I've been at my new job for a month and a half! That's hard to believe; the time really went by quickly.
I remember talking to my old supervisor, and good friend, soon after taking this new position. I bragged, "I'm making more money here, and I have less responsibility! People are just handing me Word documents and I convert them into HTML." He intoned, "Just wait, it won't take them long."
Well, he was correct. I just sent an email to my new supervisor today that laid out the amount of work I have scheduled through September; it was enough for 2 people.
It wasn't long before converting Word docs to HTML was handed off to a more junior developer (or, I should say The More Junior Developer since there's only one). I was whisked off to Boise to help sell a document management/collaboration solution, sent over to another client to consult on consolidating their spreadsheets into Excel, and just last week went to an interview and won a job adding a user interface to an existing access database (as well as converting it to SQL).
Today my HR supervisor was in town from Portland. She stopped by my desk a little before 8 and we talked about how I was the only one there (brownie points!). She said that I should think about whether I want to become a part time employee or a full time employee - currently I am a flexible time employee.
Let me digress to explain the essential differences.
- Flex = I work when I want, however much I want. I don't get any medical, paid time off, or perks. If there is no work to do, I go home. Anything over 40 is 1.5.
- Part Time = I have to work at least 20 hours a week. I get 5 hrs/month of PTO, medical is mostly paid (I pay $12/month), and anything over 40 is 1.5.
- Full Time = I have to work 40 hours a week, even if there is nothing to do. I get 8 hrs/month of PTO, medical is completely covered, and anything over 40 is typically evaporated - no overtime, rarely compensatory time.
I asked Dana what I should do. She replied, "If you want to make a career out of this company, go for full time; otherwise, go for part time. Or, you could always go for part time and go full time later."
She's right, of course. It's really a toss-up. If I take the part time position, I may be vulnerable to people who get hired after me climbing the career ladder ahead of me. Arguably, I may be less vulnerable to lay offs as a part timer, since I could probably find 20 hours of work a week in the driest times and a full timer may be laid off or have their status changed. I definitely don't want to stay as a flex employee because I am working more than 20 hours a week anyway, so I might as well be getting medical pay and PTO.
I am a career guy; I'm not content to just do my job and get a pay check. I want to excel, to participate in something bigger than me. I still have a life outside of work, and practically refuse to work more than 40 hours a week. I am driven to lead, to be creative, to be in a position that can make decisions.
I have been quite comfortable with my flex position. Like I mentioned, I've flown out on business trips, gone on sales calls, consulted with clients, brought in work. I haven't been a project manager yet though; and I'm pretty sure I'd have to be full time in order to marshal my own project.
Going full time may mean that I am requested to work more than I want to - some of my coworkers are working 40+ regularly. Becoming a part timer would mean that I'd be available to work 40+, but I'd also get paid for it, too.
I think I'll take the stepping stone approach and request a part time position. I'll wait to push for full time until the day I want to manage my own project. I like the fact that I can leave an hour early on Friday and just not charge for it! (The company has a policy that PTO must be taken in 8 hour increments)