Navigating Part-time Work Relationships
Maybe you’re thinking about job-sharing or reducing your hours.
You’ve investigated using your parental leave, made an arrangement with HR, planned out your bills, grieved for meals out and new clothes and you’re ready to go. There’s just one thing, only being in work part-time means only nurturing those critical work relationships part-time. A lot of job-share and part-time workers find they struggle to stay in the loop of office and personal news of their colleagues.
If you’re running out of the office to collect your child, you’re probably not available for after-work drinks or coffees. And work nights out may become a distant memory due to financial constraints and lack of babysitters. Painstaking negotiations with your partner may get you the odd pass with it will be no comparison to your previous mastery of the free bar. Like everything in parenting, planning and time-management are key, but hey, we’re experts at that.
So what can you do to stay in the loop?
1. Make a social plan
Build some social time into your childcare arrangements. Maybe the childminder could hold on to the kids for an extra hour every so often.
2. Build socialising into the budget
The financial impact of job-sharing can be a real shock to the system, it’s worth factoring in some funds for coffees and nights out from the outset so that your not refusing invitations in fear of breaking the budget.
3. Ask questions
Yes, I know it sounds simple but making time to find out what’s going is really important. Everyone loves to be listened to so don’t be afraid to ask questions and listen to the answers, even if your brain has turned to mush from lack of sleep.
4. Read your emails
You don’t go job-sharing to spend your days off reading work emails, at the same time, it might be an idea to commit your commute to catching up on anything that happened while you were away, that way you hit work knowing what the major issues are. It might mean not putting your foot in it the minute you stick your head in the door too.
5. Set up a group chat
If you have close enough work friends a group chat is a great way to stay in touch. There are so many different ways to group chat now and it can help to stay in contact and even for making plans to meet. Maybe avoid an onslaught of baby pics though!
6. Give yourself a break
You’re already working two jobs and making real sacrifices to do them both well, staying friends with the work crew shouldn’t turn into a third job. Sometimes you’re just going to have to let a relationship slide.
What other tips would you add to the list?
Written for eumom by Emma Gallagher