UPDATE: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

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rcjchicity
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UPDATE: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by rcjchicity » Tue May 15, 2018 3:54 pm

Looking for tips on how to negotiate my request to go part time.

I have wanted to go part time since my 2nd child was born a couple of years ago. However, at that time, numerous barriers to that idea existed - we did a 6-figure renovation of our house, my employer was undergoing a huge multi-year project for which I was a key player, and there wasn't a realistic backup for me on days I wouldn't be there. So, I didn't want the situation where I was working 5 days a week, but only getting paid for 3.

Since then, the project has completed and I've moved to a different role where I'm a part of a team, rather than the sole go-to person. So, it's workable for me to be part time, and I know several people in similar roles in my department (although not on my team) who work part time.

I put in the request a couple of weeks ago with my manager, who then shortly afterward announced his upcoming departure. He did hand off the request to his boss, my director. She has been working with H.R. on reviewing my request.

So, today I got a request from my director asking for more information about why I want to go part time, and if I will be leaving if the request is denied.

More information about me & my job:
-I work as a pharmacist in the I.T. department of a multi-hospital health system, doing medication-related build for the electronic health record.
-I have been with the organization for over 15 years, but in my current position/department for < 1 year.
-Although I'm the newest member of my team, I've been doing this type of work for close to 10 years, so I'm routinely one of the most productive team members, due to my experience & efficiency
-Our team is undersized right now (even before the manager left), so it would be difficult for the team if I left
-My director isn't the director that hired me, and I've never met her face-to-face. (She took over our group a couple of months ago). She has no involvement in the day-to-day operations of our team.

I could easily find another I.T. pharmacist job - the problem is that most of them involve travel, which I don't want to do because the whole point is to be around my kids more. There are several other hospitals/hospital systems in my area undergoing the same time of project I just went through, but I'm not sure the demand for a part timer.

Another option is for my husband to cut back his hours. But as he makes about double what I do, it's a much bigger financial hit for him to work fewer hours.

Any suggestions for how to respond to my director's email, to where I can still leverage some sort of upper hand in the negotiations?
Last edited by rcjchicity on Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

delamer
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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by delamer » Tue May 15, 2018 4:00 pm

Would you leave if the request is denied?

If you would, that is your best leverage.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by livesoft » Tue May 15, 2018 4:00 pm

Anytime you can do the same work for half the price, your employer will probably go for it. :)

As for responding to the question about "will you quit?" I would just say "That's not a fair question, so I won't answer it."

Since your immediate supervisor moved on, your employer has that slot to fill which is probably more important to them right now.

A good negotiating strategy is to put yourself in their shoes.
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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Darth Xanadu » Tue May 15, 2018 4:09 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 4:00 pm

As for responding to the question about "will you quit?" I would just say "That's not a fair question, so I won't answer it."
Yes; or something along the lines of "well, at this point I don't really know so I can't answer that."

Related, I wonder if you can propose (at some point in the process) a 3 month or 6 month trial period for this arrangement.
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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by greg24 » Tue May 15, 2018 4:13 pm

My wife had to give notice before they took PT seriously.

I think if you say you'll leave if denied, they're more likely to grant.

But I also understand that it would be risky.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue May 15, 2018 4:18 pm

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 4:09 pm
livesoft wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 4:00 pm

As for responding to the question about "will you quit?" I would just say "That's not a fair question, so I won't answer it."
Yes; or something along the lines of "well, at this point I don't really know so I can't answer that."

Related, I wonder if you can propose (at some point in the process) a 3 month or 6 month trial period for this arrangement.
+1. Offer up some trial period for the arrangement where at the end of, and during the trial, both sides can evaluate what is and isn't working. As far as responding to their question, an answer that doesn't answer is the way to go. It sounds like a fairly specialized position, so I imagine it would take some effort to recruit someone else for the position, so hopefully it's in their best interest to keep you.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by 10YearPlan » Tue May 15, 2018 4:20 pm

This is tough.

