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To be considering quitting part-time job with nothing to go to

(31 Posts)
BB2000 Fri 29-Apr-16 11:33:43

I have two DC (1 and 5) and have been lucky enough to return part-time 3 days a week to a good and relatively well paid job (Circa £30k for 3 days a week).

However I'm struggling. DS2 is a terrible sleeper which doesn't help and DH is away a lot for work. Recently we have a new boss for our team and the dynamics are changing hugely; the hours are getting longer and there is way too much work to do in my three days. He has made it clear that the team is on probabation in terms of how we are all performing so there is a real pressure to deliver. I have been increasingly logging back in to work after the DC are in bed and picking up quite a bit of work at the weekend. It is causing stress to my family (and me!) and is not what I want.

I'm tempted just to quit to get out of it but I know that decent part-time jobs are so hard to get. (I would actually love to be a SAHM but it would halve our income so not really feasible.) It is also a particular busy month for us so it could be that things will calm down if I can stick it out. (Though I think tbh the long hours culture is here to stay)

Anyone else been in a similar position - what did you do and did you regret it or was it a good move? Any good advice/thoughts anyone?

cheapandcheerful Fri 29-Apr-16 11:49:28

Is it really not financially feasible? Many people live comfortably on less than £30k a year. You might have to adjust your lifestyle somewhat (ditch any holidays abroad etc) but it sounds like a SAHM lifestyle might outweigh the cons for you.

cheapandcheerful Fri 29-Apr-16 11:50:15

Fwiw I work one day per week. Our total income is £30k.

allowlsthinkalot Fri 29-Apr-16 11:54:58

I am a sahm. Our income is less than you are earning alone. It is doable if you are prepared to change your lifestyle.a

BB2000 Fri 29-Apr-16 11:55:46

Thanks Cheap. This is one of things I'm trying to weigh up. I can see a lot of benefits of me being a SAHM for the family in general. And I know a lot of families would manage on this. I guess it is trying to work out if the work stress outweighs other stress around financial stability/options.

We are in the London/South East area and living on £30k in total with mortgages etc - feels a bit of stretch, though full appreciate many others do. It would be a huge change for us.

BB2000 Fri 29-Apr-16 12:13:55

oh and also to add, another reason for not leaving is that I really strongly believe that if someone works 3 days a week it is hugely unreasonable for them to be given so much work the only way they can cope is doing a lot of extra work in their own time (unpaid).
Occasionally yes, as in any demanding job - but not routinely. But maybe I am unrealistic!

Stormtreader Fri 29-Apr-16 12:30:17

So your job is part-time on paper, but is really fulltime in terms of hours?

harshbuttrue1980 Fri 29-Apr-16 12:31:05

I think you'd have to consult your DH before just jacking in your job. Having a setup where one person is the breadwinner and the other person is at home needs to be agreed by both. In the same way as you wouldn't expect him to just jack his job in.

BB2000 Fri 29-Apr-16 12:42:06

Storm - yes it is increasingly going this way. Expectation of looking at emails on the days I don't work, checking emails 9pm etc. Having a meeting on my last day of the work in the office but somehow miraculously getting the work from this done by the end of the week.

Harsh - no I wouldn't just jump without him agreeing. Our joint preference in terms of family and finances would be working part-time (as I currently do), but having the hours that actually reflect this.

Slutbucket Fri 29-Apr-16 12:50:09

Firstly you need to speak to work and tell them you are unhappy with your workload. Make a record of the extra hours done and you feel there is an expectation of longer hours. You have not been consulted about this so there has been a change. give them the chance to address this. I'm saying rhis because you may have grounds for constructive dismissal.

DesertOrDessert Fri 29-Apr-16 12:50:11

I quit my job last summer due, as DH had a new job.
It's been tough, but worth it for everyone but me we also moved 5000 miles, which isn't helping me, as I've lost all my friends, and visiting family is now a massive time and £ commitment.
How essential is your salary to the household (especially if you no longer need to pay childcare out of it?)

rookiemere Fri 29-Apr-16 13:13:07

Difficult one. I'm p/t on a good(ish) salary as stuck with my pre DC employers.

Sometimes it's easy to work my contracted p/t hours, some times it's more challenging. Personally I'd be reluctant to chuck in what is - on paper - a good deal because you've had a few bad months.

If I were you I'd be tempted to do a couple of things. Firstly to give it a bit longer, but give yourself a deadline to take action so if it hasn't got better say by the end of next month to re-evaluate. Are the full timers taking home work too? If not then you're being unfairly discriminated against for being p/t so you do need to speak to your manager about a more reasonable workload, however if they're routinely working overtime as well it becomes a bit more tricky.

I'd also have a look and see what's out there. Realistically it will be hard to find a well paid part time job - I'm not trying to be negative but it is generally true.

In terms of household management is there anything else you can outsource? Having a cleaner, sending out the shirts to be ironed, having groceries delivered or click and collect are all essential to me when going through a busy period.

Hope it works out for you - I hate it when things are going well at work and as inevitably happens they change for the worse, luckily they usually change back again once employers realise what a bargain they're getting with productivity to time ratio and they don't want to lose that.

Pinkallium Fri 29-Apr-16 13:28:30

I quit my very well paid 3 days a week job last year and haven't regretted it. I worked full time when I had just 1 DC and then 3 days a week after my second maternity leave. We made this work for nearly 2 years, but the oldest child starting school tipped the balance too far for me. My 3 working days were so long I barely saw the children those days, I was always rushing and stressed, and my daughter did not like the after school child care we were using.

