Equally Shared Parenting - Half the Work ... All the Fun

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Here's where we keep you updated on news about parenting as it relates to division of responsibilities, career versus home decisions, work/life balance, and legislative and grass-roots movements toward equality or better choices for families. We'll also throw in our opinions of life as equal parents in a nonequal world, regardless of what's in the news.

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Equality Blog

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Your Permission Slip to Dream Big
It is probably not news to anyone that the US will be short workers in the future. With the Baby Boomers starting to retire and fewer younger workers to take their place, the workplace will soon be an employee's market. As soon as 2010 (only 3 years from now!) it is estimated that this country will be short some 17 million workers according to this recent article in the Boston Globe.

Now more than ever before, employers need to make their workplaces friendly in order to retain talented staff who don't plan to retire anytime soon. If you can hold up your end of the bargain by being talented and useful at work, chances are that you can get the schedule and perhaps even the pay you want. It may take asking more than once or twice, or even switching jobs (although this puts you back at the beginning in terms of proving your talent and usefulness again with a new company). But the overall odds are in your favor.

If you have been wanting a different schedule, but were afraid to ask, work hard on gathering up that courage. You truly don't know what is possible if you don't ask. Even if you are the first person in your company of 2000 to ask for reduced hours, go ahead. Marc did this years ago (before he met me) and after repeated rejection, he was finally granted a trial at part-time hours. His boss's main worry was 'if I give this to you, everyone else will want it'. Marc's response: 'I seriously doubt many people will beat a path to your door to request a pay cut.' Marc was right - no one else asked. And Marc got to trade a fat paycheck for an adequate paycheck with a balanced life.

We're here to say 'jump in - the water's warm' and encourage you to live your dreams.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right about employers being more open than you'd think about reduced hours/pay! At a time when my former employer was actually requiring the salaried staff to "give" 2.5 EXTRA hours a week in work "for the good of the business", I asked for fewer hours and accepted the pay cut that went with that. Everyone seemed happy. I got some time, they got some money. Most employers are still all about the money.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I negotiated a special work schedule (in the office four days a week, work one weekend day at home) before I came back from maternity leave in 2003. I met with my boss about a month before my leave was up and said it was very important to my family that I have one day off during the regular work week when I returned to work. He muttered that he wasn't sure that he could spare me one day a week, but I pointed out that he had been functioning without me during my maternity leave for five days a week. I also expressed my willingness to work one day each weekend to maintain my full-time status. This worked out well with the bureau, since we have difficulty recruiting and retaining people to work on weekends. I also asked to work from home during my weekend shift because there is no one in the office to consult with so it doesn't matter where I do my work. Four years later, I'm still working this schedule.

Peggy Hu, the "Split-Shift Mom"

10:57 AM  

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