From an employer perspective, it sounds like they value you but may be in a tough spot if they grant it. They might *need* you full time and have concerns about pt status and productivity and a part-timer takes up headcount, and filling the other half of that headcount may not be easy to do. What kind of part time hours are you seeking? If possible, perhaps you can do a staggered approach. Work say 32 hrs vs 40 (one day off per week) for a year and if all goes well, drop another 8 hours in a year. Going from 40 to 20 may be abrupt and they don't know for sure if it will work.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by staythecourse » Tue May 15, 2018 6:32 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 4:00 pm
As for responding to the question about "will you quit?" I would just say "That's not a fair question, so I won't answer it."
Honestly, that answer is the type of answer they are looking for. When asked a question like that any answer outside of "Yes I will leave" is a win for the company. The problem is if you say, "Yes I will leave" they can always say "Okay go ahead" so not a good move unless you really do plan to move on.

I would say the BEST leverage is when they needed you as a key component. Now the best move would be to say, "No I am not planning on leaving if I don't get the part time job" and then go find yourself another employer who will give it to you and then leave.

Good luck.
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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by EddyB » Tue May 15, 2018 7:10 pm

OP, does your employer have written policies concerning part-time or other "flex" arrangements, or has it made similar public statements? At large employers that make a point of publicly touting employment flexibility, I have heard that parroting back the relevant statements makes it more likely for an individual request to be taken seriously.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Carson » Tue May 15, 2018 7:14 pm

I requested to go part-time at MegaCorp a couple of years ago. My sr. mgr at the time was sympathetic, however she did ask me if I would leave otherwise. It had taken some soul searching, but with DH as my support, I clearly told her that yes, I would leave.

It took about a YEAR from me asking for it to actually go through the full approval process. One phase of that was I used some banked PTO to simulate a PT schedule. Even after that, I worked what I called part-time on-demand - when we had our crazy periods, I pretty much worked FT, completing tasks remotely as I needed. What it took for me to really get to PT was an actual role change where I took on different functions for a completely different group. Still some peak periods, but much, much more manageable.

I think since you don't know this director, can you put things in some kind of metrics that they can see? How you are a documented asset to the team, etc...? If your team is already short-staffed, how can you scale your work to fit in a PT role? Is the nature of your work better suited to a fixed day/week schedule? Or is it better to assess demand in realtime? It's not necessarily their job to come up with those solutions, but having some ideas might make them more amenable to your request.
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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by dknightd » Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm

rcjchicity wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 3:54 pm
if I will be leaving if the request is denied.
This is a question only you can decide. I would not bring it up unless I was willing to walk.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by rcjchicity » Tue May 15, 2018 8:07 pm

OP here - lots of great things to consider.

I hadn't thought of offering a trial period, primarily because of daycare. I have to give 30 days' notice before a schedule change is in effect, so I'd rather not work 3 days a week while paying for 5 days a week daycare (or quickly have to go back to 5 days a week, but only have daycare for 3 days a week).
EddyB wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:10 pm
OP, does your employer have written policies concerning part-time or other "flex" arrangements, or has it made similar public statements? At large employers that make a point of publicly touting employment flexibility, I have heard that parroting back the relevant statements makes it more likely for an individual request to be taken seriously.
This is also an aspect I hadn't thought of. The I.T. department has been at the forefront of the organization in terms of actually having a written guideline around flexible work arrangements. In addition, for many years, my employer has been ranked among the Working Mothers 100 Best Companies, which they love to tout.

My director has been asking for more information about why I am requesting the change to part time. I didn't know how specific to be about the real reason, which is how difficult it has been to have two young children with two full-time working parents - particularly with my husband's crazy schedule (he's an ER physician). "Because I don't need/want to work full time" feels like an equally valid reason to me. But, perhaps looped in with referencing the Working Mother's award, the kiddos could be more pertinent to answering that question.

My thoughts for answering the "will you quit" question is something vague along the lines of "I would need to deliberate that question with my family's input, but all potential options would be under consideration".

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by livesoft » Tue May 15, 2018 8:20 pm

rcjchicity wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:07 pm
My thoughts for answering the "will you quit" question is something vague along the lines of "I would need to deliberate that question with my family's input, but all potential options would be under consideration".
That's a legit answer. Perhaps, the same as "Honestly, I don't know."
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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Olemiss540 » Tue May 15, 2018 8:36 pm

Why don't you say yes (that you intend to quit), and mean it? You have a lot of "excuses" as to why you haven't done it yet, or why this job is important to you, or how you can't "part time it" because you would have to pay for 2 extra days of day care.

