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Should I be clear about why I want a propsective part-time job?

(8 Posts)
Watersign76 Tue 29-Sep-09 15:54:55


I have been back at work (snr manager in a charity) since DC1 for nearly a year now. I have tried to make it work (counseling, coaching) but I just don't feel I can do p/t there. It is just so full on, I don't feel p/t, I just feel that I don't go into the office on 2 days, if that makes sense. I think the legacy of my "old self" (workaholic, over achieving) is difficult to shake, for me more than others.

So for my health and sanity I am going to look for another p/t job. We are planning another kid at some point, but I don't want to just stay at current place to do that.

So, plan a) is to look for another similar level p/t job, but there aren't many of them. So b) is looking for a "lesser" role, but struggling with how much info I should give when applying.

I suppose I want to reassure prospective employers I do want to take a sideway/downward step, but I still intend to work hard - i.e. I am not looking for an easy life. And that there are benefits to have somebody who may appear over qualified to do that role etc.

Part of me thinks I should just say "this is the situation" and part of me thinks I should just give minimal info.

How have others applied for new p/t roles? Have you kept 'mum' wink about the family etc?


Littlefish Tue 29-Sep-09 16:20:00

If a job is advertised as part time, then I don't think you need to say anything about your reasons for applying for it.

You are already working part time, so it's not like you're suddenly deciding to cut your working hours.

I went from a part time deputy-headship role, to a part-time teaching role. No one eever suggested that I was over-qualified - it never even came up at interview.

I think you might be overthinking it smile.

mazzystartled Tue 29-Sep-09 16:36:24

I work in a similar sector, OP, and I understand what you are saying, both about the job and about how recruiters might percieve your application.

I wouldn't mention it in an application, but I think that the question will undoubtedly come up at interview. IMO it's unlikely to affect the shortlisting process if you are an otherwise strong candidate, but you need to be able to put a credible and positive spin on it when they ask.

I also think that there are not many jobs in the voluntary sector that can be left at work when you leave, and you may need to accept that. But it may just be that it's harder to do that with a job previously did full time and with no other demands on your energies....

Speckledeggy Tue 29-Sep-09 18:40:13

Disagree with mazzystartled.

Be honest. I ended up working for a high profile entrepreneur. On the surface, it sounded fantastic. In reality, it nearly killed me and I hated it. I now work for a well respected person in a large not-for-profit organisation. I still work hard but the 'fit' is much better for me. On my application and at interview I said I wanted to change direction and work for an organisation that was closer to my own values. I'd also had quite a long period off beforehand and I was honest about that too. I'm sure I got the job because what was important to me was what they were looking for in an employee.

It sounds like you need to find a more relaxed workplace where you are able to get everything done and leave on time. There's nothing wrong in wanting that! Mind you, they do exist but seem to be few and far between these days!

CayPeag Tue 29-Sep-09 18:46:00

If you're part-time, who's picking up the rest of your old job? Is there a way of getting more effective support in your current organisation?

It's a big risk to sttep down, and you might have trouble getting someone to let you back up later on.

mazzystartled Tue 29-Sep-09 19:42:47

Not sure what you are disagreeing with speckled egg - in fact you gave the perfect example of putting a positive spin on a sideways move - you moved sectors and made a virtue of it.

flowerybeanbag Tue 29-Sep-09 19:57:45

The fact that it's part time isn't important. You certainly don't need to mention your family or anything. If new employers are recruiting for part time hours then that's that, why you want those hours is your concern.

However. On receiving an application from someone over-qualified and over-experienced I would have a number of concerns, some of which are as follows:

Will she get bored?
Will she get frustrated?
Will she think she could do her boss's job better than her boss and find it difficult reporting into someone less experienced than her?
Will she get fed up with earning less once the novelty has worn off and be pestering for pay rises based on her experience which we didn't need in the first place?
Has she really thought this through or is she just applying for anything and everything going?
Is she just applying for this job to get a foot in the door and hoping to move on/up again very shortly?
Is she just going to take this as a stop gap and keep looking for something else, leaving us in the lurch?

You get the picture. And I mention those concerns through experience of dealing with managers who have recruited someone over-experienced and who have sooner or later (usually sooner) found themselves dealing with one or more of the above problems.

Those are all things I'd wonder about when seeing an application. Based on your OP I notice you are finding your 'workaholic over-achieving' self difficult to leave behind. What makes you think moving to a lower level job or indeed any other job will change that? Particularly if you work in the voluntary sector.

I'm playing devil's advocate a little bit as you can see, but if you are going to apply for lower level jobs be very sure you have thought through the points I've raised both in terms of how you would reassure a potential employer and also to be sure you've addressed them for yourself.

Might it be a different type of organisation you need, rather than a lower level job? Do you need a different environment, a different culture, a different sector? Might those things actually help address the difficulties you've been finding more than stepping down a level?

Watersign76 Tue 29-Sep-09 23:04:59

Thanks for your responses.

I think I need to think moreso about my plan b), you all make very good points.

My DH thinks a couple of particular issues at work at the mo are making it more difficult than usual, he could be right.But after 5 years and the issues lately in my p/t role I think it is time to move along!

Thanks for taking the time to comment, it really helps having different perspectives.

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