So I finally started down an unknown road at work, figuratively speaking. During my mid-year performance review with my boss I planted an idea with respect to my career goals. I actually wrote on the form for near term goal (1 to 3 years): retirement or reduced hours to approximately 50%. Then I submitted it to my boss to see if any fireworks ensued.
Oddly enough, the entire conversation was oddly civil and straight forward. From my boss’s point of view he wants to keep me around as long as possible, so if we need to look into options to make that happen he is at least willing to explore them and ask how it could potentially work. If we can find a compromise that works for both of us, why not look into it.
I made it clear I don’t expect changes immediately (after all I’m still working on building my savings), but I would like to know what options may exist. Currently we are exploring a few different ways to make something like this happen including:
- Cut back to half time. This would be using the same policy that let me drop down to 90% currently. The issue here is figuring out how picks up some of the work that I’m no longer doing.
- Cut back time and reuse the budget to pick up another employee. This one is a bit trickier to pull off and requires some help from HR on what is possible and what isn’t. The idea would be to free up enough budget from my current position to allow another person to come on board and pick up the remaining work. In effect splitting the budget from my job into two.
- Shift to a contractor role. I had thought of this idea myself a while back but somewhat discounted the idea as the work involved to setup and obtain clients while still working. This way would be easier as I would start with one client right off the bat, which would make the shift easier. The downside of course if contractor budgets are often the first things to get squeezed out during budget cut backs. So my income would be more unstable and there is a risk of me being hung out to dry.
Of course I’m not sure where this is going to end up, but I figured that it would be worth the time to at least explore semi-retirement with my current workplace. Oddly enough I sort of discounted this idea in the first place as I thought they would shoot it down at once, but the reaction has been more hopeful than I would have guessed.
Anyways, worse case scenario it doesn’t come to anything, I finish my savings and just leave in about two more years. Best case would be dropping down to 50% by next year and staying in semi-retirement mode for a three or more years until I get enough savings to leave entirely or just get sick of the entire thing and pull the plug.
Has anyone else had much like convincing their employer to allow you to go part time? Any tips or ideas?