Tell themyou will quit if youare not allowed to go pay time, and then QUIT if they do not let you. Craft a new situation that better suits your needs. Your spouse seems to make enough to allow you time to sort through it,
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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by rcjchicity » Tue May 15, 2018 9:02 pm

Olemiss540 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:36 pm
Why don't you say yes (that you intend to quit), and mean it? You have a lot of "excuses" as to why you haven't done it yet, or why this job is important to you, or how you can't "part time it" because you would have to pay for 2 extra days of day care.

Tell themyou will quit if youare not allowed to go pay time, and then QUIT if they do not let you. Craft a new situation that better suits your needs. Your spouse seems to make enough to allow you time to sort through it,
You've definitely picked up on my inertia to make a big jump.

Frankly, this job is relatively easy, pays well and has good benefits. My current position was created specifically for me, and my position before that was created with me as the preferred candidate. So, it's been a very long time since I've put any effort into a job hunt.

I don't love what I do, and often don't really enjoy it either. Harried mornings and evenings with the kids don't help. So, the idea of feigning enthusiasm for other jobs in the same field doesn't thrill me. I keep toying with the idea of an early retirement and an encore career in something completely outside of healthcare. I haven't advanced beyond the fantasizing stage to concrete implementation steps.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue May 15, 2018 9:34 pm

rcjchicity wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:02 pm
Olemiss540 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:36 pm
Why don't you say yes (that you intend to quit), and mean it? You have a lot of "excuses" as to why you haven't done it yet, or why this job is important to you, or how you can't "part time it" because you would have to pay for 2 extra days of day care.

Tell themyou will quit if youare not allowed to go pay time, and then QUIT if they do not let you. Craft a new situation that better suits your needs. Your spouse seems to make enough to allow you time to sort through it,
You've definitely picked up on my inertia to make a big jump.

Frankly, this job is relatively easy, pays well and has good benefits. My current position was created specifically for me, and my position before that was created with me as the preferred candidate. So, it's been a very long time since I've put any effort into a job hunt.

I don't love what I do, and often don't really enjoy it either. Harried mornings and evenings with the kids don't help. So, the idea of feigning enthusiasm for other jobs in the same field doesn't thrill me. I keep toying with the idea of an early retirement and an encore career in something completely outside of healthcare. I haven't advanced beyond the fantasizing stage to concrete implementation steps.

I was in a similar situation but had decided prior that I was willing to quit. I had leverage as the only person on my team who could do my job and I knew it was a tough position to hire, but I didn't use that to negotiate. Instead I was honest and open with my manager about how I wanted more family time but I wanted to help the organization too and not leave them hanging. We had multiple candid conversations. I was granted the part-time with a ton of flexibility and am making more per hour now than before.

My spouse has also requested part-time multiple times but would rather work full-time than quit. Her request to switch to part-time has been denied each time, but I bet if she was willing to quit they'd make an exception because they don't want to lose a unique and valuable employee.

It's easy to get complacent, play it safe or sell yourself short. If you find your job easy and bring unique talent to the table your employer won't want to lose you and I bet will make exceptions.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by delamer » Wed May 16, 2018 11:30 am

rcjchicity wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:07 pm
OP here - lots of great things to consider.

I hadn't thought of offering a trial period, primarily because of daycare. I have to give 30 days' notice before a schedule change is in effect, so I'd rather not work 3 days a week while paying for 5 days a week daycare (or quickly have to go back to 5 days a week, but only have daycare for 3 days a week).
EddyB wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:10 pm
OP, does your employer have written policies concerning part-time or other "flex" arrangements, or has it made similar public statements? At large employers that make a point of publicly touting employment flexibility, I have heard that parroting back the relevant statements makes it more likely for an individual request to be taken seriously.
This is also an aspect I hadn't thought of. The I.T. department has been at the forefront of the organization in terms of actually having a written guideline around flexible work arrangements. In addition, for many years, my employer has been ranked among the Working Mothers 100 Best Companies, which they love to tout.

My director has been asking for more information about why I am requesting the change to part time. I didn't know how specific to be about the real reason, which is how difficult it has been to have two young children with two full-time working parents - particularly with my husband's crazy schedule (he's an ER physician). "Because I don't need/want to work full time" feels like an equally valid reason to me. But, perhaps looped in with referencing the Working Mother's award, the kiddos could be more pertinent to answering that question.

