When I had the opportunity to shift from full-time to part-time work, I wasn’t sure how to make that transition easily or in a timely way. Do I just flip the switch and go from full-time, whatever that is, to part-time, whatever that is? I had to first assess the time factors and define hours or days in some way that made sense. Full-time was more than 40 hours a week, probably closer to 60, and I could define part-time according to my preferences. My professional identity was independent, self-employed consultant, working often under contract and sometimes independently. My intention was to become the manager of my time such that regardless of hours or days, I wanted to cut the work time by half or more.
I was part of an organization that was expanding and growing. My intention was to leave the organization and let others help grow the company. My goal was to design and limit my work significantly compared to what I had been doing for 12 years.
Feedback from others was extremely helpful as I wrestled with the transition from full-time to part-time professional work. One person said, “How long might you be comfortable living with the tension? For example, in your experience, do these things tend to resolve themselves with a little patience? And/or is there a willingness for the idea you have for your life to change if something unexpected is being called forth that you didn’t anticipate?” While I might have responded no, these things do not tend to resolve themselves so what I focused on was my lack of patience, thus the lesson learned was take a breath, step back and realize it doesn’t all have to be accomplished within two weeks or even two months. Plans are just that and sometimes they need an adjustment here and there.
Another person said “Consider filling your other hours (over the 20-30 you’re willing to work) with those things you are excited to be able to now pursue and limit yourself to what you enjoy most. – distancing is an opportunity to appreciate.” Other responses included answer your own question objectively as if you were one of us and make a pro-con list of benefits and burdens of being either full time or part time.
I did not expect anyone to have the magic recipe or answer that would solve the transition equation but their responses were thoughtful and helpful to me personally and professionally. The exercise also demonstrated the tremendous value of feedback from others as a learning experience and what I learned helped me take several more steps toward the desired goal. I am blessed and happy with the results of these past 11 years. I am as busy and as engaged as ever with different kinds of activities from earlier years. This underscores my tag line: “Change is inevitable. Plan carefully.”
For a short piece on Life transitions, check this one: https://garygruber.com/ten-life-transitions/