So, you’re planning to take your full-time job to part-time? Whether you’re scaling back to spend more time with family or exploring new opportunities outside of your current role, there are a few things you should do before making the change.
See if part-time is doable.
If you’re considering going part-time, the first step is to check in with your manager and the HR department to see if it’s feasible. Many companies are open to part-time arrangements, but some may not be able to accommodate your request. It’s best to have a conversation early on to avoid any surprises down the road.
Figure out your insurance and other benefits
If you’re currently on your company’s health insurance plan, find out how going part-time will affect your coverage. You may need to switch to a different plan or pick up a new policy.
You’ll also need to look at your other benefits and figure out how going part-time will affect things like dental insurance, vision, retirement savings, and life insurance. Some benefits may stay the same, but others may be scaled back or eliminated.
Decide how many hours you want to work.
Part-time jobs can range from a few hours a week to nearly full-time hours. For some people, part-time means working only two days a week, while for others, it just means taking Fridays off. Before making the switch, decide how many hours you want to work each week.
Make official arrangements with HR and your manager
Once you’ve decided that going part-time is the right move, it’s time to talk to HR and your manager to work out the specifics. Be prepared to answer any questions they may have and discuss how your work schedule will change.
Decide whether you need to pick up some freelance work on the side
If you plan to work fewer hours, you may need to supplement your income with freelance work. Figure out how much money you need to bring in each month and start looking for gigs that fit your schedule. You may want to start building your network and putting your feelers out well before you make the transition.
Going part-time and picking up freelance work in another field is also a pathway for people to change industries. If this is your reason for going part-time, it can still help to get started early.
Create work-life boundaries
One of the challenges of working part-time is setting boundaries between work and life, particularly if you had trouble setting them before. You’ll need to be clear with your manager and co-workers about when you’re available and when you’re not. Otherwise, you may find yourself working more hours than you intended.
You may want to try out some simple solutions, like setting an away message on your email when you’re not working or setting clear expectations with co-workers about when you’re available to answer questions. If you have trouble sticking to your new schedule, talk to your manager about it.
Everyone’s journey to part-time is different. But following these steps can make the transition a little bit easier and more transparent. Just be clear about your plan, make arrangements, and talk to the right people throughout the process.