My thoughts for answering the "will you quit" question is something vague along the lines of "I would need to deliberate that question with my family's input, but all potential options would be under consideration".
How about answering with the simple truth — my husband’s works schedule is erratic and I need to be able to spend more time with our family.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by rcjchicity » Wed May 16, 2018 1:58 pm

I sent off my response to the director - I crafted a very different response than if I hadn't received all of your helpful input.

I described my "work-life balance" struggles; referenced the Working Mothers 100 Best Company award and how schedule flexibility contributes to that; mentioned my high level of efficiency & productivity, and how when I left my previous role, I ended up training 5 people to cover the different aspects that I was doing by myself for many years. I also mentioned that I have ideas about how to minimize disruption with the rest of the team, both during my on-call week, as well as with regards to which 3 days/week I would work.

I finished with a vague all options are on the table-type response to the question of if I would leave.

We'll see...

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed May 16, 2018 3:04 pm

rcjchicity wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:58 pm
I sent off my response to the director - I crafted a very different response than if I hadn't received all of your helpful input.

I described my "work-life balance" struggles; referenced the Working Mothers 100 Best Company award and how schedule flexibility contributes to that; mentioned my high level of efficiency & productivity, and how when I left my previous role, I ended up training 5 people to cover the different aspects that I was doing by myself for many years. I also mentioned that I have ideas about how to minimize disruption with the rest of the team, both during my on-call week, as well as with regards to which 3 days/week I would work.

I finished with a vague all options are on the table-type response to the question of if I would leave.

We'll see...
Sounds like a good response. Hope it works out well and keep us posted.

I think being honest, direct and trying to come up with a win-win is the best way to negotiate in this situation. So the only thing I would change is I wouldn't be vague, but I would answer exactly how I'm feeling when asked questions about leaving or whatever else. Then it should feel more like a friendly conversation and not a negotiation being vague trying to possibly get leverage.

Even though my spouse wasn't able to switch to part-time pay her manager gave her tons of flexibility and she was able to reduce significant amount of responsibilities. So she's almost working half as much as before with much more flex but still getting paid full-time. When you bring unique talent, are efficient, loyal and honest good companies will do what they can to keep you around.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Hug401k » Wed May 16, 2018 3:30 pm

In my world- "How difficult it has been to have two young children with two full-time working parents - particularly with my husband's crazy schedule as an ER physician" is a totally legit reason!

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by TravelGeek » Wed May 16, 2018 3:52 pm

rcjchicity wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:58 pm
I also mentioned that I have ideas about how to minimize disruption with the rest of the team, both during my on-call week, as well as with regards to which 3 days/week I would work.
I have had co-workers that tried part time work. I think at times it is difficult to be on a different schedule than everyone else if you have a lot of meetings or the need to otherwise collaborate and people have to work around your schedule. You need to avoid making a ton of exceptions ("I usually don't work on Tuesdays, but I will attend this one call tomorrow because I know it's important") because otherwise you will quickly find yourself working near full-time for half-time pay.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu May 17, 2018 9:27 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 3:52 pm
rcjchicity wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:58 pm
I also mentioned that I have ideas about how to minimize disruption with the rest of the team, both during my on-call week, as well as with regards to which 3 days/week I would work.
I have had co-workers that tried part time work. I think at times it is difficult to be on a different schedule than everyone else if you have a lot of meetings or the need to otherwise collaborate and people have to work around your schedule. You need to avoid making a ton of exceptions ("I usually don't work on Tuesdays, but I will attend this one call tomorrow because I know it's important") because otherwise you will quickly find yourself working near full-time for half-time pay.
This is another reason why I think it's good to further evaluate the quit question. It's easier for the employee to set clear boundaries and the employer to accept those boundaries. When the employee is more valued than the employer the employee can be in the driver seat. That doesn't mean taking advantage of the situation, but setting up an ideal work - life balance while also performing well job wise.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by advice789 » Thu May 17, 2018 9:49 am

Lots of sound advice by others. A few thoughts
1) you must have a solid reputation given your comments of the job was created for you. Perhaps your old mgr has a need in his new team. Or perhaps seek the advice from your prior mgr given the. current situation

2) is there another person also looking for a pert time role. Then you two could propose splitting one job by two people. In that manner, the dept retains one full time person of contribution

3) good point by others to look for the benefits from your mgr’s view. Eg, less salary as you are part time and then less budget needed if costs are an issue. Is a part time role/ work life flexibility of benefit to recruit more candidates/ improves image of the dept? Is part time only during standard work hours or would part time on evenings / weekends be of value to your dept’s clients?

