Associates: Thinking about part time? Use these questions to map out a plan
You're a dedicated doctor. You spent eight years preparing for and enduring veterinary medical school. For the past six years as an associate, you've lived your dream.
Or maybe you want to compete in an adventure race. It'll require training 20 or more hours a week for the next two years to get ready. But you're committed to this wonderful profession and want to continue practicing—just not the 55 hours a week you've been putting in since you graduated.What do you do? How do you ask your employer for a change? Should you quit your job and return to work part-time in a year or two, perhaps in another clinic? These are questions many young doctors face. While there certainly isn't a strategy that will work for everyone, arranging part-time employment may work for you. Answer the following questions to help you develop a route to success.
If you're sketchy about why you want to cut back, part-time work probably isn't the right solution for your dilemma. Life balance issues aren't always about the lack of time. They're often about the life itself.
You've spent a lot of time, energy, and money pursuing a spot in the veterinary profession. So check your motivations out before you check out of practice.
Know what you need and what you can offer before discussing this with your boss, and then be flexible. Your ideal schedule may not meet the real demands of the practice, but there's usually room for an arrangement that will work for both of you.
Explain how the transition will work and how you'll handle any potential problems. Explain how you'll maintain productivity even though you're working fewer hours. Put your proposal in writing to prove that you're serious and that you've given your plan careful consideration. If your employer sees that you're committed to making this work, you're much more likely to get what you need—and to succeed after you make the transition.