What should i say to my boss?
 
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  1. #1
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    What should i say to my boss?

    Alright, it feels like the right time. I have a pretty good job as a graphic designer for a company. I have been there for about a year. But, i am an artist at heart, its tearing me apart working full time, blah blah blah, you've already heard that all. I am ready to kick some ass, even more. I need more time, sooo...

    How should i confront my boss i want part time, without getting fired??

    Whats a realistic way of asking?? The thing is, i don't want to just go get a different part time job, because i make more here...need to pay bills.

    Thanks.

    ~JB

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    Say that you have cancer and the chemo treatments make you very weak so you need to spend less time working. You may have to shave your head eventually to keep it legit looking.

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    Where's the groan button?
    Anyway, what kind of person is your boss? Does he seem reasonable? Is he approachable? If you want something, you've gotta reach for it. Don't demand it, that would definitely be the wrong thing to do, but in my experience, if you feel its right, bring it up to your boss as a personal concern for your career and future.

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    Be honest and direct with the boss person. Your boss is a busy person and doesn't have time for sad sap stories and excuses. He (she?) will appreciate and respect you 100 times more if you just go for the jugular and tell be honest. Thats just based on my own experiences with the dozens of jobs that I've had anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaoticKnight View Post
    Where's the groan button?
    Right next to the 'get a sense of humour' button.

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    Tell him what you told us. I'm sure he had dreams and aspirations before, I'm sure he knows what you're going through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor View Post
    Tell him what you told us. I'm sure he had dreams and aspirations before, I'm sure he knows what you're going through.
    Too right.
    Honestly should do the trick here.

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    In my experience I always prefer it if people are saying directly what they want. I doesn“t makes to sense to me to have employees that aren“t content. If possible I will try to find a solution.

    Working as a Art-Director/Studio leader in the ads myself I see problems with part-time work. We tried it here but the projects mostly demand full-time workers. This may be different in your firm though but I suppose graphic design work in the US isn“t basically much different from the german one.

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    If your boss isn't the type who will understand then you might want to start looking for a new boss. I mean, I can understand if it doesn't jive with his schedual or something, but its not a firing offence. Stay to the point but polite and you can get a lot further than you may expect.

    Anyways, if you are getting paid by the hour then it shouldn't be a big deal; less time you work= less money they spend on your paycheck. I work whacky hours on weekdays, but I'm fine with it as the pay is good and the staff are great guys to work with.

    Last edited by Peter Coene; April 8th, 2008 at 06:14 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinBeckett View Post
    Alright, it feels like the right time. I have a pretty good job as a graphic designer for a company. I have been there for about a year. But, i am an artist at heart, its tearing me apart working full time, blah blah blah, you've already heard that all. I am ready to kick some ass, even more. I need more time, sooo...

    How should i confront my boss i want part time, without getting fired??

    Whats a realistic way of asking?? The thing is, i don't want to just go get a different part time job, because i make more here...need to pay bills.

    Thanks.

    ~JB
    say this

    "hey mr whateverhisnameis, is there anyway i can switch to part time, if not thats ok i was just wondering if the option was available."

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    Based on personal experience, I would say the BEST way is to not treat it as confrontational, but as a discussion. Convey your aspirations, and discuss your plans, but keep them as positive as possible. Avoid any negativity at all costs.

    "I'm not getting enough time to do my own work" is far less effective as "I would like to increase the amount of time spent on my own projects". I hope this makes sense. Negative comments can end up backfiring on you (I spent many years at the same pay grade until someone told me this), so keep it positive if you can.

    Also, it never hurts to have a backup plan, in the case that you do get fired for asking, although I personally think this won't happen based on what I've seen of your work. Have you already sought out a way to stay employed enough to pay the bills before you jump in neck deep? Personally, I don't think I could ever do such a thing, mainly because I'm such a wage , but also because of my responsibilities to two kids in college and my wife, so my own perspective may be skewed just a bit.

    In any case, best of luck!

    Last edited by Professor Az; April 8th, 2008 at 03:05 PM.
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    Most of these posts are good advice.

    We've had some similar situations at my job (and I might end up there myself after a couple of years), and even though it's not art related, it was a fear in the beginning when people started to want it.

    We had a year when several (because of a lot of people in the midtwenties, early thirties) got kids, and also because of the shift nature of my work several had kind of "Hobby" firms and extra pay through writing/craft/etc.

    After the first one approached, we had several doing the same, and it was never considered a problem. What we do is that when someone wants to cut their position down a bit, we go by percent, and then we need someone else that's willing to take the rest of the percent. So that someone is sharing a poisition 70-30, 50-50, 60-40, and so on. We had several sharing their position, with a 50-50 for a while, struggling to get their own private small buisnesses off the ground. That might be something to suggest? Never was any doing that there before someone got the idea.

    Make sure whatever you say is turned the positive way like Professor Az said there. A boss would prefer a direct approach than sulking and even if you use sentences that pretty much means the same, make sure to not use "can't" and all those words, because the brain finds it a negative word.

    And don't go on until the point when it's starting to tear you up and shows in your work and/or attitude. A boss prefers a happy coworker producing good quality and being effective than one that's getting itchy, having its thoughts elsewhere, etc. And it's more easy than you know to detect that someone isn't quite happy in a work environment, and it's not a good idea to let the boss think you might wanna leave altogether, which he might if he starts to get the feel you don't really "have the time" to be at work.