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu May 17, 2018 12:37 pm

I was on reduced workweek for a significant time (over two years) before retiring.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=163988

In my case it was every Friday off. Megacorp had established policies for that. If you worked more than 32 hours, you got full medical coverage. So my schedule was technically 33 hours, with two days scheduled to be 8.5 hours. Not that I changed anything, as I tended to be around a bit longer each day anyway.

People adjust. Friday never was a popular day for meetings anyway, as there are a number of people who use flex-time to take Friday half or full days off.
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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Mydanyale » Sat May 19, 2018 5:56 pm

Olemiss540 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:36 pm
Why don't you say yes (that you intend to quit), and mean it? You have a lot of "excuses" as to why you haven't done it yet, or why this job is important to you, or how you can't "part time it" because you would have to pay for 2 extra days of day care.

Tell themyou will quit if youare not allowed to go pay time, and then QUIT if they do not let you. Craft a new situation that better suits your needs. Your spouse seems to make enough to allow you time to sort through it,
But before giving them an ultimatum and quitting, find a plan B or another acceptable job.
Typically employers don't ask, will you quit?
Just ask, and if they say no, look for another job.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Bungo » Sat May 19, 2018 7:25 pm

Would working from home 2-3 days a week give you the flexibility you need? Depending on the specifics of the job and employer, that may be easier to negotiate than going part-time, and you would be able to keep your full-time salary and benefits.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by 123 » Sat May 19, 2018 7:32 pm

Some years ago I submitted a request to my employer to change to part-time so I could take some classes that weren't offered in the evenings/weekends. The employer said my experience and skills were needed by the organization and I would be too difficult to replace so they were denying my request. As I left work on the day before the new academic term began I left a note on the manager's desk that I was resigning immediately. I was able to complete the classes I was interested in much faster since I had so much free time. I then went onward to a new career.
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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by delamer » Sun May 20, 2018 12:39 pm

123 wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 7:32 pm
Some years ago I submitted a request to my employer to change to part-time so I could take some classes that weren't offered in the evenings/weekends. The employer said my experience and skills were needed by the organization and I would be too difficult to replace so they were denying my request. As I left work on the day before the new academic term began I left a note on the manager's desk that I was resigning immediately. I was able to complete the classes I was interested in much faster since I had so much free time. I then went onward to a new career.
It is amazing how some people/organizations can’t think through the logical consequences of their actions...

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by cockersx3 » Sun May 20, 2018 7:42 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:34 pm
rcjchicity wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:02 pm
Olemiss540 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:36 pm
Why don't you say yes (that you intend to quit), and mean it? You have a lot of "excuses" as to why you haven't done it yet, or why this job is important to you, or how you can't "part time it" because you would have to pay for 2 extra days of day care.

Tell themyou will quit if youare not allowed to go pay time, and then QUIT if they do not let you. Craft a new situation that better suits your needs. Your spouse seems to make enough to allow you time to sort through it,
You've definitely picked up on my inertia to make a big jump.

Frankly, this job is relatively easy, pays well and has good benefits. My current position was created specifically for me, and my position before that was created with me as the preferred candidate. So, it's been a very long time since I've put any effort into a job hunt.

I don't love what I do, and often don't really enjoy it either. Harried mornings and evenings with the kids don't help. So, the idea of feigning enthusiasm for other jobs in the same field doesn't thrill me. I keep toying with the idea of an early retirement and an encore career in something completely outside of healthcare. I haven't advanced beyond the fantasizing stage to concrete implementation steps.

I was in a similar situation but had decided prior that I was willing to quit. I had leverage as the only person on my team who could do my job and I knew it was a tough position to hire, but I didn't use that to negotiate. Instead I was honest and open with my manager about how I wanted more family time but I wanted to help the organization too and not leave them hanging. We had multiple candid conversations. I was granted the part-time with a ton of flexibility and am making more per hour now than before.

My spouse has also requested part-time multiple times but would rather work full-time than quit. Her request to switch to part-time has been denied each time, but I bet if she was willing to quit they'd make an exception because they don't want to lose a unique and valuable employee.

