Have you had to sacrifice your career (and accordingly wage) in order to work flexibly?

(100 Posts)
Wytchhazel1 Mon 21-Jul-08 17:43:08

Many of my mum mates and i are looking to go back to work because we need the money, but most haven't been able to get jobs at the same level/pay scale that are part time.Personally i have taken a 40% pro rata pay drop and had to ditch my career in order to be able to work part time. Is this a waste of 9 years of my working life and a waste for the job market too? Does having a baby send you immediately to the bottom of the job pile if you can't go back to your old employer?

Whizzz Mon 21-Jul-08 17:52:36

I requested flexible working and then condensed hours but was turned down for both. Not long after, my job was effectively made redundant & I was offered job share with another female with children which I turned down as the hours were too short & then took redundancy. A male with grown up kids is now doing my original full time job. Coincidence - I think not.
I have ditched my career of 20 years & am now a TA, very happy & much less stressed - although very lowly paid!

I think sometimes it can be very hard
One mother I know only applied for full time jobs because there weren't any part-time jobs at the level which she needed, and then at second interview stage would broach the prospect of doing 3-4 day week if they seemed a flexible company.
I have a 'family-friendly' job with flexible hours, but get less salary for the pleasure.
I think laterally and have lots of different jobs with differing skill needs, keeps me interested and professionally I develop. Also keeps my options open.

Wytchhazel1 Mon 21-Jul-08 17:56:29

I'm going to be a TA too! Looking forward to it but I loved my old job and we are really going to miss my old wage. Glad you are happier but that seems really unfair.

sarah293 Mon 21-Jul-08 17:57:48

Message withdrawn

But I would love the next level up role in my job, very rare for part-time positions to come up.
I have the talent and drive, plus the experience.
It's a pity, it cost a lot to train me.

Whizzz Mon 21-Jul-08 17:59:26

Can I also just add that I am primarily a TA because I wanted to work with kids & not because it was 'an easy option' re: school hols. Sorry but it's a bit of a soapbox issue with me grin

Anna8888 Mon 21-Jul-08 18:01:45

It's a huge issue - that needs to be resolved - that part-time work is rarely interesting/responsible/well-paid, yet a massive number of families would like for one of their two adult members to be able to work part-time in order to meet the family's absolute requirement for care and logistics, while still also bringing in an income.

morningpaper Tue 22-Jul-08 10:53:51

Yes, I basically had to start from scratch again. It's very frustrating. I had a decent job/career/pension (project management) but have done none of that since having DD1 six years ago. You can WORK part-time but it's pretty hard to have a CAREER part-time, IME.

morningpaper Tue 22-Jul-08 10:54:39

On the plus side, experienced part-time women are pretty much running the charity sector - so the charity sector gets a lot done because of this!

Backgammon Tue 22-Jul-08 11:35:43

Slightly different angle from me, but I'm on a regular full-time homeworker contract. It means I make occasional trips to regional offices for meetings but am pretty much at home.

Many, many jobs have come up at work which would involve a promotion - but when I ask about the possibility of doing them as a regular homeworker I'm always told I would have to spend 3 x days a week in London. With a baby on the way and no family support plus the commute to consider it would leave me financially worse off, plus it would require me to use levels of childcare that I personally would rather not.

In that sense, my career has and will stagnate probably at least for the next 6 years. I'm prepared to accept that as I know I'm very lucky to be able to work from home. But flexible working has definitely halted my career progression.

LittleBella Tue 22-Jul-08 11:41:17

Can't function as an employee and a mother in the industry I was in. Had to get a couple of very undemanding low paid jobs at a much lower level so that I could work PT. Now have a really interesting engaging pt job, but still ludicrously low wage compared to what I was earning pre children. (And being subsidised by tax credits.)

Wouldn't do the ft stuff anymore though. I love having a proper work life balance.

Fennel Tue 22-Jul-08 11:50:02

I have certainly stagnated my career by working around the children so much, yes. Though it's as much about the hours worked as the flexible working, everyone in my job works flexibly but they also often work pretty long hours. I am in a sort of mummy-track limbo. Fantastic work-life balance but reduced career options.

Hopefully I have not utterly trashed it in the long term but it's hard to say at the moment.

iBundle Tue 22-Jul-08 11:52:58

yes this has happened to me but I chose to do it - I'd rather sacrifice kudos/money than time with my children.

Backgammon Tue 22-Jul-08 11:53:42

Ditto iBundle.

llareggub Tue 22-Jul-08 11:55:10

I work part-time in a role that I did pre-pregnancy. Essentially, I have the same workload, work 20 odd hours a week at a time to suit the needs of the organisation and my own circumstances.

Obviously my salary is pro-rata, because my salary is based on time. It is irritated because my workload, projects etc are the same as previously. It just takes me a little longer to get things done.

Currently I am finding my job interesting, challenging and adds to my CV. I do find myself idly searching agencies for a new role, but don't go for bigger jobs because of the flexibility I currently have. I'm very lucky to have the working conditions and interesting job that I have, and at the moment am quite happy to stay where I am.

I have at least another 30 odd working years left, plenty of time to develop my career or alternatively find a new path to follow.

vonsudenfed Tue 22-Jul-08 11:56:58

Me, same as the last four posts...

TigerFeet Tue 22-Jul-08 12:01:02

Same as iBundle

I am about to go part time (at long last - it has been a long time coming) and will take the appropriate pro-rata salary cut. My career will definitely stall but I am happy with that for the time being. I have a nice balance of responsibility with ability to be flexible. My salary won't be much to write home about but combined with dh's salary we will not be on the bread line. That's good enough for me.

2fedup Tue 22-Jul-08 12:05:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WideWebWitch Tue 22-Jul-08 12:07:56

I was a sahm for 4 years and it definitely damaged my 'career' not that it was a career, it was justa job but an ok paid one. I've now got back to my former earning rate but only after 4 years of working pretty hard and making some major sacrifices, eg working away from home for 6 months.

llareggub Tue 22-Jul-08 13:11:55

If one more person utters the words "ah, but you only work part-time" I'll eat my hat.

Everyone does it. Colleagues, family, friends, and me, when I'm not concentrating.

batters Tue 22-Jul-08 13:13:42


And don't regret it for one moment .

freshprincess Tue 22-Jul-08 13:56:04

I went back to my old job but for 4 days a week, I got 4/5 salary but not 4/5 workload which I think happens in lots of companies not just where I worked.

Your career is def affected if you want to work part time - most employers seem to want full time permanent staff. If you're part time, then you are somehow not serious about your career.

Tinker Tue 22-Jul-08 21:23:55

Not sure I have really. I'm sure I'd still be at the same grade if I was full-time (non-ambitious under-achiever)

PerkinWarbeck Tue 22-Jul-08 21:27:35

Yup. I've been knocked back from going on training as apparently work can't afford for me to have time out of the office as I'm "only part time" hmm. This is a course I'll need in order to get promotion. So promotion's out of the window until I go back full-time.

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