Planning to start a family, PT careers

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Planning to start a family, PT careers
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Thu, 04-10-2003 - 5:32pm
Would anyone like to offer some advice on the advantages/disadvantages of working part-time outside the home, compared to working full-time outside the home?


Edited 4/11/2003 2:14:50 AM ET by janelle977

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 9:38am
I really can't, since I've never worked PT. I will say that it's probably a factor of cost of childcare and the type of work you do.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 11:53am
I love working PT. But there are cons also...

I currently work 20 hours/week. I generally work 9-1, and my kids are in school 8:30-3:30, so I don't use daycare anymore. I have a professional job, and I make good money, but I think it's hard to find a good PT position like this. I got mine by working FT for 3 years, then switching to PT when my second child was born. I'm sure that the three years of proving myself is what allowed me to get the schedule I wanted. Also, some of it was just luck--it had to do with getting the right boss, as my previous boss did not favor PT schedules.

Although I'm very happy with my schedule and my job, there are disadvantages as well. First, as a PTer, I'm on a contract instead of having a corporate position. This means I have no benefits, no vacation pay, and no sick leave. I'm strictly hourly. We can handle this because we get benefits through DH, but it could be a big problem for some. Another issue: although my kids are older now, when I started this schedule I ended up paying for FT daycare even though I used it PT. I did this for several reasons: I really liked the DC center, and their PT option didn't mesh with my schedule; I liked the flexibility of having more hours available so I could, for instance, work longer days and then take a day off sometimes. My job paid enough to make it worthwhile even though I paid through the nose for DC, but I do think it's hard to find good PT daycare that meshes exactly with your PT schedule.

Finally, as a PTer, I'll never climb the career ladder. Personally, I'm happy with my position, but in general it is harer for PTers to get recognition and promotions.

On the plus side, I love being able to drop my kids off and pick them up from school. I love having time during the day to exercise and run errands. I love having a job to go to that is mentally stimulating and also gives me quiet time to concentrate and use the logical side of my brain, which doesn't happen all that much at home (for *me*. I'm not making ANY assumptions about anyone else's home life!) Personally, I prefer PT WOH to either FT WOH or SAH.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 12:42pm
What happens if you are sick or want a week off?It's been 7 years since I've worked, and I haven't worked pt since before I was 21, so I have forgotten all of that stuff!!!Your schedule sounds great, but do you get vacations?I know I sound like an idiot, but I really don't know!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 12:45pm
Mygriffen, dana0 has described the "mommy track" in her post, FYI.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 1:16pm
Most people that work PT get time off, they just don't get it paid. By saying PTer has no sick leave or vacation time, they mean they don't have it PAID. A PTer can take a week off to go to Disneyland, but no paycheck in the meantime. LWOP (leave without pay). Personally, I'd take LWOP if I could find a PT job that paid more than about 6 bucks an hour.

Hollie

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 1:28pm
I'm working PT right now. Just started the first week of March, and just had to take a week off for my surgery this week. Most employers would be TICKED at that, but mine is really awesome! I get the time off, I just don't get paid for it. In return, the other employees in our store have to work more hours, which sucks for them, so I'm making them up some "thank you" baskets to give them when I come back, including bubble bath, lotions, a candle, etc.

I will also be taking about 4-5 days off in the end of June to go to a family wedding out of state, and one to two weeks to go on vacation at the end of July/early August. As long as it is planned (except in cases of medical like this week), it isn't that big of a deal...I just don't get paid for it. :)

Now...there are some places that do pay PT employees sick leave and vacation time. One of the larger banks here does, as well as some of the customer service centers. My understanding is that they had to start doing that b/c they needed PT employees for certain hours, but were having trouble retaining workers with no paid sick or vacation time. Some PT employers here are even offering insurance!!!

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 1:49pm
Here's how it works for me...

I meant I don't get paid sick or vacation. But I do have a very flexible schedule, which helps tremendously. For instance, when school is closed for a day (which seems to happen at least twice a month), I work 4 longer days instead 5 short days, and take off the day that school is closed. Same with sick days. I can also work at home to make up hours if needed. I'm a technical writer for a software company, so aside from meetings, it doesn't matter what hours I work so long as I get the job done.

As for vacation, I am planning a whole week off in July--I just won't get paid that week. Another thing we do--sometimes it makes sense for DH to take off for a sick child or school closure, because he's a salaried employee with paid sick and vacation.

I used to have a PT job at my same company, but I was a corporate employee rather than a contractor. I had benefts, paid sick & vacation, 401(k), etc. I left for a year, thinking I was making a permanent move out of state, but circumstances led us back home. My employer did not have the resources for another corporate position at the time I came back, but they did hire me back as a contractor. The good thing about being a contractor is that because I don't get benefits, my hourly wage is actually quite a bit higher than it was when I was corporate. The trade off is no job security, no retirement, etc.

But all in all, I'm really happy and grateful to have my job.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 1:52pm
Yes, I'm the poster child for the mommy track.

Occasionally I feel a twinge of regret when I see ambitious co-workers rising above me. But overall, I'm very satisfied with my career decisions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 2:22pm
And that's what it's all about, individual choice. I didn't mean to slam you - in a different thread, mygriffen posted that either she hadn't heard the term in conversation or at all, and I couldn't resist pointing out a full fledged post on it.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 2:42pm
Don't worry. I didn't take it as a slam at all.


'Cause you're right--I am a good real-life example of this term. And even though I did choose the mommy track, I am well aware of how it has affected my career. Some people tout PT employment as the ideal solution for "having it all", and I think it's worth pointing out that there are drawbacks to consider as well.

Smokeythemom is another example of the pitfalls--she posted a little while ago about losing the PT position she really liked. Apparently they were happy with her work and offered her a FT position, but they didn't want to continue a PT arrangement. I think a big downfall of PT is the lack of job security.

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