Managing your part-time job, like a boss!
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5 personal stories from organised mums who work part time, to stop feeling as though you are doing things by half! Inspiration and advice!
Good management of a part time job concerns 3.6 million women in France: we represent 80% of part-time employment!
Half of us say that this choice was due to not having suitable childcare for the children, and that we find it complicated professionally. What is sure is that not always being around when decisions are being made, or doing the equivalent of a full-time amount of work over a four day week is no picnic!
On our hunt for the best advice, we talked to some part-time working mums who don’t have the impression that they are only at work half the time: so how do you do it, girls?
Sophie (3 children/4 day week): “No choice; my youngest child is dyslexic and needs a lot of guidance. I spread my day off over 2 half days, which allows me to bring him to his sessions and not lose the rhythm of the 5 day week. When I am away on Thursday afternoons, I pick him up after lunch because I eat lunch with my team. From time to time I do eat lunch with him, but I believe that it is important for me to maintain the work routine. It may seem like I’m addicted, but I tell myself that I am doing my job as a mum well and my job as a manager well.”
Anne-Marie (2 children/3 day week): “I had my children later in life and I wanted to enjoy them. When it was time to go back to work, I couldn’t get used to the idea of a full-time childminder. I went part time and abandoned all hope of a promotion, but became specialised in a specific field. This allows me to remain a reference point in my company. I got training by taking lectures and classes at home and I made sure to communicate internally about the necessity of having a specialist like me around! Now, when I am not there people reschedule meetings. I appreciate that!”
France (2 children/3 day week): After 5 years of ‘commute-work-bed’ and a burnout, I decided to work part-time. It’s a stretch financially but it allows me to be at home on Wednesdays (when the children are off school) and to have Friday for myself and the house. I am a registered nurse, and I chose to work independently instead of being attached to a hospital. It’s more flexible, and more solitary too… but I needed that space simply to live. It’s a question of priorities, so I didn’t hesitate!”
Eloise (4 children, half-time): “Despite my large family, it was necessary for me to continue working. As a senior staff member in a company, I didn’t want to find myself watching all my colleagues pass me by. Although it’s my own choice, I’m not a masochist. I chose a suitable career: I am a primary school teacher. I share a class with a colleague and it works well. I have a friend who shares a position in a company with a colleague: it’s still too uncommon!”
Aimée (2 children/4 day week): “When I stopped working on Wednesdays, I got the works: the remarks, the meetings held on the day I wasn’t there… but I didn’t let myself be a pushover! I don’t take work home on a Wednesday, but I get to work early on Thursday to handle any emergencies from the day before in 1 hour. And frankly, it’s enough! That way, on Thursday morning while my colleagues are getting a coffee, I’m already in full swing. As for the diaries, don’t be afraid to say “I need to be at this meeting, but I’m not available that day.” You don’t have to tell your life story, or apologise!”
To sum up:
Choose the days you are absent wisely
Think about specialising, and let it be known!
Become a freelancer
Or change careers in order to remain professionally fulfilled
Play the long game: one hour is often enough to catch up on one day of fruitless discussions
Don’t let anyone step on your toes!!
Managing a part-time job well is about making it an opportunity, whatever the context, and being organized enough to reinvent your professional life 100%. Thanks, girls!
I will be putting the early morning hour to stay in the game to good use on Thursday and I am going to stop checking my emails on Wednesday between two children’s activities….