also, my partner went part-time. That's pretty cool since we share some weekday mornings together.

I may transition back to full-time work as one last hurrah before quitting altogether (?). I do enjoy the work; it's the rigidity of work that sucks. As long as I still feel constrained, I may as well get a full-time salary.


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Re: How would you prepare for part time employment?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2014, 12:38:02 AM »
This won't apply if you do shift work and are just reducing shifts, but I'd try to work out what you need to put in place to make sure it's, for example, 50% of the workload in 50% of the time spent at work, and not like 75% of the workload being expected in 50% of full time.


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Re: How would you prepare for part time employment?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2014, 05:44:22 AM »
Part time employment still has a way of controlling your life. Depending on the income hit you'll take, consider the shorter amount of time you could keep working full time and be done with work altogether.

That said, because of kids and other life situations, it's been almost a decade since I've worked 40 hours in a week. I currently put in 14, and even that's too much, as it cuts into time I have with my wife. As soon as we are in a better position, I will be quitting, even though it will slow our progress down.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: How would you prepare for part time employment?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2014, 07:47:45 AM »
Set clear expectations with your employer and your co-workers otherwise you can end up with "hour creep" to where you are almost full time.  If you are paid hourly, it isn't a big deal if you are both OK with that, but if you are salaried, it can become a real problem. Before you take the plunge to part time, maybe try using your vacation to take 1 day off each week for six weeks, or 2 days off each week for a month if you are thinking of cutting hours that much.  During that month only use the money you would receive for part time.  I was surprised that after cutting the commute, extra eating out lunch/dinners, and extra clothing I really didn't notice a huge cut.

I am a seasonal employee paid evenly throughout the year on salary.  I basically treat myself like a contract employee with an annual number of hours in my contact.  It is really up to me to make sure I don't go over my contract hours....Our busy season is in the beginning of the contract year, so after the first six months I divide the rest of the annual hours by the number of weeks left and make sure my boss knows how many are left. 

Know that you will likely not get the high profile cases, and yes your co workers will grumble as through their Starbucks lattes as they drive their leased BMWs.


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Re: How would you prepare for part time employment?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2014, 09:15:19 AM »
Well, I've done part-time 3 times.  Would love to do it again.

It didn't take much prep at all, really.  Once I got the go-ahead from work, and agreed on a schedule/ # of hours, I just did it.

It took about a month for the coworkers at the first place to get used to my schedule - meaning, if you need me to get you data for tomorrow's 8:30 am meeting, you can't come in at 3:30 because I leave at 4.  I can get it for you at 7:30 am...otherwise, 1 pm.

One thing that I *had* to do each time - and 2 of the 3 times I was a manager - was learn to delegate.  At part time, all the important stuff got done.  But the stupid little "make work" things that I did because it was easier than training someone else?  At part time, I totally trained others to do them.  It was good  training for the younger folks too.

As a manager at part time, I had to be really organized with planning and scheduling projects, and I did have to check my email at home.  We were a 24/7 operation.