Tell us about your current job situation.
Currently I am working full-time as an Information Technology manager for a Temporary/Contract Services firm and part-time as an assistant manager in a small restaurant, both in Waltham MA. I am also attending college online to finish the degree I tried to get so many years ago.
Tell us about your work history.
I started in the Information Technology field about 15 years ago, helping companies with their basic computing needs. I quickly worked my way up to taking care of entire computer and server infrastructures for a company, responsible for everything from the desktop computer to the backend servers to the internet connectivity and even including the phones, copiers and printers. Today I am responsible for all aspects of technology for the company I work for, including strategic planning and spotting upcoming industry trends. Prior to going full-time for the company I work for, I was part-time until they grew enough to warrant the need for a full-time Information Technology onsite presence.
What do you like about working part-time?
The thing I liked the most about my part-time experience was that I could make my own hours. The company I worked for part-time did not hold me to a set schedule, but held me accountable that the job would be done. Working part-time now, I get to fill some time on a couple of nights a week, making a couple of extra dollars for buying some of the indulgences in life.
What do you find challenging about working part-time?
Working part-time can have its disadvantages. When working in the part-time role, I felt like I was always looked down on or my ideas did not carry as much weight because of my position compared to the other full-time employees. I often felt like an afterthought when it came to events or functions for the company I was working for. As a full-time employee and part of the company's management team, I am trying to keep an eye open for the needs and involvement of the part-time employees so they can be part of the company and not be forgotten.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of working part-time?
I can only think of one word of advice for anyone wanting to work part-time: expectations. Make sure you and the company you work for have well defined expectations that are realistic. The company you work for should communicate what is expected of you as an employee; working hours, working schedule, responsibilities and reporting managers. You should also communicate to the company and the manager you work for to set and understand the expectations you have for the company; well defined responsibilities, a clear path of authority (who you report to and their supervisor) and being involved (company events, celebrations, etc).
What advice would you give to a company that is thinking about hiring a part-time employee?
On top of the employee information above that can be applied to the employer as well, I cannot stress how much the company should work to involve part-time employees in their corporate structure or culture. Like the full-time employee, they still work and contribute to the company; they just do it in smaller chunks at a time.
What advice would you give someone who it thinking about returning to the workforce, full-time or part-time?
I have noticed that a lot of the articles on TAPP are about people returning to work part-time. Working as a technology professional, I notice that the skills that are needed in business are changing every day. The productivity programs are becoming more complex and interconnected, the way employees access and share information is always changing, and even the concept of the office phone is undergoing a transformation. In other words, the skills that a person needed five or ten years ago will no longer work effectively in today's technology driven offices.
How can people identify and develop those new skills?
There are several ways to identify the skills a person will need to re-enter the workforce beyond the Self Assessment tools found on TAPP. The first step in the process is to identify what type of position or general field they are looking for. Once that is identified, you can check the job descriptions, ask friends in the field or even call potential employers and inquire about what specific skills are needed for that position. Once the skill is identified, there are several places to develop those skills to make you more employable. There are resources online, most are free, that you can read, view video, or interact with a product. As an example, Microsoft has tutorials, videos and interactive training for their Office products that will prepare most users of their products to be proficient with them. These trainings are available on the TAPP website.
What have you done in a past job that you would never want to do again?
The one thing I will never do again is take a job in another part of the country. A few years ago, I took a job 2500 miles away from home. I took it because of the money, but neglected to take the personal life outside of work into consideration. I felt like an outsider in the community, eventually becoming home sick and even depressed. After a year, I returned back to my home area, and have been thriving ever since.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Michael J Fox or Michael Chiklis– All of their characters seem to be a little eccentric, likeable and sometimes a little on the rough side.