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Stretching time

Part time worker? Are there 25 hours in your day?

How to maintain business development opportunities despite reduced working hours

The 24-hour clock can trace its origins to ancient Egypt. Despite millennia of use as an accepted method of time keeping, many part time workers will tell you it is inaccurate and flawed. There are in fact at least 25 hours in a day, and for many people, several more.

Let me explain

Are you someone who has switched from full time to part time working? Are you still effectively delivering 100% of your previous output in a shorter space of time but for a reduced salary? You may now be working on the 25-hour clock.

Research published in the journal Human Relations, by Dr Charlotte Gascoigne from the Timewise Foundation and Professor Clare Kelliher from the Cranfield School of Management, provided evidence that employers often do not reduce workload when professionals transition to part-time.

This begs an important question if you are still doing the same amount of work.

What were you doing during those ‘extra’ hours before you went part time if you are still capable of producing 100% of the output you did previously?

Assuming that the 25-hour clock does not exist (although in my hectic life I remain to be convinced), here are three possible scenarios:

One. You are not in fact delivering 100% of your previous output.

Two. You are still able to deliver 100% of your previous output in less time, because going part time has made you more efficient with your time management. (No doubt your employer will be closely monitoring this situation!)

Three. Elements of your role (that you and/or your employer may have regarded as immediately non-essential) have been eliminated from your working day. My suspicion is that one of those elements (especially for those in the professions) is likely to be business development - (in addition to professional development training, networking etc).

One the recommendations of the research from Gascoigne and Kelliher is that those transitioning to a part time role from full time need to have their role re-designed in conjunction with their employer and work colleagues. However, in terms of career progression, this should not simply be seen in terms of a fair redistribution of disproportionately heavy workloads.

It is imperative that those who choose part time working are given sufficient time within their newly re-designed role for researching and targeting prospects, personal professional brand building and key account relationship management.

If time for business development slips, this is a sure-fire route toward career stagnation. In the long run, it is not healthy for employee or employer.

Going part time often highlights the importance of maintaining personal career development goals. The choice is either an honest discussion with your employer or the invention of new space time continuum. For some the latter might be the easier option.

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