As the end of the year draws near, I’ve been reflecting on my work and pondering whether I should be considering increasing my working hours back to full time next year. I’m really excited and inspired by all the work I am doing and I would love the opportunity to step up to some more leadership challenges, to take that next step on the Executive ladder. And I can’t do that and work part time…can I?
When I think about my full time colleagues, it seems like perhaps they are more committed to work. Because they are available Mon-Fri, doesn’t that make them better candidates for leadership and clearly they can achieve more than me simply because they have more hours to get work done?
When I started to gather together my achievements recently for my annual performance review, I was pretty proud of some of the things that I have been able to achieve this year. Despite working part time, I have still delivered some amazing achievements and been able to move the business forward.
But wait a minute, working part time has allowed me to more effectively juggle all the priorities I have and ensure I’m spending my time doing things that are important to me. And this commitment, has actually made me uber productive. I know I only have a finite time, so I have become a master of wading through the work to find the big hitters, the things that really matter. I’ve successfully managed to attend 95% of the critical meetings at work, but I’ve also been there when my daughter got her merit certificate, I’ve been the driver on the walking School bus twice a week and I’ve carved out time to start doing more writing.
Usually, by the time my “day off” comes around, I’m starting to feel a little wound up and stressed about work, those work deadlines feel daunting and ominous. But then I take some time out, focus on some of the other priorities in my life, like spending time with the kids, exercising and writing my blog. These things inspire and excite me, so then when I am back at work on Thurs, I have re-energised, and I have a healthier perspective. I know that work is important but it’s not everything, which ironically, makes me better at it…because it is easier to keep a calm and clear mind ( I know I know…there are many days which are nowhere near calm, but just imagine what I would be like if that was my whole world, I would be going bananas)
When I stop and think about it. My success at work is not DESPITE me being part time, my success at work is BECAUSE I work part time. By feeling more in control of where I spend my time and energy, I’m BETTER and far more productive at work and I have managed to achieve great things.
So now I want to prove to the world (or maybe just myself!) that you can work part time, and be a successful leader in the corporate world. To break the notion that the ideal worker is someone who works 9-5 Mon- Fri and maybe a couple of weekends and evenings every now and again. That the ideal worker is 100% committed to work as their top priority above all else. Maybe at some point in my future, my priorities will shift and working more hours at my paid job will be the right thing to do. But right now, the balance is right, and just because I have made that choice, doesn’t mean I don’t want to excel or go forward…so watch out work…here I come (except on Wednesdays…ha ha)