Having a part-time job is certainly a financial setback, but it is compensated by benefits in kind. Like Josiane Décoste, many employees choose to only work a few days a week to devote more time to their family or to parallel activities.
For several decades, part-time work has been the preserve of women. According to the latest figures from Statistics Canada on the subject, about one woman worker in five aged 25 years and older held a part-time job in 2007, while for men the rate was only 4.6%. Among the reasons motivating workers to make this choice, women (44%) mainly give family reasons, and men (26%) a return to school.
For Josiane Décoste, an employee at a financial institution, the idea of working part time came to her when her first child was born 11 years ago. “When I had my daughter, I went to four days a week,” she says. “I had trouble leaving her, and this additional day with her let me see her grow up.” When the couple had their second child, the mother’s working schedule was reduced to three days of work per week.
Choosing to reduce your time worked requires reflection and financial organization. “This decision is made as a couple,” explains Josiane Décoste. “Certain of our expenses had to be reduced, but we adapted and are living very well today with these changes.”
However, despite this tighter budget, working part time has allowed Josiane Décoste’s family to reduce her stress level. “My husband has night hours,” she explains. “Having time to take care of the house, visits to the doctor or activities with the children has removed a concern from my husband’s shoulders, because he knows that the children are not paying the price of his atypical hours.”
Slowed career development
By making the choice not to work more than three days a week, Josiane Décoste has put her career a bit more on the back burner. However, she is not neglecting her duties in the financial institution. “With four rest days a week, when I go to work I am in great shape, so more productive,” she says. “I therefore prove to my company that I have my place even if I am only there a few days a week.”
Although her children are now bigger, Josiane Décoste does not want to return to a full-time contract. “Today I have the best of both worlds,” she explains. “I am working while I have time for my family and for myself!