Tuesday, June 17, 2008

not a good day

So they declined my request to move to part time. I wasn't really expecting this. This company I work for, they talk a lot about how flexible they are. They have this whole Flexible Work Arrangements program - FWA. It has it's own website. The HR people will tell you that they are very supportive of FWA - but of course the final decision is up to your organizations management. So really it's all smoke and mirrors. They aren't supportive of it. They just put on a good show. It's too bad. It's disappointing. Especially from a company that is supposedly one of the great places to work, if you believe the magazines. Hypocrites.

Now what?

My options:
1. Continue working full time. But I don't think I can. I feel like I'm barely keeping up now, and that I'm doing a crap ass job at both my professional job and my mothering job. I'm spread too thin and it's not sustainable.

2. Look for a different job in a different group that maybe would let me go part time. Problem is that what I do is advertising. And I already work for the advertising group. So if I went to a different group it would mean doing something different. I could do that. I'm smart, I'm adaptable. And my job really is mostly project management, a skill I could apply to any number of marketing disciplines. But do I want to? I don't know.

My motivation to keep busting my ass for this company is running thin.

3. Quit and be a full time SAHM. Not really an option. We theoretically could maybe do it if we cut waaay back on our expenses and saved nothing - including putting a hold on any kind of retirement savings, Jim's 401k, etc. But that doesn't seem very smart. And we don't live all that extravagantly to begin with. It's doable, but our lives wouldn't be any fun. And me full time with babies might not be in anybody's best interest.

4. Quit as a full time employee, and do contract work part time. There are always lots of contract positions available, people are always looking for experienced help - for short term projects, for maternity leave coverage, etc. The guy who covered for me during my maternity leave does this very thing - he used to be a full time employee of our company, and he quit and started contracting a few years ago. I'm just as good as him, and he never has trouble finding contracts.

Option 2 and Option 4 are on the consideration list. At the moment I strongly lean toward option 4. But I only got this news today and I really should let it sink in and fully explore option 2 before I make any kind of decision.

What I'd really like to do is walk into someones office today and tell these bastards to take this job and shove it. But unfortunately my desire for a paycheck precludes me from doing that.


Jamie said...

I'm so sorry. :( I wish they really were flexible like they preach.

Give it a day or two and hopefully by the weekend you'll be able to think more logically and make a decision without your emotions as big of a role.

I have definitely found that trying to achieve the balance that I would like between my career and motherhood has been much more difficult than I expected. While right now I feel like I have a plan, most days I still feel like I'm floudering.

Good luck. It will work out the way it is suppose to in the long run.

Jaimie said...

That is horrible! Employers are always saying how much they value their employees but when push comes to shove they seem to just be blowing smoke you know where!!! Option 4 sounds interesting. You could work for awhile and then be off for awhile.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm an HR professional (or was before having twins!) and hearing this sort of thing really irks me. Companies have to start seeing that keeping the employees they have already invested so much time in, even in a reduced role, is so much better than having to spend the dollars on hiring/training new people. Also--this very thing happened to my sister who worked for one of the top 100 rated companies for working mothers--sounds like her company (a large mortgage broker in the DC area) and your company talk a good game but don't deliver.

Good luck as you struggle with this very tough decision. It will all work out....

Heather said...

I'm sorry you didn't get your request approved. Project management skills are very flexible to move to other jobs (that's what I do). Maybe other departments are interested in a part time PM. Another thing to think about is if you know of someone else that may be interested in a job sharing opportunity. One of my closest friends at work does a job share. Her partner works Mon - Wed and my friend works Wed - Fri. Wednesday is their overlap day.

Good luck!

Bea said...

Sucks. What a bad shock. I would be looking for alternatives, too.

Have been loving your pics and stories, by the way.


seattlegal said...

That really sucks! I also work for a company that gets a lot of good press for how they treat their employees, but it isn't all that great.

Hopefully, you can find an option that works for you soon. I'm spread a little too thin myself so I know how it feels!

Karen said...

I thought I'd commented on this much earlier, but I hadn't. This is really awful news, and I'm sure it's a terrible blow. Is there anyway for your boss to push the matter for you? I hope that you are able to find a viable solution quickly. I know how hard it is to feel like you can keep your head above water through all this. If you need to vent at someone, feel free to email me: chezperky [at] gmail.com

Sarah said...

that stinks, i hope things are resolving a bit by now.

cat said...

Terribly sorry! I can only say that I will be thinkimg of you and hoping that you will finsd a workable sollution.