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4 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Switching To Part-Time

April 16, 2018

Last week, we looked at how part-time opportunities have become a draw for many boomer professionals. As they struggle between wanting to embrace the other aspects of their lives without disengaging from work entirely. But as we highlighted, that transition is not one to be made on a whim. There is considerable pre-planning needed to ensure this transition helps you achieve all your goals. As with any such situation, a good way to help prepare yourself is to ask yourself a few essential questions. So if you think part-time work is your next career step, ask yourself this:

Why do you want to make the switch?

This is an easy first question. Making this transition might seem like a no-brainer and something that makes perfect sense for what you want to accomplish, but that doesn’t mean you have to dive into this very important decision without some serious consideration. Unpack your reasons for making the switch. Looking for a better work-life balance is a great first understanding but there needs to be more than that. How will that balance work? How many hours of work are you looking for? Is this the only way you can achieve what you’re looking for? This is a decision that certainly deserves a lot of thought and consideration before making any decisions. It can be difficult to have the self-reflection necessary but if you’re honest with yourself it will help to ensure you’re on the right track with this transition.

What is your plan?

Once you have a better understanding of why you are pursuing this path and what you want to achieve with it, it’s time to look at how you will achieve it. The best way to start with this is by asking yourself, if you were to start the ball rolling tomorrow on this, what would your first step be? That is not meant to rush you along, quite the opposite. This is going to be a gradual process but thinking about how to approach it will help you plan out the process. Will you be remaining at your current job and reducing hours? When will you speak to your employer? How will you present the transition to them? Will you look elsewhere for work? Where will find a job if your current employer doesn’t work out? It is this kind of forethought that prepares you for the challenges of this transition.

What do you need to make it happen?

Another reason you plan for such big decisions in life is so you can judge how prepared you are. Despite where you are in your career and how much you think you’re ready for the change, there are a number of factors that need to come into place for it to work successfully. Of course, there is the financial aspect of the decision. Switching to part-time means less money. You need to be sure that your lifestyle can be supported on a reduced salary. You must also consider how the part-time position will come about. As stated above, being able to stay on with your old job is not a guarantee. You need present to your employer your plan for making this transition, not assume they will accommodate to your desires. How will this transition work not only for you but for the organization? Every aspect you need to make this transition a success should be considered beforehand.

What will it look like?

Combining all of those questions, consider your endgame. Not just why you want to get there or how you’ll get there, but what will it look like to achieve that. How will this benefit you in the end? How will this change your life? What will you do with your extra time? Much like with retirement, people can be surprised with how drastic these changes be. Preparing yourself for such an event means looking forward and taking into account where it will bring you. This is a very significant decision to make, one that could mean big changes for your life. But you don’t want to jeopardize the possible benefits of a decision like this by not looking closely at the situation. Ask yourself the tough questions, find the honest answers and you’ll be that much closer to achieving what you’re after.

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