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job hours

February 17th, 2014 at 06:32 pm

My boss wants me to increase my hours. The desired amount of the increase seems to change from week to week. Right now I work 20 hours, and could go to 30 or possibly 40. Boss asked if I would do 40 today. No talk of a higher salary.

Pros of 30:
- get benefits at a lower cost than I would at 20 hrs
- extra free time and ability to visit family on short notice (which I value intensely since my layoff and family illnesses/deaths)
- more time to apply to other jobs and interview

Cons of 30:
- can't cover the mortgage
- will I be viewed as lazy by society at large? (do I care?)
- if I need to increase my hours down the road, they may not go for it

Pros of 40:
- more money coming in
- looks better on a resume
- get benefits at a lower cost than I would at 20 hrs
- we need all the money we can get since SO is out of work, even though it would barely cover the mortgage
- I could conceivably support myself if necessary

Cons of 40:
- I don't think I like where the company is going (and my job satisfaction has greatly decreased)
- Boss sometimes makes me uncomfortable
- Less free time
- Would it really be 40 hours, or more? Weekend expectations?
- More exposure to in-fighting among coworkers
- Would likely greatly upset a difficult coworker whose hours and benefits would get cut so mine could be increased
- I'd be making what I was making in 2001, which frankly is not great. If I'm working full time and exchanging my precious free time, I feel like I should be making far more than that. I guess I justified 20 hours a week at this salary because I could balance it with my free time.

Making this list helped clear my thoughts a bit, but I'm still torn.

5 Responses to “job hours”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    If your boss is making you uncomfortable AND you're not liking the direction of the company ... Is your SO getting unemployment? If so, will it last long enough for you to find something else? Would it cover the difference for the mortgage?

  2. snafu Says:

    If you're working in a toxic environment with infighting staff, a difficult co worker would blame you for her loss of hours, a boss who makes you uncomfortable with job satisfaction decreasing...why add to the negatives? You need time to devote to finding a better job! 37.5 hrs is a full time job with benefits. What is a market value of that position in another, less stressful organization? Do you have enough hours to get unemployment benefits?

    How serious is SO about finding employment? How many hours per week has been devoted to job search?

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    I hear the reluctance to go 40 hrs in this post. However, paying a mortgage is important. Some of the reasons you offer, though, pro or con, I wouldn't worry about. Like what others think. And that working 40 hours looks better on a resume. Honestly, I don't think it matters. You either have the experience someone's looking for, or not; they don't care whether you did it this many hours or that many hours. Why not bring up a pay adjustment before saying yes or no? It's certainly not unreasonable, and the worst he can say is no. If they're cutting someone else's hours to increase yours, that must mean they like your work. So why not push for a pay raise on account of the superior work you do? But working at a job you don't enjoy is not fun. It's always easier to find another job while you're still working. So maybe go for full-time now, after asking about a raise, and look for a better job elsewhere.

  4. kashi Says:

    Thanks all! SO has severance pay until the end of the month and can apply for unemployment after that. Unemployment is not an option for me. I have no idea how many hours per week he is job hunting, but he has been applying, contacting people, and had one interview.

    Perhaps I should clarify that I can contribute to the mortgage, but my salary is so low that SO has to find some work or he will lose the house regardless of what I do with my hours. Even a mild salary increase on my part won't help that situation. I suspect part of the reason they may cut coworker's hours in favor of mine is because that person makes more than I do. I'm cheaper labor and less abrasive.

    I will definitely ask about more money. Boss likes me, but can only ask the higher-ups for permission.

  5. kashi Says:

    P.S. State jobs here very much care about how many hours per week you work. The application process is nuts.

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