    Good luck

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  15. #13
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    Nights and weekends. Sorry, that's the only thing that comes to mind as a solution. You have a full time job in the art industry. This shouldn't be seen as a problem.

    Of course, this is my two cents and I don't know your full story. But the above is what I was raised in when I was growing up. Get a job first. Do the fun stuff when you can.

    As for approaching your boss, it is best to be totally upfront in a scenario like this. You could be jeopardizing your job, though, if your boss needs a full time person only and doesn't want the hassle of switching to two part timers to cover the vacancy.

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    Thank you all. All this advice is really great!!

    Do you think i should request a personal meeting with her, or should i just confront her when she is walking around...pretty random question, i know...but i am not really sure. I was thinking about a meeting, but she might take it pretty serious, in a bad way, that way.

    As to what some of you said. That was what i was going to do, is, tell her, straight up what i want to do, and why i want part time...instead of lying about it to get part time. Well, the problem is, even know she sorta works in the art industry, she really doesn't understand nor like artists very much. And also, i have my own department, i am the only one in charge of it...

    I guess the best thing to do is have a backup option. Then just, go for it!! I guess, really, what could happen right, she either says no, yes, or your fired. If its a no, i have already been striving hard after work...i can continue that, until i figure something else out. If its a yes, then, wow, i am in luck!!

    Thanks so much guys.

    ~JB

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    dont bring it up when shes out of her office. If you see her, say you'd like to talk with her for a few minutes in her office, or you can wait till she's in her office and then you walk in and ask if she has a few minutes. If she doesn't schedule it for later. And yea, dont beat around the bush, just say it straight out. Oh so much easier/better.

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    You have made a wise decision not to lie about your situation. Don't lie, it has bad karma attached to it, and will bite you in the ass exactly when you don't need it to.

    Most bosses appreciate an employee that is straighforward. I know I do.



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  19. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinBeckett View Post
    Thank you all. All this advice is really great!!

    Do you think i should request a personal meeting with her, or should i just confront her when she is walking around...pretty random question, i know...but i am not really sure. I was thinking about a meeting, but she might take it pretty serious, in a bad way, that way.

    As to what some of you said. That was what i was going to do, is, tell her, straight up what i want to do, and why i want part time...instead of lying about it to get part time. Well, the problem is, even know she sorta works in the art industry, she really doesn't understand nor like artists very much. And also, i have my own department, i am the only one in charge of it...
    Discussing job opportunities is not a hallway conversation. Ask if you can talk to them in their office or set up a meeting, depending how busy your boss is. Ask if you can switch to part time. You don't have to explain anything to anyone unless they ask. If they do, tell them like it is. Better be truthful. If it's possible, they'll tell you "yes". If it's not possible they'll tell you "no". You are asking about future possibilities. It's a reasonable and normal thing to do.

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  20. #18
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    Heh, I used to always ask my boss when she would open a new 3 days a week position. But then, I was unionised.

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    Most of the suggestions here can help you. But here is one point they all seem to miss. So here is my useless advice:

    Your boss doesn't care about what you would rather be doing.

    Bottom Line: IF YOU ARE VALUABLE TO YOUR BOSS, then you have options.

    IF NOT....

    ...and you can be easily replaced tomorrow,then.....don't quit your day job! Do you art on the side.

    Now you don't have to keep your passion for art as a hobby either.
    NEXT; Set a goal. Try to earn half of what you make at your day job with your art on the side.

    NEXT: After you are making that, set the next goal; try to make just as much with your art on the side as you make with your day job.

    NEXT.. Try to make TWICE as much with your art on the side...If you can do this, I bet your boss would come and work for you!

    Don't just drop everything to pursue a pipe dream. You have to set goals.

    Don't worry how you will get there...just take the first step, and achieve that first goal.

    Last edited by otis; April 10th, 2008 at 02:42 PM.
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  23. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadefoodog View Post
    say this

    "hey mr whateverhisnameis, is there anyway i can switch to part time, if not thats ok i was just wondering if the option was available."
    thats the best advice so far... well... depending of course on how "corporate" it is at your work.
    where i work, its extremely laid back and the best course of action would be to keep it conversational.
    few months ago i went to my boss and said "fuck man... im just not making enough money. i know that if i leave the company right now and go freelance i can make at least 100k a year, but i love this place, i've been here for 4 years now and dont really want to leave. blah blah"... basically kept it conversational and ended up with a raise.
    i just recently had another conversation with my boss and convinced him to pay for me to take some G n o m o n classes.


    but that probably wont work if your job is real professional/corporate.

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  24. #21
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    The major obstacle I can see to you working part-time is the fact that you have your own department, and you're the only one in charge of it. That doesn't sound like a part-time option.

    If you're really serious, make a plan of action. Pick a mentee and train her/him up to do a job-share with you. Plan how you can make this work with minimum disruption to the company. Really figure it out, then get your boss alone somewhere you can't be interrupted and tell her what you'd like to do. Asking if part-time hours is a possibility is not a firing offence in itself (at least not in the uk) but you need to put a positive spin on it,- and you need to be aware also, that your mentee might eventually take over your job.

    Don't put your boss on the spot by asking for a snap answer; open the possibility of a discussion, and be prepared with ideas as to how you could make it work. Try to present it as a positive move for the company (deputy head of department? Consultancy?)

    Good luck....

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