Last week I attended a fabulous event that I’d love to share with you. Women in Finance held a panel discussion titled “How flexible is flexible? The Perils, Pitfalls and Perks of Part-time Work”. The panel consisted of Liz Smith, a partner from Grant Thornton and part-time working mum herself; Rima Newman the partner in charge of Logie-Smith Lanyon’s Employment and Industrial Relations Law team; and Suzanne Whitmash, the founder of 1st Executive. The panel was masterfully run by Erica Edmands, a sought after facilitator, commentator and speaker on diversity, mental health/wellbeing and resilience.
Out of the discussion came some very clear key points on how to make part-time work successful.
1. What’s in it for the employer
The employer needs to see part-time work working for the business. So in the initial discussions or requests for moving to part-time be very clear about how this will work for the benefit of the business. What are the consequences for the organisation, the manager, the staff and the customers? How will these be managed?
2. Set clear requirements and expectations
In these initial conversations know exactly what you need to make this work for all parties concerned and set expectations of deliverables upfront. Some degree of flexibility may be required – and it is also important to protect your part-time hours.
3. Put your hand up for opportunities
Assumptions can often be made that part-time workers are not interested in progressive career development. It’s up to you to put your hand up for new opportunities and to make it well known that you are continuing to move your career forwards.
4. Continue to build your networks and supporters
When we have less time in the office we spend less time on building our networks and relationships, however this remains a crucial element of establishing a successful career. Continue to invest time in building your networks and developing mentor and sponsor relationships.
5. Be a good performer
Organisations and managers are generally open to make part-time available for good performers, so be a good performer.
Thank you to Cathryn Nolan, president of Women in finance for running this informative event and to all the wonderful participants for their experience and insights.
For more information about Women in Finance visit: http://www.womeninfinancevic.com.au/