clock Released On 11th Jan 2016

CityDad's blog: New Year, New Career?

I write this sitting in one of the few places, in the City, where it is actually possible to get some sun during the winter months, owing to the fact that one high-rise has gone and another is starting to grow in its place. Out with the old and in with the new.

With this in mind I wonder how many of us, at this time of year, are thinking about a job change?

A few days after Christmas my wife and I were lucky enough to have our own little offsite, without the kids. After watching Darth Vader's grandson try to live up to the family name and enjoying a meal out, without having to feed anyone else or clean up any spilled drink, we skipped the cocktails, sat down and got to work.

On one side of paper we each wrote down all of the personally significant events of 2015 (good or bad). We then listed these in order of importance, which wasn't so easy. On the other side we listed what we wanted to happen or to focus on in 2016. An interesting experiment, but my results weren't too surprising.

Featuring heavily on my 2015 list were my kids and the flexibility of having a half day off each week. Nowhere on my list did anything to do with my career feature. This was quite telling when I started to formulate areas to focus on for 2016.

Recently I was lucky enough to have been selected to be one of the 50 winners of the 2015 Timewise Power Part Time List. For those of you that have never heard of it, this is an annual list of 50 people working less than five days a week in senior, business critical, roles. Its purpose is to show that part time working can be successfully achieved by anyone of us, senior or junior, male or female.

After the list was published, I heard some people question whether working 4.5 days a week (as I do) is really working part-time. I agree that it is at the more conservative end of the scale and more flexibility would be great, in fact, almost a necessity. I am pretty sure I have maxed out on my current employers’ flexibility quota. But how does one go about a job hunt which includes flexibility? Is it really an attractive proposition for future employers to be hiring employees who don't want to work full-time? 

Meeting other Power Part-Timers gave me some food for thought on this topic. Most said that it was fairly easy to request it once you were already working somewhere and had gained some loyalty points. Another said that she did not mention her requirement for flexibility until later stages of the interview process when you have more power to negotiate. What was also apparent was that working flexibly made people more likely to stay with one company – perhaps in part due to them having similar doubts as I do about being able to find a flexible arrangement elsewhere. Surely this is a selling point for flexible candidates?

At the end of our offsite, as it was time to focus on the action plans, I finally decided that my career needed some CPR in 2016. Here’s hoping that practicing what I preach, and acting like a Power Part-Timer will lead to some good career choices, internally or externally. Wish me luck!

Citydad is a manager in the shipping industry who surprised his employers by asking for four months of paternity leave, after which he shocked them by requesting flexible working to continue to spend more time with his two children. 



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