Is working part time achievable?

part timeEver thought of working part time? Ray Prince lists a couple of things you should consider first.

If you’ve reached the point in your career where you’d like to work less to free up more time to pursue other activities and/or see more of your family (or whatever reason is personal to you), you may be wondering if it’s actually realistic?

After all, reducing your time at work will also usually mean a reduction to your income.

Let’s look at a case study for an associate dentist, Ben, who has managed to turn this into a reality, and the steps he took to get there.

Part time

Two years ago Ben, aged 36, was enjoying his job as an NHS associate, however the recent arrival of twins quickly forced him and his wife to re-assess his working week!

With both sets of their parents in other parts of the country, they knew that Ben would need to be very hands on and available to help at home as much as possible.

In addition, Ben was feeling that he wanted to be able to help more anyway, regardless of the lack of parental support.

Therefore, Ben and his wife took these initial steps prior to approaching the practice partners:

  1. They detailed their expenditure, looking back over the last 12 months, to help them determine how much after tax income they would need: household, personal, cars, children, servicing debt, pensions, investments, and insurance
  1. Crucially, to protect their futures they wanted to ensure they could continue to invest as they were now, especially into pensions
  1. Ben’s wife, Emma, wanted to return to work (as an accountant at a local firm) part time after 18-24 months maternity if the sums added up
  1. They then cut any non-essential expenditure. This included Sky, gym membership for both (they are now on a pay as you go basis) and being smarter with groceries (such as buying non-food items in bulk at discount shops). The result was that they would need circa £4,000 per month
  1. Then they analysed how much of Ben’s income they could afford to do without. His full-time earnings were £90,000 net profit, which equated to a take home income of £5,078 per month. Were Ben to reduce from five days to four per week, his net income would reduce to £4,208 per month. Whilst they would have ideally liked Ben to move to three and a half days per week, they realised this would not be possible at this stage
  1. Ben discussed his proposal with the practice partners, who were very accommodating and agreed for him to move to four days after a three-month grace period to enable them to put in place cover for his day.

Ben now works Monday to Thursday and all the family love his three-day weekend!

If this resonates with you, could it be an option to pursue? And if you’re a principal, the same applies: how could you structure the practice so that you can reduce your clinical workload and free up your time?

Why would you want to do it? Like Ben, is it to be there for your family more, or are there other interests you want to pursue?

Over to you.

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