It's easy to get complacent, play it safe or sell yourself short. If you find your job easy and bring unique talent to the table your employer won't want to lose you and I bet will make exceptions.
I think that maintaining mutual respect between you and your employer is important, as ThankYouJack appears to have done. I was in a somewhat related situation recently, regarding a potential disagreement on work demands. Background was that I was on a "3-6 month" travel assignment that already stretched to a full year. Towards the end of that 1-year mark, I was told that the assignment was likely to be extended for several more months. I don't mind business travel to a point, but in my opinion the travel demands were getting excessive. I responded by politely but firmly telling my manager that while I did enjoy working there, it was having a negative impact on my family and that we were - very reluctantly - considering leaving the company over it. I reiterated that I did not mean to come off as disrespectful, and that I understood the company's needs, but that I simply wanted to be transparent about how this was likely to end if nothing changed. (And I absolutely meant it - I was fully financially prepared to leave if needed).

End result? The company backed down and did not further extend my assignment. I still maintain a very positive work relationship with all involved as well. I was (and surprisingly, still am) considered a high performer which may have helped as well. My feeling is that it would have ended much differently if I angrily threatened to quit if they didn't change. Not to say that the OP would do that, but just pointing out that how the message is communicated is critically important in this case.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by rcjchicity » Mon May 21, 2018 9:35 am

Bungo wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 7:25 pm
Would working from home 2-3 days a week give you the flexibility you need? Depending on the specifics of the job and employer, that may be easier to negotiate than going part-time, and you would be able to keep your full-time salary and benefits.
This is one set up I want to avoid agreeing to. I'd like to be able to take my kids to activities, and get errands and chores done during the week, rather than having to cram everything in on the weekend.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by ThankYouJack » Mon May 21, 2018 2:24 pm

cockersx3 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:42 pm


I think that maintaining mutual respect between you and your employer is important, as ThankYouJack appears to have done.

I think it's more like a relationship between the employer and employee than hostile ultimatum negotiations. Each side should try to foster the relationship to help the other out but also putting their own needs first. I'm actually quite surprised how much flexibility my and my spouse's supervisors have given us where we've been able to reduce way down on hours worked and telecommute much more. I hope it works out well for the OP too.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by ThankYouJack » Fri May 25, 2018 1:38 pm

rcjchicity wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:58 pm
I sent off my response to the director - I crafted a very different response than if I hadn't received all of your helpful input.

I described my "work-life balance" struggles; referenced the Working Mothers 100 Best Company award and how schedule flexibility contributes to that; mentioned my high level of efficiency & productivity, and how when I left my previous role, I ended up training 5 people to cover the different aspects that I was doing by myself for many years. I also mentioned that I have ideas about how to minimize disruption with the rest of the team, both during my on-call week, as well as with regards to which 3 days/week I would work.

I finished with a vague all options are on the table-type response to the question of if I would leave.

We'll see...
Have you heard back? Have you thought about having the conversation in person. Managers may be more likely to give a verbal ok to more flexibility than having something written down, especially via email. At least that was the case for myself and my spouse.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by rcjchicity » Tue May 29, 2018 12:01 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 1:38 pm

Have you heard back? Have you thought about having the conversation in person. Managers may be more likely to give a verbal ok to more flexibility than having something written down, especially via email. At least that was the case for myself and my spouse.
Just heard back this morning - request not approved at this time due to manager search, etc. $#!+ I don't have enough energy for a job search. But guess I gotta.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by delamer » Tue May 29, 2018 1:18 pm

rcjchicity wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 12:01 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 1:38 pm

Have you heard back? Have you thought about having the conversation in person. Managers may be more likely to give a verbal ok to more flexibility than having something written down, especially via email. At least that was the case for myself and my spouse.
Just heard back this morning - request not approved at this time due to manager search, etc. $#!+ I don't have enough energy for a job search. But guess I gotta.
Sorry to hear that.

Good luck with your search.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by rcjchicity » Tue May 29, 2018 1:21 pm

On the upside, about an hour after receiving notice that my request was denied, I received an email invite for my organization's Press Ganey employee engagement survey. So I got to vent.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Carson » Tue May 29, 2018 1:59 pm

rcjchicity, how frustrating! $%^& indeed.
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by xrvision » Tue May 29, 2018 3:10 pm

My department did not have a process in place for part timers, and word on the street was that they "strongly frowned upon it", so everyone was scared to ask. Then a valued employee asked to go part time and was denied the request. After several months of listening to other people's complaints about how this person was treated unfairly, the department created an official part time policy, which is completely transparent, pretty fair, and makes things very clear for all parties involved.

