Your Permission Slip to Dream Big
It is probably not news to anyone that the US will be short workers in the future. With the Baby Boomers starting to retire and fewer younger workers to take their place, the workplace will soon be an employee's market. As soon as 2010 (only 3 years from now!) it is estimated that this country will be short some 17 million workers according to this recent article in the Boston Globe.
Now more than ever before, employers need to make their workplaces friendly in order to retain talented staff who don't plan to retire anytime soon. If you can hold up your end of the bargain by being talented and useful at work, chances are that you can get the schedule and perhaps even the pay you want. It may take asking more than once or twice, or even switching jobs (although this puts you back at the beginning in terms of proving your talent and usefulness again with a new company). But the overall odds are in your favor.
If you have been wanting a different schedule, but were afraid to ask, work hard on gathering up that courage. You truly don't know what is possible if you don't ask. Even if you are the first person in your company of 2000 to ask for reduced hours, go ahead. Marc did this years ago (before he met me) and after repeated rejection, he was finally granted a trial at part-time hours. His boss's main worry was 'if I give this to you, everyone else will want it'. Marc's response: 'I seriously doubt many people will beat a path to your door to request a pay cut.' Marc was right - no one else asked. And Marc got to trade a fat paycheck for an adequate paycheck with a balanced life.
We're here to say 'jump in - the water's warm' and encourage you to live your dreams.