Hitting a Homerun for Part-time Work

homerunWhile I am happily engaged in my new private practice, truth be told, the primary reason I made this leap was that I could not find a part-time professional opportunity. Clarification: I FOUND one suitable opportunity during my five-month job search, but withdrew my application when I learned it was part-time work at night.

Acceptance of part-time and other alternative work schedules has a long way to go. It’s a bit depressing.

But, I took some solace when I heard that baseball great Cal Ripken, Jr is in talks with his former team the Baltimore Orioles about rejoining the team in the front office. The news report said that Ripken was only interested in working part-time until his son graduates from high school. Ripken sounds comfortable and confident in his priorities as he outlines how much energy he can devote to work given his commitment to his family (see clip below).

When was the last time you heard a famous father publicly say he would only work part-time? Prominent men regularly cite “family reasons” as they make job changes, but the assumption is they’re moving to a less demanding full-time job.

I realize the public declaration of one (albeit legendary) man will not change today’s workforce culture and the resistance to part-time work. However, it’s a step in the right direction! I tip my cap to Ripken and his willingness to seek ways to balance his personal and professional lives.

Have you Wise Women seen any other signs (promising or otherwise) of a shift in attitude toward part-time work?

According to the Associated Press report on ESPN:

BALTIMORE — Cal Ripken Jr. is exploring the possibility of joining the Baltimore Orioles as a part-time adviser, which would ease his transition into a permanent position after his son graduates high school in 2012.

Ripken, who turns 50 next month, has been meeting on a regular basis with Orioles owner Peter Angelos and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. The conversations have centered on finding the Hall of Fame infielder a position in the front office on the team he played for throughout his 21-year career.

Should they come up with a plan that would allow Ripken to remain dedicated to his family while serving the Orioles, he would be willing to get back in the game before his son, Ryan, graduates from Gilman School.

“If something does take shape, then I’ll start to consider it. And I’ll be honest enough to say this is the amount of time I have and these are the commitments that I have elsewhere,” Ripken said in an interview with The Associated Press.


  • Catherine Says:
    7-20-2010 09:11:15

    I think that employers should be aware that they have an untapped, experienced workforce; professional baby boomers who would like to transition to part-time work. Like Elaine, I found no part-time employment opportunities and moved into a full-time position. At a point where I had some bargaining power, I negotiated a 4-day work week. I would like my next job to be a 3-day per week position, so I have time for personal business and volunteer work.

    Kudos to Elaine, for using her entreprenurial skills and going into private practice. If you can’t find the right position, create it!

  • Dave Says:
    7-27-2010 08:06:30

    I am leaving for Bridgeport today.

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