I recently had the conversation with my boss about potentially going part-time. With my son starting kindergarten in August, I’ve felt the overwhelming need to be at home. It surely isn’t a desire to be a SAHM; I love and I need to work. But there’s been this all-consuming feeling that I need to be home at least part-time.
There are two people on our team that work part-time, so I know that my boss is open to the idea. In fact, she herself has worked part-time in the past. After the birth of her first daughter, she came back from maternity leave working three days a week and slowly moved back up to full-time. She understands the need to work less hours. But she also offered a very strong opinion on what it would do to my career.
Essentially, if I went part-time I would be giving up any and all opportunities to advance.
She wasn’t saying it as a threat or as my manager. She was speaking from experience. There would be less responsibility due to fewer hours. That less responsibility would make it near impossible to get a promotion or a merit increase. Of course, I’d already factored in the less pay while I would be part-time. But I hadn’t given much thought to the long-term earning potential that I could be sacrificing.
My boss wasn’t trying to scare me out of it. I appreciated the candid conversation and her willingness to share her experience. It left me with a lot to think about. After mulling it over for weeks and talking to nearly everyone in my family, I decided use a “wait and see” approach. I’m going to continue to work full-time when my son starts school and see how it goes. It may be easy. It may be tough. But then I’ll know that the benefit of fewer hours will be worth the lack of career advancement and financial losses.
Any part-timers want to chime in with your experience? Is the career-suicide warning fact or fiction?