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Part time or promotion

(5 Posts)
LucyNewt Tue 16-Oct-12 20:07:50

I am having a horrendous dilemma and some advice from parents who have had to choose wether to go part or full time would be appreciated.
I'm a first time mum of a 9 month old, due to go back to work in January. I have been in talks with my boss about my return. I've been offered a promotion and pay rise if I go back full time, or I've been told I can return 4.5 days a week if I want part time with the job I was doing before I left. I believe I could appeal this if I wanted to as the promotion is a significant amount more work. My original flexible work request was for 4 days a week and I do think I could argue the case that the job could be done in that time. However, it's been made clear to me that the preference is the 5 day option. If I choose to appeal I may not be successful but I will certainly be binning any chance of career progression with the company.
I went swimming with my baby today and the enjoyment we both had was wonderful. I kept thinking 'how can I sacrifice this for full time work?' but then at the same time I am concerned that I am going to be penalised in a position that I've worked so hard to get to, and if my appeal fails it'll be for very little benefit and with a significant financial detriment. Can anybody give me some advice? I literally have no idea what the best option is! Thank you!

ceeveebee Tue 16-Oct-12 20:22:46

Hmm. It's tricky isn't it? I went back to work a few weeks ago when my twins were 10.5months old.

I had started discussions with my employer back in April and had asked for part time but wasn't possible with my previous job. Luckily thought there was another role available that could be done in 3 days a week, and I could transfer to but I had to take a 25% pay cut (before prorataing for the part time hours). I accepted this because I really want to make the most of my DCs early years and couldn't imagine only seeing them at weekends.

So far I think I've made the right decision - my job is a lot less stressful then my previous job and I get to spend 4 days a week with my babies.
I think for me as we don't plan to have any more children, I know this is my only chance to stay at home with my DCs (ie there will be no more maternity leave for me!). But also I knew that I didn't want to be a full time SAHM for ever and was too worried about trying to find a job in 3-4 years time. I can always try to step back up again careerwise later but I'll never get their early years back.

Mummy0786 Wed 17-Oct-12 08:09:49

I understand your problem. I dm due back to work in January and was in line for a promotion but I have decide to go part time, 3 days a week instead. I have therefore lost the promotion and taken a drop in wages but part time is right for me. Before I got pregnant I worked 24/7 and I can't do that now with my dd. therefore by being part time I hope to be able to put as much as I use to into work on the days I am in instead of doing full time half hearted and with more responsibility!
This is just what is right for me, you need to decide if you will have the right balance for you x

hermioneweasley Wed 17-Oct-12 08:12:40

If you don't keep up momentum in your career, how easily will it be to pick it up later? While the baby times are precious, your kids will outgrow you really quickly and having a fulfilling career might be what you want and need.

Grumpla Wed 17-Oct-12 08:31:47

Depends how you feel about your job. If you are excited & energised by the thought of the promotion I would go for it.

How flexible is the job? Personally I found myself a more efficient worker after having kids - much better at multi-tasking and prioritising, also used to less sleep so fit more hours in the evening! There might be ways you could make it work - you could for example request a late / early start and then do some hours from home? Wednesday afternoon off and do some hours at the weekend when your partner cares for DD? Might be best to actually do the job in standard hours for a few months first though.

What are your childcare options? Could your partner drop half a day / work compressed hours to spend some more time with your DD?

But all this would be hard work and like I said, only worth doing if you get a lot of enjoyment from your job (assuming the money is not crucial!)

Personally I was itching to get back to work when my babies hit about 6 months but that was what was right for me and my family, not for everyone. I am also fortunate in that my DH is self-employed so we were able to juggle it do he does a couple of days a week and then I do a couple of days, then weekends together but often we both do a couple of short work sessions in evenings / weekends as well.

It's way too easy to just see this as your problem / decision but given that you had a child together and he will presumably benefit from the possible advantages of you taking the promotion (short term pay rise & long term progression vs stagnation, possibly needing to move / commute to find another job in a few years time) then examining the possibilities for him reducing hours / taking on some more solo childcare is something you should be doing. Apologies if I'm making massive assumptions here but too often that option seems to be overlooked by couples in your situation!

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