Once I'd resigned my employer did offer to help me reorganise my workload but I decided to take the time out and have been a SAHM for just over a year. We are all happier for it and I have no regrets. I feel the children are currently benefitting more from having my time than from the money I was bringing in. I know we are fortunately to be able to afford this set up.

I plan to look for part time work again when my youngest starts school in September. I know I will never earn the sort of money I used to but I have accepted that. I do worry that I will struggle to find any job, but I am inspired by some of my older friends who have taken career breaks and then successfully returned to work. This is just the next stage of my life.

Good luck whatever you decide.

runningLou Fri 29-Apr-16 13:36:46

There are part-time jobs out there that are not like you describe. The problem is once colleagues (esp. managers) get used to you logging in and getting work done 'out-of-hours' then they will expect this. You have a 60% contract and get 40% less pay than colleagues so they should be taking this into account. If they're not then you either need to tackle this with them, by establishing what is a reasonable 60% workload, or find something else.
Could you request to drop your hours to 50% (2.5 days)? It might trigger a discussion of workload? You need to emphasise that your days at home are not 'days off', but that you are looking after young DC.
In a previous job I went from 50% after DC1 to 40% after DC2. It helped as colleagues readjusted their expectations.
It is hard to find part-time work but there are job shares etc out there so if you do want to find something else you could ...

runningLou Fri 29-Apr-16 13:38:47

Just to add, I found that when childcare costs were taken into account there wasn't a massive drop in salary when adjusting % of part-time hours. I would also have loved to be a SAHM but we do need my salary. You need to find the right compromise between money and stress though.

Timeforabiscuit Fri 29-Apr-16 13:46:06

Personally I wouldn't jack in the job, but I would make my manager work for it if they wanted to sack me on performance grounds!

Somethings I found helpful
Tell my manager exactly what I was doing each week
If new stuff came in, which stuff takes priority, what is getting moved to someone else to do, what is not getting done (not postponed, it's either a priority or it isnt).
Using positive language to say no, I can do that in early April

This all goes out the window if your managers crap or you don't like the job, in which case don't waste your energy!

TiredOfSleep Fri 29-Apr-16 14:02:12

Agree that it's worth logging hours worked and reducing the extra hours you're doing before leaving. How does your workload compare to others working ft?

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou Fri 29-Apr-16 14:05:07

You're asking if you should quit but saying that you can't afford to. So what is the actual question? Should you get a different part time job? Well maybe, but anything easier isn't going to pay anything like that amount, is it?

howabout Fri 29-Apr-16 14:12:01

I would be very reluctant to et myself be forced to quit in this way. What would happen if you actually just worked your contracted hours and ignored the expectations? My DH works reduced hours and if he was not very rigid with his boss he would be in your situation. If there is a push he always pushes back.

Stormtreader Fri 29-Apr-16 15:09:19

"Expectation of looking at emails on the days I don't work, checking emails 9pm etc. Having a meeting on my last day of the work in the office but somehow miraculously getting the work from this done by the end of the week."

Are they giving this deadline in the meeting, and are you speaking up that your next working day is actually monday so you wont be able to start before then?

Is it an option to put an "out-of-office" on your email? "My working hours are monday-wednesday 9-5.30, this box is not monitored outside these times. If your issue is urgent please contact Other Coworker at"

SoreArms Fri 29-Apr-16 15:23:34

Agree with what most of the others have said but have you bought about making one of your working days, a Friday? Would stop the 'meeting on last day but need to do the work by end of week' issue? I had same problem when doing Mon-Weds but went back full time before it became too much of an issue (not suggesting you do that btw, that just suited us)

idontlikealdi Fri 29-Apr-16 16:15:45

Can you manage without the income? It's irrelevant if people manage on one salty of 30k if they don't have the same outgoings.

PattiLevin Fri 29-Apr-16 16:19:25

Is agency/freelance work viable? Makes life so much easier to have control over when you work.

whois Fri 29-Apr-16 16:28:42

For a FTE salary of £50k I honk it's normal that here is the expectation that you work more than your 'contracted' hours.

rookiemere Fri 29-Apr-16 16:49:42

Yes I like what Sorearms says - can you change your working days?

Much easier for people if you're not off for two consecutive days - my friend has Tuesday and Friday off and that means people are never waiting for more than 1 day for things.

I used to be more senior than I am now and I found I just couldn't do it in p/t hours.

Once you get to a certain seniority and pay grade, people have certain expectations about response times and your ability to be up to speed with things and they don't really give much of a fig if you choose to get paid less for allegedly working less hours. Also the killer I found was management meetings, not so bad to absorb 5hrs of useless twaddle vital team updates into a full working week, not so easy when it' s 1/4 of your paid hours.

I perhaps took the easy way out, I don't know, but I went down a grade so I could truly be p/t. Now its (mostly) great. I have no compunction about stating my working hours and if I work extra it's because it's kind of my choice. I was almost at the point of jacking it in several times when DS was younger, now I'm glad I didn't as I've kept my career going albeit on a low burner and hope to move up the ladder again once he's in secondary school.

I think if you could go to them with a proposal to change your working days and explain the reason this would generate a good discussion. But there was a big thread about working vs. not and whilst I didn't agree with all of it, I do feel it's a good thing to retain your own income if you possibly can. Your baby won't be a poor sleeper forever, and if you give up your job now without a plan B then you may regret it in the long term.

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