Huge pay cut to get part time hours(18 Posts)
I have been back from maternity leave for a year, working full time and have found it very difficult. My job requires a reasonable amount of Uk travel with 1-2 overnight stays a month and is in an industry where you typically work until the job is done rather than 9-5.
I feel like I don't see enough of dd, I am constantly rushing around and exhausted, not doing a great job at work or home etc etc and just feel pretty miserable. I have requested 4 days a week but it was rejected so I don't see any other option but to look for a part time job. I know these are few and far between but in my industry they are especially rare unless you manage to negotiate it on your existing job, and usually in-house (I am agency/consultant side).
I have now applied for a couple of jobs in different sectors that will be using some of my key skills but are not directly related, and have been offered an interview for one next week but the full-time salary is more than 25% less than my current one so pro rata is a huge jump down. I think we can just about manage on it for a couple of years but I'm worried I'll regret it and will also struggle to get back up to my current earning level in a couple of years when dd starts school.
Has anyone done something similar and what would your advice be? The only other thing I thought of is to apply for FT jobs but ask at interview or state in my application that I am only looking for PT hours. Any advice or thoughts welcome! Thanks for reading
Can your partner cut their hours?
Potentially, and that would be the more sensible thing to do financially, but I want to spend more time with dd and feel like I've missed her baby years other than an hour at night and weekends. So I'm trying to find a way of making that work.
I took a step back after I had my first. Over 10 years later I am earning less than I would have been but I think that is mainly because I have chosen to stay a step back I certainly don't regret it .O think I would have found a life where both parents worked full time in full on professional non 9 to 5 jobs very difficult It's not a male /female thing One thing to bear in mind you night not want to step back up when she goes to school There is a strong case for saying they need you more when they are at school One thing I always felt was that nothing was forever eg go part time you can always go full time againGood luck
Have you thought longer term about what you and your partner want?
Looking at when your child starts school, thats when part time hours and more importantly understanding and supportive management really pay dividends - a 25 % drop could be well worth it.
My negotiations for part time went very poorly with my then employer, it was only when I put my resignation in they took my request "seriously" - but by then I'd had a glimpse of how every holiday and sick day would have to be begged for and the pay did not compensate enough for that!
I have found a professional part time role now, and I'm being supported in completing a masters - there are roles out there so don't lose hope.
One thing I always felt was that nothing was forever eg go part time you can always go full time again
In theory, yes, but in practice, it isn't always so easy. I've seen loads of women who have been unable to regain their former earning power and/or go back to ft work after taking a step down. For many of them, the sacrifice has been more than worth it, but I think you should go in with your eyes wide open.
Personally, I think flexible hours and an understanding boss are far more important than pt hours. Could you look for something where more flexibility might be offered?
Even before we thought of having dc I stepped sideways into a Client organisation (to who I was previously consultant), well known for their flexible working policies. Took a 25% pay cut. That was 10 years ago and I have never regretted it! The dc came along 6 and 3 years ago. I went down to 3 days after my first maternity leave. Again no real regrets - apart from lack of funds for skiing holidays. I find 3 days a very good work/home balance. Particularly now that DS is at school, I like to be able to take him to school/pick him up, see his teacher if I need too and be able to do his reading and homework before he is too tired.it also helps massively during school holidays!
The flip side is that we have a fairly modest lifestyle but are warm, dry and fed!
I work in recruitment and always ask my clients if they would take someone part time for the role. Usually this is the first time they have thought of part time and often will consider 3 or 4 days per week, or a 9 day fortnight.
So my advice is to apply for the jobs you want and at interview stage say you are looking for flexibility in the number of days worked. It has worked for me in the last three jobs I have got.
What about looking for the same type of job for a different employer? I would definitely try to find somewhere with flexi hours. It does make a massive difference. I also think that companies who operate flexi time are a bit more receptive to working fewer hours/days.
Nothing is ever set in stone. If you go the part time/earn less route and it doesn't work out you can always go back.
Can you look for another part time role with existing employer? I have moved roles and functions to take on a project mgt role where i am (theoretically) 4 days - I think it is often easier to move pt within same company rather than new into a company and that way you just get pro rated down rather than ft step down.
