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Talking To Your Boss - HELP!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm scheduled to go back to work April 14th. Before maternity leave, I was working 8:30-5:30 (with a one-hour lunch) five days a week. I'm one of three secretaries for a small (under 50 employees on-site) company.

Financially, I have to return. However, I'd like to propose to my employer that I return on a part-time basis. I'd like to work 12:30-5:30 every day. During the busier time of the month, I'd be willing to work evenings, as well.

There is another very part-time employee that would probably be willing to cover my morning hours if they decide they can't do it without me for those three hours (I normally take lunch at 11:30).

Any advice for how to propose this? If he isn't crazy about me being part-time, how should I bring up the idea of job-sharing?

I'm usually very relaxed asking my boss for things (he's also the company controller), but I'm finding out I'm very chicken with this subject.

Any and all advice is welcome.
post #2 of 3
Tough one, and I did just that a few years ago.

My Dh was a stay at home dad, and when DS was 14 months old, we decided he needed to go back to work. (I worked 6am - 3pm at this point)

I can't remember how I proposed the idea, but I suggested to my boss that I work shorter hours, at odd times so that my son could become used to the day care environment - so there was an end in sight.
I worked 9am-11am, then went to pick up my son and went home, then when my dh came home at 3:30pm, I went back to work working from around 4pm to 7 or 8pm. It was very tiring, and I did it for about 6 months before going back to my regular hours. Some days I stayed till 9 or later.
Luckily I could work when there was nobody else around (I'm in the finance dept of a med size company 250+ employees) My boss brought in another person, who did the smaller jobs, filing, basic data entry etc..... so it was almost a job share type thing although the temp worked a full 8 hour day.

I think you should draw up a plan, and make suggestions on how it would or could benifit the company (less sick time because you can maintain brestfeeding etc.....) How you see it working etc..

I hope this helps a little, its a bit more difficult when you're the guys RIGHT HAND MAN........ I hope it works for you.

Good Luck
post #3 of 3
I think that it's great that you are considering a creative solution. My only advice - what worked for me - is:

1. Suggest a couple of very specific strategies that will allow you some flexibility, but will not sacrifice the department's productivity. It sounds like you are well on your way. If job-sharing is the first option and new to your company, I would outline pretty much exactly how it might work - hours, overlap, transitioning of work, etc.
2. Present the proposed situation with respect to the advantages to the company, like was suggested earlier.
3. Present the fallback...."If it isn't working out by X date, we'll revert to my full time situation." or present the solution as a temporary thing - like the easing into day care (which I did, by the way) idea - and if it winds up working, you can propose it as a permanent thing.

Just some ideas. Since you have a good relationship with your boss, and he's in a position of autonomy to create a workable situation for you, I'd say you have a great shot at it! I was really nervous about proposing a part-time situation for myself, but then really surprised at how flexible my management really was. And in the end, what have you got to lose?

Good luck!
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