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My Employer Gets It

When I think of my employer, the one phrase that always comes to mind is: “My employer gets it.” What do I mean? Let me explain. I’ve been  in HR for 20 years. From recruiting to employee relations to HR Management and HR Generalist roles, I’ve been lucky enough to work under great leadership that has granted me opportunities to grow and learn.

After 20 years in HR, life is different for me now. I have two kids in school, carpool, piano, soccer, etc. to coordinate. I always knew I’d work, but never thought I’d be able to do what I love and still have work/life balance. It sounds so clichĂ©, but a work/life balance (or as I like to say LIFE/work balance) actually does exist, and here’s how I found it.

Finding the Right Part Time Fit After a 20+ Year Career

A work/life balance for me means I’m able to work and still do things like: get my kids off the bus or volunteer with my county’s food pantry. In short, I’m able to shut my computer off and focus on the people I love most.

For you, it might mean having passion for a full-time job but having the flexibility to leave for an event, baseball practice, or even pick up from a summer day camp in the afternoon.

Believe it or not, there are company executives out there that see the value in a person that doesn’t work full time but can add value in the time she or he is in the office. They do exist. How do you find the right company and the right position?

Hone In On What You Want

Organizations that offer flexibility are out there. Many organizations offer flexibility for full-time roles. I have found that part-time roles that have leadership and responsibilities that come with a 20-year career don’t happen overnight. But there is a need and with some legwork and knowing what you want, there are careers that can continue in a less-than-full-time capacity. It’s important to have a clear view of:

  • What type of work you want to do (be as specific as you can here)
  • Whether or not you want to work a specific schedule during the day (Example: are you only available in the mornings?)
  • Whether or not you only want to work during the school year

It’s important to realize that achieving a work/life balance can come at a cost, literally. For example, I don’t qualify for benefits or holiday pay. But at the same time, it shouldn’t come at a cost that diminishes the value of the work. Whether I work full-time or part-time I’m still doing the same type of work. My level of responsibility is the same. Talk to others to find out what a similar job would pay in the industry for full-time. Consider if you will be eligible for a bonus, even part-time. There can be a give and take on some things, but it’s important to ensure you are paid for the job and that you are comfortable with the entire compensation package.

Seek Out Innovative Companies

When looking for a part-time role or a role with flexibility, consider companies that are innovative in employee practices, like companies that make “Best Places to Work” lists by state or region, for example.

Also, know that the size of the company can be an indicator of a great fit. For example, I work at The Fahrenheit Group, which is a small company that doesn’t need a full-time HR generalist, so it’s a win-win.

When searching, find out:

  • Do they allow for flex time?
  • Can you work from home?
  • Do they have a job sharing program?
  • How many employees work a flex or non-traditional schedule?

Next step: Get Out There!

You’ve Got This! Now Go Network with a Purpose

Jennifer Stern serves as HR Director for The Fahrenheit Group. She has over 20 years of HR experience and is a proven leader, skilled at developing collaborative working relationships, including cross-functional teams within an organization. She is a results-oriented, highly-motivated HR professional with associate relations, generalist, recruiting, and management experience, which is reflected in the work she does here at The Fahrenheit Group.