Look for another job- your quality of life will be much better with just 1 extra day off a week. And maybe you'll find something better. And maybe your department will create a better way to handle these situations.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed May 30, 2018 10:22 am

rcjchicity wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 12:01 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 1:38 pm

Have you heard back? Have you thought about having the conversation in person. Managers may be more likely to give a verbal ok to more flexibility than having something written down, especially via email. At least that was the case for myself and my spouse.
Just heard back this morning - request not approved at this time due to manager search, etc. $#!+ I don't have enough energy for a job search. But guess I gotta.
Shott, sorry to hear that. Is there any chance you could have a meeting with your supervisor and discuss more flexibility or some unpaid time off?
I think your chances may be better if it's face to face and off the record (nothing in writing). Also, I would be open with how you're feeling because you seem like a valued employee and if they know you're looking into options to leave, I think they'll be more willing to adjust things on your behalf.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by rcjchicity » Wed May 30, 2018 2:44 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 10:22 am
Shott, sorry to hear that. Is there any chance you could have a meeting with your supervisor and discuss more flexibility or some unpaid time off?
I think your chances may be better if it's face to face and off the record (nothing in writing). Also, I would be open with how you're feeling because you seem like a valued employee and if they know you're looking into options to leave, I think they'll be more willing to adjust things on your behalf.
The real issue right now is the lack of a manager who should be the one I'm dealing with, not the director. Internal candidates were interviewed recently, but who knows how long an announcement might take. If the candidate that I (and my other team members) prefer gets it, he's someone I could easily discuss this with, because we work closely together now.

I realized yesterday that before any thoughts of a job hop, I would need to get the kids enrolled in another daycare. The employer-provided daycare that they're in takes tuition out of our paychecks, so they'd notice pretty quickly if I no longer worked there. :annoyed

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by changingtimes » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:16 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 10:22 am
Shott, sorry to hear that. Is there any chance you could have a meeting with your supervisor and discuss more flexibility or some unpaid time off?
I think your chances may be better if it's face to face and off the record (nothing in writing). Also, I would be open with how you're feeling because you seem like a valued employee and if they know you're looking into options to leave, I think they'll be more willing to adjust things on your behalf.
Not OP, but in a similar situation as someone who would really like to cut back on working but is the only person doing these tasks, and they do not necessarily fit in with structured part-time hours--amounts of work really ebb and flow. And of course I really want to keep health insurance. And I would guess that my boss and people above her consider me to be a valued employee.

But the full salary does not mean so much to me anymore--nice to have, but could easily do with less--so I've wondered about leave without pay. Are there mandated maximums? What if I just wanted, say, four weeks of LWOP a year, in addition to my five weeks of vacation time? Does it mess with benefits?

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by ThankYouJack » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:02 pm

changingtimes wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:16 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 10:22 am
Shott, sorry to hear that. Is there any chance you could have a meeting with your supervisor and discuss more flexibility or some unpaid time off?
I think your chances may be better if it's face to face and off the record (nothing in writing). Also, I would be open with how you're feeling because you seem like a valued employee and if they know you're looking into options to leave, I think they'll be more willing to adjust things on your behalf.
Not OP, but in a similar situation as someone who would really like to cut back on working but is the only person doing these tasks, and they do not necessarily fit in with structured part-time hours--amounts of work really ebb and flow. And of course I really want to keep health insurance. And I would guess that my boss and people above her consider me to be a valued employee.

But the full salary does not mean so much to me anymore--nice to have, but could easily do with less--so I've wondered about leave without pay. Are there mandated maximums? What if I just wanted, say, four weeks of LWOP a year, in addition to my five weeks of vacation time? Does it mess with benefits?
I would talk to your manager directly. First I would say how much you enjoy the job, the company and her as a manager (assuming you do), then state how your great at your job and ask if you get any additional time off because you would like a bit more flexibility so you can spend more time with your family and whatever else. Both mine and my spouse's managers have granted basically time off with pay (we don't need to track our hours) as long as we get our work done and do a good job.

