— Full time to part time
Q. I am in a job where I am underutilized — a lot of down time. It's a chronic problem at this workplace, and I've had lots of discussions with managers about it over the decade-plus I've worked here. I'm now within a decade of retirement age, and I'm at a point where I would like to pursue other interests to try to develop a more fulfilling career. I have plans and projects in that direction, but lack of time is hampering me. I'm not ready to quit altogether — at least, not yet. What is the best way to frame and manage a discussion with my manager about switching to a part-time schedule? I was going to suggest a trial period (three or six months).
A: It is a good idea to have the conversation with your boss. Prior to doing that, you might want to think about what aspects of the job you want to keep doing (i.e., what tasks and job functions). You might also want to think about what other job tasks are left (if you only work part time) so you can prepare your boss for what is left to do. If you also have someone else in mind who could do the rest of the work, that could also be helpful.
Q. What is the best thing to do when there are layoff rumors at your company? How do I stay proactive with my own career while trying to keep morale alive and kicking for my employees?
A: So, you said "rumors" about layoffs. Can you go to HR or managers to learn the truth? You could also let them know how the employees feel. If there really are not going to be any layoffs and people think there are, this is a problem they could easily address. On the other hand, if there will be some layoffs, they could still share something with employees so everyone is not freaked out. Some companies really handle this well and others make a total mess of it — losing key employees because of unfounded fears.