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Full time position but only want 4 days max, shall I just go for it anyway?

(8 Posts)
muttimalzwei Tue 09-Aug-11 10:43:29

I am very unhappy in my current job and a job within the same institution has come up one which I have been hoping for for a long time. However, I am now in a state of panic as the job is a full time position. I am currently in a part time role, my children are 2 and 7 and we manage well with childcare and home life but don't have family nearby, so sometimes it can get a bit fraught.
I rang to enquire about the job and was told it really would need to be full time. Having spoken to a number of people about this, they are encouraging me to go for the interview anyway and then if I am offered the job, tell them I want to work 3.5/4 days. I can't really face putting my son in childcare for 5 days (my husband has talked about going down to four days a week if nec though) but my question is, isn't it a bit deceitful to 'lie' in an interview and then only put your cards on the table when (and obviously if!) I get the job offer. A friend had a similar experience but they wanted her so much she got them to agree to her woprking 3 days...

Any experiences or insights would be very much appreciated.

lynniep Tue 09-Aug-11 10:49:39

I would go for it. You will never know if you don't. See how the interview goes, and if you feel they are reasonable and if its gone well, ask about reducing your hours. I did this with a contracting job (I asked about doing 4 days with slightly reduced hours) and they still offered me it, which kind of flabberghasted me ( thought I did sh*t in the interview but clearly I was wrong!). I turned it down in the end as I was offered a less stressful (less money) job nearer home (for 3.5 days) and I took that instead as I can't bear to put my kids in nursery for a full week either.

Employers can be reasonable if they think you are the right person. You need to be proactive though. Theres a good chance you won't be offered it because they'll have another person who isnt quite as good as you but will work full time. On the other hand they may weigh up the situation and decide they'll take the risk on you. Whichever way it goes, its good practice for other interviews.

muttimalzwei Tue 09-Aug-11 10:52:11

Thank you Lynnie, think I will just go for it, put myself forward and at least then they may consider me for other posts. I really cannot do full time until my youngest starts school, maybe I'll be lucky. It's just not being upfront with them that is my dilemma, do I mention what I would ideally want in the application? At what point would you mention reducing hours? Actually in the interview?

Katisha Tue 09-Aug-11 10:56:37

Is there any possibility of working a day at home in this post?

lynniep Tue 09-Aug-11 11:05:14

I should have said as well - that second job I was offered (the one I'm doing now - or should be lol) was a full time role too. They couldnt find anyone else to do it. They ummed and ahhed for a while, then decided to give me a shot. I told them upfront before the interview what I wanted, because of how I found the job (a friend of a friend sort of thing) During the interview, we compromised on the hours I would do, then they obviously decided they'd live with it because I was the right person. They've been great about it since, although they were a bit flummoxed last week as my one year old had chicken pox and I asked about their parental leave policy. They didnt know - they've never had the situation before!
The other job - the contracting one - I told them in the interview. Towards the end, when we were discussing 'other' stuff as in 'is there anything else you want to ask'. I didnt want them to switch off immediately before I'd had a chance to do my stuff.
Don't tell them upfront (unless is the situation I described above) - its unlikely you'll even get an interview. This goes particularly if you are going through agencies - an agency will not put forward your name for a full time job if they know you want part time.
Also would you consider condensed hours i.e. longer working hours for 4 days. I know I wouldnt - its just a thought. some employers are more open to that.
I know exactly where you're coming from. I've been very lucky since DS1 was born and managed to firstly get a job from home for 2.5 days ,and after I was made redundant, I got this one within a couple of months. So they do exist! DS2 is only 20 months, and I have no intention of going back full time until he starts school in 2014...

muttimalzwei Tue 09-Aug-11 11:07:24

I think working from home could be a possibility, I'll ask, thank you

Katisha Tue 09-Aug-11 11:09:24

I do a couple of days a week from home and am always available on email and phone, but people realise that actual work may get done in non-core sort of hours. Depends on your line of work really and how far you work to yourself.

AlaskaHQ Fri 12-Aug-11 19:49:12

I did this. All the jobs I could find to apply for were full time. I applied (to loads), got interviews (for three companies). Then ....

1. With the first company, I didn't get past first interview.

2. With the second company, the first interview seemed to have gone really well, so I asked at the end of the interview "would there be any chance of flexible working (eg 1 day a week from home) and/or doing 4 days/week". They were really positive and actually said both would be possible ... ie 4 days/week, of which 1 could be from home. Just might need an occasional bit of flexibility.

3. With the third company, I didn't ask in the interview, but phoned the HR contact, before coming up for the second (final) interview. Again, they said it would be fine - and asked me to tell them exactly what hours/days I was thinking of.

I have just started work two weeks ago 4 days/week at the second company - which I am loving.

You might not always get such positive results. I was probably lucky that I was previously working (before 4 years career break with the kids) in a quite niche area that suddenly seems to have become quite popular, so maybe I had a bit more negotiating advantage, but it is definitely worth asking.

I think I added something like "it may not be appropriate for this role, but I just was interested to know" each time I asked. I didn't want to make it sound like I would definitely turn down a "5 days/week" job, but I wanted to make it clear that I would really love 4 days/week if possible.

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