Author Topic: Question for downshifters  (Read 2604 times)

Bartleby_the_Scrivener

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Question for downshifters
« on: September 07, 2020, 12:53:25 PM »
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« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 03:58:51 PM by Bartleby_the_Scrivener »

terran

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2020, 12:58:17 PM »
I suppose you need to decide what your alternative is. If they immediately say no, then do you quit? You might find that telling them you're going to quit changes the conversation very quickly and they actually start working with you, but don't do it unless you're really willing to leave.

Kris

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 01:19:26 PM »
I agree with Terran. If your manager's reaction might be negative to the point of firing you, or saying absolutely no to downshifting, then you'll need to be ready and reconciled to the possibility of needing to just quit. And frankly, having that ace in your back pocket can only be a good thing anyway, since if they really need/want you to stick around and you make it clear it's negotiate a downshift or nothing, they're much more likely to work with you.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2020, 02:47:10 PM »
I was able to play the "I just had a baby, I want to spend less time at the office" card.

dhc

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2020, 05:50:22 PM »
I was able to play the "I just had a baby, I want to spend less time at the office" card.


Same here. In my case, it's officially temporary, but open ended. We'll see I ever go back to full time or not.

fattest_foot

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2020, 07:12:53 PM »
There's a thread titled "Calling All Downshifters" although I can't remember where to find it. But your answers are probably there.

Mmm_Donuts

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2020, 06:07:49 PM »
There's a thread titled "Calling All Downshifters" although I can't remember where to find it. But your answers are probably there.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/calling-all-downshifters!/

MissPeach

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2020, 03:39:10 PM »
Is all of Megacorp that way? Or is it more common in certain areas of the company?

I've accomplished this by moving to a similar but new department. There were enough cross skills the new department wanted me. But the it was a completely different branch of management all the way to the VP so expectations were different. It also wasn't as rigorous as where I was coming from so I was able to just work on a set amount of work and leave. Since it was a new area I wasn't looked at like I downshifted politically. Instead it looked like I was learning new skills. A few years later the original department asked for me back and I was able to negotiate a sweet deal.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2020, 05:39:46 PM »
Downshifting may not direclty work at megacorp. At least I've never seen a fortune 500ish size company with many part time workers in professional roles.  While there are jobs that don't really take 40 hours/week in many organizations, finding them is tough because like fight club, you can't talk about it.

Most Megacorps do hire a lot of consultants and contractors.  one of the nice things about being an hourly consultant is most places are in no hurry to pile extra hours/assignments on you since there is a cost to this.


rockstache

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2020, 06:44:23 PM »

And please, if you are just chiming in to say that you wouldn't downshift before FIRE, save your fingers the effort.
On the whole I think the forums are super supportive of the downshift concept. I definitely have seen that people have the best success when they a) bring some sort of unique value/experience to their company and b) are prepared to walk away. Iím planning to do something like this with my current company in the nearish future. Itís taken a lot of forethought and a couple of strategic internal moves to put myself in a position where itís a viable option for both the company and me. Good luck, I hope you tell us what you end up doing and how it goes.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2020, 09:43:15 AM »
Any experiences are welcome.

I took a couple runs at downshifting, but not at a Mega Corp. I tried to frame my discussions around how the changes would support business priorities. In my case that would be having me available at a lower base cost with the option of coming back to FT as needed. For a smaller company that is attractive. If you can find ways to show that downshifting is beneficial for your part of the Mega Corp do that. If not I'd try and find some generally acceptable personal reasons for doing so I'll list some below that come to mind:

1. Working on personal educational/accreditation/development goals.
2. Personal health issues.
3. Supporting family members.
4. Working on NGO/charitable projects.

If you are close to FIRE and have lots of FU money so losing your job is not a huge issue you can frame the issue more aggressively and offer to work PT or leave. Obviously the more important to the organization you are the easier it is to do this successfully.

