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Resource: Career Advice
Making the Part-Time Transition
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

If it's been a while since you've worked a part-time shift, it can be hard to acclimate to the new schedule. Part-time employment is run on a completely different set of rules. It offers flexibility that full-time work often can't.

There has been a recent increase of workers looking for part-time positions in order to accomodate their changing lifestyles. Meeting the expectations of a 40-hour work week while juggling a list of other demands can be overwhelming, to say the least.

Switching to part-time work doesn't have to result in part-time pay. Working two part-time shifts works for many people who like the change of scenery and want to expand their experience in different industries.

Transitioning into part-time work is easiest when it makes the most sense. Think about your reasons for wanting to make the move. Is your current full-time job cutting into your family time? Are you feeling burnt out from the workload? Perhaps you want some time to get back in the classroom and want plenty of time to study. Get a good understanding for why part-time appeals to you so that you will be able to convince both yourself and your boss.

Once you know your own reasons for the change you need to get to know the nature of the part-time work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 25 percent of all working women in the U.S. work part-time. This will help you get your point across and your boss to make his decision. Learn as much about what being a part-time worker is like, and if possible, get some insight from someone who works part-time at your company.

Imagine what part-time life for you would look like. Would you be working 25, 30, 35 hour weeks? Depending on the type of job, some part-time work can allow you to work from home or at locations outside of the office. Figure out what your ideal part-time work situation would be like and see if your current boss would be willing to go along with it.

After much giving the idea much thought, it's time to prepare your pitch. Your boss will want reassurance that you're going to be just as good of a worker as you already are. Two main concerns will be your productivity and your accessibility. Schedule a time to discuss your plan so that you both have a fair opportunity to lay out your views and concerns.

In the case that your company isn't into the idea of cutting down your hours, propose the idea of a trial period from one to three months. If they agree to that, make sure you stick to your end of the bargain by showing them how well this new situation can work for the both of you.