Monday, September 28, 2015

Why Part Time Work May Not Be Better for Young Moms

When I decided to go back to work full-time when Baby was 6 months, a common response I got was 

"Couldn't you just look at part-time jobs??"

Part time work was the first thing I looked at.  After a while I realized that part-time employment isn't what it's all cracked up to be, and decided to search for full-time employment instead.  I'm not saying that part-time employment has no value.   It can put a foot in the door for something better.  But more often than not, what you get in return for working part-time is not worth the time and the cost that it takes to earn part-time wages.  

I tell moms who are in a situation where they really need the additional income and still have young children at home, that part-time work, while well-intentioned, will not resolve their financial situation in the short and long term.  Their best bet would be to look at full-time employment and preferably in jobs where you get a salary, and not in jobs where you have to punch in and out for lunch or something gimmicky like direct sales.  

Here are problems I discovered that come with part-time employment which led me to reconsider and to go ahead with working full-time.

Consider this example. While the scenario is hypothetical, the facts are true.   
Two moms live next door to each other.  Both of them commute to work at the same place and both earn the same rate per hour.  

One mother is employed full time and the other is employed part time.  Here's where part-time starts to become a problem, financially.  

Transportation Costs:
The person that gets hit the most with the transportation expense is the part-timer.  What it costs for a full-timer to get to/from the job is exactly the same for the part-timer.  

Insurance premiums:
Both of them receive employer benefits.  However the health and dental insurance premiums for part-timers cost more per pay period than for the full-timer.  This is why you see more happy retired folks in part-time roles instead of young moms; they take the income, reap the social benefits but don't need to pay for health insurance because they're covered through Medicare.  

Childcare Costs:
Both of them have the same number of children with the exact same ages and go to the same daycare. Childcare tuition for full time, 5 days per week turns out to be less expensive per day than childcare for 2 and a half days.  This is because centers have to find more employees to ensure adequate child-to-caretaker ratios for all hours of the day they're open or get shut down.  Part-timer is hit again with the extra cost.  

After adding all the expenses for both moms, the full-timer comes out far on top.  

While the full-timer is working 40 hour weeks, she ends up earning and taking more in take home pay PER HOUR than the part-timer. These expenses are why so many mothers start and end up quitting part-time employment very quickly without realizing that they probably could have been far better off with full-time employment instead.  

Other problems with part-time employment:
The reason why benefitted part-time jobs are far and few in between across all industries is because an employer gets more value for one person producing in one job than two people producing for one job.  It's also a pain in the butt for an employer trying to get coverage for 200 hours of work managing 10 people instead of 5 people.  

Part-timers reach a cap in what they can earn per hour, especially in entry-level jobs.  The wages for full-time positions more often than not, pay a lot more per hour than part-time wages, around 30-50% more!

Also, people who are broke, or on public assistance work less hours on average than the middle class and the affluent.  So if broke is where you want to get out from, then cowboy up and work more hours by obtaining stable, full-time employment.  


Thursday, September 24, 2015

"I Feel Guilty About Wanting to Leave My Job"

I love the Mormon Messages but this is not my favorite one I've come across, "You Never Know"  You can watch it HERE People have commented their mixed feelings about the video on whether the mom should have Just Said No, or give praise for going out of her way to help others even though her hands are full as they were, and feeling bad thinking she didn't get what she wanted done but in end it turned out to be a good day because you never how you never know how much you made a difference in people's lives but that is none of what I want to talk about.  

What I want to talk about is the scene where the mother meets up with her sister at the park. 

Based on the conversation, her sister is not happy at her current job.  Emphasis added on lines in particular. 

Mom: So what are you going to do?
Sister: I don't know.  Everyone is looking to me to help them.  But I don't want to stay there if I'm not happy.  But at the same time I don't want to abandon them.  I really just want to think about myself, but I can't.  
Mom: That's frustrating.  That makes ME angry.  Like today--.
Sister: --I know.  I don't want to bother you with it though. 
Mom: No, you're not bothering me with it.  But Heidi, if you left, who else would be able to help them? 

Oh dear, what will her employer and team do without her??  
My response: her employer and teammates will be fine anyway if she decides to quit! 

Let me explain how.  

It is the responsibility of her current employer to resource the work it has committed to accomplishing.  As part of that responsibility, the company has a duty to adapt when (not if) resources change.  The company's options include replacing, reprioritizing or reshuffling the work stream.  However, resolving this situation is NOT Heidi's fault or her responsibility.  That's the problem I saw in the job scene, the message portrayed it as being her problem.   Women in paid jobs following this approach actually set themselves up for career hindrance.  

In fact, many women have a big problem feeling guilty about leaving their jobs for something better.  They end up staying and get paid peanuts to their male counterparts for years.  

Are any of you facing a similar situation in your paid jobs?  You can think about it this way: 

Just because you're leaving or wanting to leave the company/division/department and that causes a change in the status quo, it isn't your responsibility to fix it or that you're causing the team to suffer.  The cause of the team's suffering is the choice that the company made, ultimately, because they have the responsibility to work through resource changes.  

Good employers/bosses/colleagues/teammates never take someone leaving a job personally, and if an employer does take it personal, then you might as well wonder what else do they take personal with you and why on earth you want to work for someone like that?  I mean, they don't take it personal when they have to layoff employees.  

You have to do what is right for your situation, and you should feel no guilt if you give proper notice.  Only exception to this is if the reason for leaving was due to being treated very poorly on the job (I'm talking things like harassment, discrimination, bullying and nothing was done from the employer's part to resolve it) then you don't owe them any notice.  

People might struggle at first when faced with filling your shoes if you were a good employee, but someone always steps up.  It is not your job to worry about the company after you leave.  Don't feel guilty at all.  

Ultimately you have to make the decision that works best for you and really figure out if it is an opportunity that will better you.  You spend most of your waking life at a job. Why waste your life being unhappy going to/from your work??  I promise you guys, there is no better sense of joy when you find yourself at a job where you look forward coming to each day and leave from work feeling accomplished in what you've done on a daily basis.  

Instead of telling Heidi "If not you, then who?" I'd tell her to put her career and best interest of her family above loyalty to  people who didn't care if she worked there or not.  It will also be a good time to ask for a raise, which is probably the bigger issue at hand.  

I'd tell her that if she doesn't take this new opportunity, or even try to look for new opportunities, someone else will and her current company will know that they can leave her right where she is for a very long time and her loyalty will keep her there.