Q: Dear J.T. and Dale: Several years ago it seemed one could get a half-time job (once known as job-sharing). This would be very nice for someone in my position (55 years old) and also wanting to enjoy her grandkids, traveling, gardening, etc. My dilemma is this - the folks working at the temp agencies are so young that they've never heard of job-sharing. I've come to the conclusion that I'd like to work at a medical office, scheduling patients for their appointments. This is an entry-level-type job and would pose no problem in and of itself, but everyone seems to want full-time help. - Chris
J.T.: I suggest that you go straight to the source. Put together a short cover letter that conveys your desire to work part time, and create a resume that supports your extensive experience. Then, get out the yellow pages and identify all the local medical-office parks within your ideal commute. Finally, put on your best professional attire and pick a Friday (when staff members are usually in the best mood) and hit the pavement. Visit each medical office and introduce yourself to the receptionist. Let her know that you are looking to work for a medical office part time and would even be willing to temp for them as needed. In essence, you are starting your own medical-receptionist temping-agency-of-one.
Dale: I'll bet that virtually every medical office has staffers who'd love to work less than full-time - maybe have an afternoon off each week, or maybe a couple of days. They've dreamed it, they just don't know how to make that dream a reality because the whole hiring system is built around full-time slots. Then you walk in. In with you comes a plan, ready to sell to the office manager, to make their lives better while you create the ideal job for yourself.
- Jeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of the consulting firm jtodonnell.com. Dale Dauten's latest book is "(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success" (John Wiley & Sons).