Tuesday, June 05, 2007

10% of a Promotion

"Love of bustle is not industry" - SENECA

I got a promotion at work today, only it had nothing to do with my career. I officially got approval to my proposal to work Less Than Full Time (LTFT) at 90%. What does this mean? It means I don't have to go to work every other Friday and it's genius. I consider it a promotion to 10% freedom!

At work we have a Flexible Work Schedule (FWS) in which you can work LTFT. Often women with young children or returning from maternity leave work LTFT. Not so often do men take advantage of this, even less often men who don't have children yet. Just last week I thought, "Why not me?"

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw

Since I knew immediately that I wanted to do this, it really happened fast! The timeline looked a little bit like this.

Monday (Memorial Day) - Reading "Living the 80 / 20 Way" on the porch with Shelby. Since I enjoy these days off - a lightning bolt hits me to work LTFT.
Tuesday - Research company policy and plan my proposal (including convincing argument)
Wednesday - Approved by Human Resources
Thursday - Approved by Section Head
Today - Approved by Director

By no means should you take my excitement to be boastful. I know how fortunate I am that my company has this policy, and that I am in a position to take it. And certainly this is not for everyone. The career implications on paper put me a mere 10% behind, but to many "old-school" managers it is an unwritten black mark I am sure. At the very least the communication to "management" is probably "take me off the fast track" and I am comfortable with that (see my previous entry entitled "Less is more & Doing what you love!")

I could go on and on about my passion for Work / Life balance but Penelope Trunk sums it up better. So I will just end with a Top 9 list that my co-worker Rachel wrote (I only get 90% of a Top 10 list).

Here are the Top 9 Reasons I am working LTFT according to Rachel:
9) More time to create Shelby YouTube videos.
8) Minimize the number of QA compliance days to participate in.
7) Safe way to test if he can make a living blogging.
6) One less commute every other week reduces his carbon footprint.
5) Figured it would be a way to kick start his plan to drop living expenses to zero (inside joke).
4) Court ordered community service had to be squeezed in (not really).
3) Uninterrupted day trading.
2) Couldn't fit in enough Guitar Hero practice without cutting into sleeping.
1) Shelby's modeling career is taking off and this allows more freedom to schedule her photo shoots.

Since the LTFT program is completely reversible on my part, there seems to be very little risk. I will blog in the future about how I am using my "days off" and the value I would place on them.

Also be sure to post a comment to share your thoughts on Work / Life balance.


Shelby said...

I'm excited for Shelby Fridays-- all Shelby, all the time!

You can wake up early and feed me, take me for a walk, give me some floor time, feed me lunch, give me some more floor time, work on my latest modeling pose, more floor time, feed me my veggies, and then more floor time before bed! Sounds like a great day!

Dale said...

Tom, you don't know how insanely jealous I am of you right now! Way to go for taking this step and blazing the trail.

I'd love to hear the Top 9 questions you were asked when they announced this.

P.S. Lotsa talk about Shelby getting more Tom time, how about Meghan?

Karen said...

Congratulations. this really is a genius idea!! i'm sure Jim would have you at the batting cages practicing for your Wednesdays. :)

you're a working person's inspiration!!

Martha said...

This is quite fabulous. I wonder if I can do this with my company....Every other Friday? geez, that's better than Summer Hours (which we do not get).

Ivette said...

I am reading from home (decided to work from home today!) which is also incredibly freeing. Love your entry and your move! Keep me posted on how it goes.