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Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by delamer » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:32 pm

changingtimes wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:16 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 10:22 am
Shott, sorry to hear that. Is there any chance you could have a meeting with your supervisor and discuss more flexibility or some unpaid time off?
I think your chances may be better if it's face to face and off the record (nothing in writing). Also, I would be open with how you're feeling because you seem like a valued employee and if they know you're looking into options to leave, I think they'll be more willing to adjust things on your behalf.
Not OP, but in a similar situation as someone who would really like to cut back on working but is the only person doing these tasks, and they do not necessarily fit in with structured part-time hours--amounts of work really ebb and flow. And of course I really want to keep health insurance. And I would guess that my boss and people above her consider me to be a valued employee.

But the full salary does not mean so much to me anymore--nice to have, but could easily do with less--so I've wondered about leave without pay. Are there mandated maximums? What if I just wanted, say, four weeks of LWOP a year, in addition to my five weeks of vacation time? Does it mess with benefits?
Only your HR department can answer those questions for you. Policies will vary from company to company.

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Re: UPDATE: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by rcjchicity » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:46 pm

OP here:

So, after many months of looking for other opportunities which would allow me to work part time but stay local to the Chicago area (which I found don't really exist), my director offered up the idea of me joining a project team at at 0.6 FTE (Monday/Wed/Thurs, 24 hours/week).

My new schedule starts in 2 weeks. Lots of trepidation still, as there's always the concern that I could only get paid for 3 days/24 hours/week but have to put in a lot more hours on my days "off", after the kids go to bed, etc. Also, the project site is about 50 miles away, and I'll have to drive there about once a week (but our work day will take into consideration commute time, so meetings are supposed to occur between 10 am - 2 or 3 pm)

And, of course there's always the concern when the project is complete in 2020, of how I fit back in with the operational team.

I also found out that my director, in a previous job as a lab technician, when she had her 2nd child, requested to go part time and was denied. So she quit. A couple weeks later they offered her back her job and let her pick the days & hours she wanted to work. Her questions to me I described in my original post make more sense knowing that.

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Re: UPDATE: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Thegame14 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:56 pm

most daycares it is only marginally cheaper for PT vs FT, because they have to maintain ratio's for profitability. My sons daycare and others I have seen, the PT is only about 10-20% cheaper, for 40% less care, vs you have to take half your pay, to offset the 10-20% cheaper, so it isn't worth it financially. I assume you would save no more than $200 a month times two kids, so $400 a month, I would assume you taking a 50% pay cut is more than a $400 a month loss, so then it isn't about the money, it is about something else...

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Re: UPDATE: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by rcjchicity » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:04 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:56 pm
most daycares it is only marginally cheaper for PT vs FT, because they have to maintain ratio's for profitability. My sons daycare and others I have seen, the PT is only about 10-20% cheaper, for 40% less care, vs you have to take half your pay, to offset the 10-20% cheaper, so it isn't worth it financially. I assume you would save no more than $200 a month times two kids, so $400 a month, I would assume you taking a 50% pay cut is more than a $400 a month loss, so then it isn't about the money, it is about something else...
Yes, I've done the calculation, and 3 days/week daycare is 80 % the cost of 5 days/week. With 2 kids in daycare, the cost reduction is about $7500/year.

I carry the family's health insurance, and part-timers aren't subsidized as much, so those costs will go up for me.

I'm taking an almost $60,000 pay cut.

And I'm still going to max out my 401k and HSA

Since the daycare is employer-sponsored, it all comes out of my paycheck. If my paycheck is $100 or $200, I'll be happy. It's better than having to write a check to my employer on payday :shock:

It's definitely not about the money, but more about time with my family and my sanity

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Re: UPDATE: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

Post by Jazztonight » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:42 pm

In the end, it really depends on how valuable an employee you are.

I went through this in 2000 after having worked at my company for 17 years as a health care provider.

Before approaching my supervisor (he was a real jerk), I lined up two other work possibilities, neither of which I wanted, but would do if necessary.

Then I wrote out a simple request, offering to work two days a week for 40% of my average income for the last 3 years. I padded the number by $20 a day knowing what would happen.

They came back with an offer that was lower by about $20 a day, and I took it.

But I was a good producer for them, and it was worth it for them to keep me. I worked 2 days a week for the next 12 years (when I turned 66 and retired), and never asked for or received a raise. I’d do it again.

If you didn’t get what you wanted, I think you’d have landed on your feet somewhere else!
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

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