After interviewing more than 110 professional part-time working moms and hearing their stories and advice, I noticed there are some key questions and steps that need to happen to transition from full-time to part-time work. Here are the top 5 from those interviews to think about as you look into making this change in career approach. It’s a hint of what you’ll see in Mompowerment: Insights from Successful Professional Part-time Working Moms who Balance Career and Family next year. There is more to making the transition from full-time work to part-time, but the top five tips can certainly get you on the right track.
#1 – Network
The moms I interviewed felt very strongly about networking, even before you leave a full-time job. The concept of networking is integral, whether you work for a company, big or small, or for yourself. Need some networking tips? Take a look at my previous blog on networking tips.
#2 – Understand your motivation
When you decide you want to work part-time, you need to understand why you’re making the change. Do you want more time with family? Is it because of needing more mental space? Does your husband travel a lot and you need to cut back to manage more of the kids’ stuff? Are you simply overwhelmed with things? These are the types of questions to ask yourself to help you understand your motivation. And that motivation should guide you. It’s your north star moving forward. For example, if you’re pulling back because you’re overwhelmed, get better at saying “no” to new requests for your time and don’t take on more.
#3 – Set boundaries
This advice related to setting boundaries took many forms, from both personal and career perspectives. Everyone who gave this advice shared that it’s important to set the boundaries at the beginning, though, whether reducing hours at the company where you already work, starting at a new company, starting a new relationship with a client in your own business, or even re-establishing boundaries with your friends and family.
#4 – Find your passion
Moms shared that if you’re going to be away from your kids, it should be doing something you love. Find that passion and figure out how to make money from it, even if that’s moving into something new at a company you’ve worked for years. This did seem even more important to those moms who started their own businesses.
#5 – Get help
Working part-time isn’t necessarily easy. And you will often find that you still need help on the home or work front. If you work from home and have young kids, you will likely need someone to watch your children while you work. You still might need help with household duties, like a housekeeper. And, for some women, they needed help on the business front, especially when trying to be a mompreneur and do everything associated with their families, especially in areas in which they don’t have expertise (e.g., social media, accounting, etc.). Figuring out the help you need and the minimum and maximum number of hours of help you need is key. And know in which areas you can make trade-offs.
Is there something that was integral in your transition from full-time to part-time? Is there something you’re struggling with? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.