I have been working for the same company for the past 8 years. This is the second company I’ve worked for since I graduated college. I started working here before I met my husband, and now I’m married with two kids… wow! And I just realized that 8 years is exactly 1/4 of my life. Crazy!
Anyway, one of the things that has been on my mind lately is the desire to have my life reflect my priorities. With that, something that has been weighing heavily on me is the lack of balance between my working life and my home life. I don’t know that there is a perfect balance– whether you are home with your kids full time, work part time outside the home, or work full time outside the home, I believe there are challenges and sacrifices associated with any of these choices. However, as I’m now a mother of two and so aware of how fast this precious time with my kids is flying by, I’ve felt a desperate need for more time with my kids than the standard 8-5 job allows for. My company has been good about letting me take time off as needed, and whereas there are some jobs within my industry that allow working from home, a part time schedule is unheard of.
Enter my former boss. Through ups and downs, he and I worked well together, and one day I teasingly said to him, “What would you do without me?” He surprised me by saying, “I have no intention of finding out,” and then proceeding to tell me that if he ever left the company that he was going to take me with him. Well, he is no longer at the company (hence “former boss”), and he has recruited me to come work for him at his new company. He asked me, “How much do I have to pay you to get you to come work for me?” I explained to him that more money wasn’t a priority for me– what I really needed was more time with my kids. Knowing full well that he hates letting people work from home, I asked if he would consider letting me work from home. He said he would need me in the office a few days per week, but yes, I could do some work from home. Then I really asked for the moon– I asked him if he would consider letting me work part time, and he said yes!
So I put together a schedule that I thought could work for both of us and sent it off to him despite the many people expressing concern that I was asking for too much. I just couldn’t see any point in proposing something that I would not be happy with. I asked for a 30 hour work week: Monday and Tuesday in the office (8 hour days), Wednesday and Thursday work from home (7 hour days), and Friday off. To everyone’s surprise, he came back with a very reasonable counter offer, which I was willing to agree to: a 32 hour week (which apparently still makes me full time and thus eligible to be a manager) Mon, Wed, Fri in the office, Tuesday work from home, and Thursday off. On my work from home day I can be done with work at a reasonable hour and thus have more time with my kids in the evening, and I get a full day each week with the kids!!! It may not be perfect, but it would sure help! So then the question became if I could make this change and still be able to bring in the income my family needs. I believed I could, and sure enough I managed to negotiate an equivalent salary to what I am currently making. Who could turn down a deal like that? Not me!
Thus, I gave notice to my employer today. I still can’t believe it. People were really shocked and sad to hear about my departure, but I think they understood my decision. I feel like I am making the right move for my family, but I also feel a little like I am abandoning my work family, which is hard. The timing is difficult because I am currently covering multiple people’s jobs, but I am going to do my best to minimize the pain of the transition. My last day is supposed to be the 25th, and then I am planning to take a week off to try to get my life in order (what mom doesn’t need to do that?). My first day at the new company will be November 4th. It is scary to make a decision like this, but as my mom says, we have all been praying about this, and now it is time to trust God.
So here I go… off to a new adventure!