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A Different Sort of 40 Hours
I’ve worked in a lot of different types of offices. Investment banks, (yup, the big scary ones), libraries, real estate, and as an artist’s assistant. Some places have been more fun than others, and some more flexible.
I’m so very grateful for the places that allowed wiggle room in how I accomplished my forty or so hours each week. While working for a French investment firm in NYC I was living in two locations (NYC & the Twin Tiers), and a member of a gigging indie band (I played rock cello, fun stuff!). I needed to create a schedule that allowed for me to travel back home to be with my family and also allowed for my weekends to be free for gigs. I was able to work with my manager to create a schedule where I worked three 12-hour shifts each week.
Ok, 12 hours (minus two 30 min. breaks) was tough, but the benefit of having 4 days off was well worth it. I did this for about 18 months. The firm was able to work with me on my unique schedule because we had so many people on staff, many who were also artists and performers. The management team was accustomed to odd schedule requests such as mine. The long shifts were really tough, especially in the fast paced industry I was in, but being able to see my family on the weekends made it all worth while.
Years later, living full time in the Twin Tiers and working an arty side hustle as a fine art painter when I interviewed for a position as a cataloguer for a library co-operative. It was a 40 hour position with great colleges, and a short commute. Thankfully I recognized that a 5 day work schedule would have not left enough time and head space for me to work on my soul work (painting). I was really lucky that the management team was willing to work with me to develop a 4 day 10 hour a day schedule. It meant getting to work at six in the morning (with an alarm clock set at five) and driving home in the dark during part of the year.
Oh how I treasured those Thursdays when I could just be in my art studio! Driving home on Wednesdays each week I felt like it was the day before my birthday. I allowed myself to sleep to 6am (gasp!) on Thursdays and was then up with the pup for a morning walk and then straight to the easel. Heaven!
”Ok, good for you” you might be thinking. But how do I talk my boss to allow me to amend my schedule? First off, be an awesome employee. Do the stuff you were hired to do and do it with a smile as often as possible. Show that you are dependable and a “team player”. Think about the needs of your workplace. Are there days where things are a bit slower? Or days where extra staff are on hand? Then come up with a couple versions of what your new schedule might look like and make an appointment with your manager to discuss the possibility of a switch. Maybe try it out for a few months and agree to discuss it with your boss after a certain date to see how it’s going. Be flexible and direct.
And then ENJOY YOUR DAY OFF! Do the things you really want/need to do. Extra rest, extra exercise, extra family time…
I’d love to hear how it’s going for you! Email me at CoachFilomena@gmail.com and tell me your odd work schedule stories!
About Filomena Jack
Filomena Jack is a certified personal development coach and NLP practitioner. She is also known for her vibrant paintings, enriching creative classes, her illustrated friend Bunzie D. Rabbit.
540WMain will celebrate its 4 year anniversary with a party and extravaganza on Saturday June 20, 2020. In just four years the organization has become a pillar in the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood and a convener and curator of important and vital community conversations, classes, and programs. Your financial support helps us scale up this work in 2020 and beyond with a year long fundraising goal of $40,000