My eldest has just started school and I would say that here it is the flexibility that helps rather than necessarily being part time. /being able to work from home is massive help, there are lots of things you may want to attend in school that unfortnately don't work well with being in an office.
Good luck x
There's some great advice and experience here, thanks everyone. I think I'm going to turn down the interview next week - now I've really thought about it the salary drop for that one just is a touch too far - and focus my search more based on organisations that have good policies etc.
Calico - It's good to know you've got several jobs from requesting part time at interview stage, it gives me hope!!
Unfortunately this is often the way! The good thing is that unless you're a high earner, the income tax thresholds will alleviate some of the effects. Ie, the 4th and 5th working days of the week are normally worse paid than the 1st and 2nd. Your daily rate will be higher. Obviously not as high as it would be if you'd been offered the same salary pro rata, but possibly higher than it would be if you were receiving the higher salary and working full time.
I'd recommend working out what your actual take home pay would be, if you've not already, before making the decision. Just in case you were thinking you'd get 3/5 of the FT salary offered- usually works out as more.
The other thing to consider about 4 days a week or a 9 day fortnight is it gives you a bit more flexibility to catch up. If DD is ill on a Wed, you can always go in on the Friday (childcare permitting). That is prob my favourite thing about being part time.
I had worked out the actual pay and unfortunately even with the difference due to tax etc. it's still low so I think the current interview is out but I can look for jobs with a slightly lower full time salary than I'm on currently and make it work.
I might broach job share with my current employer and see what they say - maybe they'll be more open to that.
Thanks again all
If it's any help, I can offer a bit of perspective from 'the other side'.
Not only did I not go part time after having DD, I took on a more demanding job with a commute and more money.
Yes, my DD went to nursery full time. We knew she was going to be an only child, she needed interaction with other children etc. When she started school my DH cut his hours to fit the school hours (purely personal choice, I vowed to never use a childminder, besides, I would have paid her more than DH would have made. Made sense to us).
Now DD is much older, she can come home on her own etc.
Career wise, I have progressed through the ladder, I was in the position to take any project going, kept my professional development portofolio up to speed, promotions, networked, etc.
To just start now would be very very hard. I am at the stage where my DD needs me less and less. I am terrified of the empty nest, but I have my career, my friends and an independent, socially adjusted kid. Yes she used to complain I am not like other mums at the school gate. For us it was never an option. Now she is very proud of the fact her mum has a career ( I only realised this at careers day at school. There weren't many mums there, mostly Dads, I was oblivious but she picked up on that . I don't think I've inspired her, she's very different from me, but she doesn't resent my absence.
We had no outside help, I run the very tight ship from the phone, emails and during night time. Everything is scheduled, even the leisure time. I went to most school assemblies, I cook from scratch every night etc, you get the idea.
The only thing I regret is not taking time off when she had a cold and needed her mummy. My DH was looking after her (well enough, I might add), but it's not the same . So if I had my time again I'd take time off to have duvet and paracetamol days.
After DS 2 I went part time. Same job, but reduced hours. I'd done the sums and thought that financially we'd be ok. It was horrific. I can spreadsheet with the best of them, but there are so many things I hadn't accounted for - raffle tickets from school, holes in school jumper beyond repair, leaving collections in work...just so many unexpected costs which always came at precisely the worst time.
Anyway, a job came up which I didn't think I'd have a hope of getting but thought the application process would be good experience. I got it. It's full time, but flexible (so I can pick the kids up from school most days). There is a responsibility level which makes some things non-negotiable - eg I can't go to the nativity today because there is something in work I have to do and I've been racked with guilt. However as a kind colleague pointed out - I've been to every one so far. Today is the first one husband has been to. Has HE been racked with guilt all of these years? No. Can the kids even remember who has been to the previous ones? No.
So I'm back full time, in a professional job which is hard to juggle. But that is better than being perpetually skint (with the fear and lack of choices that brings).
I'd think very carefully about putting yourself in a finacially precarious position. If you can comfortably afford to step back then it might be best for you. Don't underestimate how much pressure money worries bring though. And like with a building project you have a budget with x amount contingency - do the same with your budegting when you're working out affordability - work out every possible thing you would pay for in a year and then add on a hefty percentage because there WILL be more.
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