Have you ever thought about cutting your hours? Are you worried that you might not find purpose in part-time work or you might not be able to afford to live?
We have all entertained thoughts at times when we believe we are working more than we are living. Teaching is a highly stressful job, and the working environment of a school intense. Understandably, people want to take control and reduce the emotional and physical burden of a full-time teaching load.
Here we explore some of the issues you might want to consider.
Time to pursue other interests
Going part-time might be a significant choice for your wellbeing and contentment. As the average person sleeps for about 7 hours a night and we work for close to 10 hours each day, then this leaves only a few hours of free time. If you add in the time to eat, shower and generally maintain the home, there is little time to pursue other activities that could enrich your life.
Therefore, if you can arrange it, working part-time to help enrich your broader experience could also serve to heighten your enjoyment of teaching.
You could use part-time work as a stepping-stone
You may be desperate to increase your skills and expertise. You need time to take part in courses and self-development activities that mean you can progress in your career. It may be that you want to specialise in a specific area of education but need to do the learning. A part-time timetable for the period of study could be the perfect way to energise your career.
There is no point living a comfortable lifestyle with all the gadgets if you are ill from anxiety and depression. Living a simpler life with fewer things, but more time for your health could be a perfect choice. You can still have a presence at work while maintaining a lifestyle that is conducive to your wellbeing. You may need to work harder to create strong relationships with colleagues, but you will have the emotional energy to undertake this work.
You will be better at time hygiene
When you work part-time, you will become much better at setting boundaries between you and school. There comes the point when working full-time that you can fall into working well outside the constrained hours. You work until the job is done. When working part-time, you quickly realise that you need to guard what is your time and what is time paid for by the school. You will also feel freer to demand that others respect your days off. This is a good habit should you ever return to full-time teaching.
But can you afford it?
You may feel that you can afford to live with part-time pay right now. You have done your sums, and you can still afford to live while only working part of the week. The only hint of caution comes with your pension. Part-time work only counts towards your benefits on retirement if this is pensionable employment.
If you started work after 2007, then your service is pensionable unless you opt-out of the scheme. If your employer stops deducting pension contributions from your salary, you should speak to them about this directly.
The end pension you will receive will also be impacted by the lower contributions you are making while working part-time. If you go to My Pension Online, you can use the calculators to work out the consequences of the reduced contributions.
The content in this article was correct on 10th February 2020. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on pensions for teachers and non-teachers. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.