Does your organization have any sort of sabbatical type program? If so look into that as an alternative to downshifting should the downshift request not get traction.

Dave1442397

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2020, 10:02:00 AM »
I work at a Mega Corp, and we have two people in our department (IT) who work four-day weeks now. In this case, our manager had no problem with it, and in fact was happy to keep the expertise in-house but save a little on the payroll budget.


Linea_Norway

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2020, 11:20:37 AM »
When I downshifted in my last year working, I played the health card. I said I had been very stressed the last year, which my manager new. We had several cases of coworkers collapsing of stress and not working for a year, so I think they were glad I gave them another option.

Goldielocks

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2020, 01:08:10 PM »
I asked for a three month leave of abscence and added a few weeks of vacation.  A lot of people take 6 week vacations, some unpaid, to take extended travel to see family in another country in my region, so after 9 years working with little vacation, it was no problem.

Eg I looked to see what others in my city commonly do, even if they have different reasons, and asked for that.

MayDay

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2020, 07:29:17 AM »
I did it after having a kid which isn't helpful for you.

My current company is large but no F500. We have several engineers that I know of (so presumably others too) who are 4 days a week. Some are doing it as they approach retirement
 

If people don't start to ask, change will never happen.

I'd probably frame it as either covid or health- anything disrupted on your life due to covid? Kids in virtual school, spouse a front line worker and working more hours? My company is bending over backwards to keep people. Alternatively tell them you are having health problems, and you think you need to work part time to deal with those. Plan ahead for if you think your doctor would actually approve FMLA if they suggest that. Taking intermittent FMLA is effectively going to 75% time. If not be ready to say that although your doctor suggested a reduced work schedule they didn't feel you would qualify for fmla (or whatever other explanation makes sense and is however truthful you care about being). Another spin on that is a relative who doesn't qualify you for family fmla- when my mom's brother died she couldn't use fmla for example.


TomTX

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2020, 08:06:02 AM »
Downshifting may not direclty work at megacorp. At least I've never seen a fortune 500ish size company with many part time workers in professional roles.  While there are jobs that don't really take 40 hours/week in many organizations, finding them is tough because like fight club, you can't talk about it.

In my org, there are headcount caps/FTE count limits at every level, down to individual work groups. The count of a single part-timer would "round up" consuming the whole FTE slot. I never saw anyone working part time.

Until two people in one workgroup both went half time. That didn't leave half an unfilled FTE slot.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2020, 08:12:27 AM »
The count of a single part-timer would "round up" consuming the whole FTE slot.

Does a 0.4 FTE round down to 0 or is that counted as a 1?

TomTX

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2020, 08:30:33 AM »
The count of a single part-timer would "round up" consuming the whole FTE slot.

Does a 0.4 FTE round down to 0 or is that counted as a 1?

LOL - even 0.01 would count unless you have someone to fill the other 0.99. Can't hire another FTE.

Let's say you are allowed 10 FTE slots, and you already have that that 0.4 FTE. That means you can only have 9 more people, since hiring #10 would make the total 10.4, thus above the cap.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Question for downshifters
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2020, 10:23:02 AM »
The count of a single part-timer would "round up" consuming the whole FTE slot.

Does a 0.4 FTE round down to 0 or is that counted as a 1?

LOL - even 0.01 would count unless you have someone to fill the other 0.99. Can't hire another FTE.

Let's say you are allowed 10 FTE slots, and you already have that that 0.4 FTE. That means you can only have 9 more people, since hiring #10 would make the total 10.4, thus above the cap.

At my former employer they would actually round to the nearest integer.  If you had a 60% person and an 80% person with several full timers on a team, the part timers counted as one person. If you had just one of the part timers they would have still counted as one person.

The rounding seems like just as silly of a policy as always awarding headcount in integer increments. Surely there are cases where a workload is too much for three people and too little for four.  Why not allocate 3.5 headcount and let the manager try to find a part-timer?