Asad Faruqi

Discover our how-to guide on moving from full-time to part-time!

Career development

Discover our how-to guide on moving from full-time to part-time!

Artwork by: Polina Shpak

  • Why you might consider moving from full-time to part-time
  • How do I switch from full-time to part-time the right way?
  • How do I write a resignation letter to go from full-time to part-time?
  • Key takeaways

You might find yourself in a situation where you have to let go of a regular, full-time work week and switch to working part-time. But how do you do that without losing your job? Let’s find out.

From having a child to pursuing a passion project, there are several reasons you would want to spend more time away from work. Instead of quitting your job or taking an extended leave of absence, you might want to think about switching from full-time to part-time.

Moving from a regular 40-hour work week to a 20-hour work week might sound like a bad idea, but it really isn’t. It’s a good way to tend to your personal interests without letting go of your professional commitments. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss

  • Why some consider switching from full-time to part-time

  • How to request a change in your working hours

  • Sample resignation letters for moving from full-time to part-time

Why you might consider moving from full-time to part-time

Statistical Insight


According to recent statistics, there were more than 26 million part-time workers in the United States in November 2022. The number of part-time employees in the country increased from 20 million in 1990 to 24 million in 2020. 

There are several reasons switching from full-time to part-time might seem like a good career strategy. Every individual’s situation and reasoning might be different, but there are a couple of situations in which a lot of people consider working flexible hours.

Family situations

Family-related responsibilities tend to take up the bulk of our daily lives. Whether you’ve just welcomed a child into your family or you’re providing care to a family member, you might want to dedicate more time to your family instead of work. 

Health and well-being

In some cases, working full-time can exacerbate existing medical conditions or lead to new ones. For example, you might be feeling burned out or experiencing high levels of anxiety. In these situations, it’s okay to consider switching from full-time to part-time. 

Education 

Attending a school, university, or technical training institute is one of the top reasons why Americans are opting to work 34 hours or less per week. If you’re planning to pursue a program at an institute, it would make sense to talk to your employer to reduce your working hours so that you can focus on your education. 

Retirement

If you’re getting closer to your retirement age, you might want to spend less time at work and more time with your family and friends or tick items off your bucket list. This is where letting go of the 9-to-5 grind in favor of limited working hours comes in handy. 

Expert Tip


Talk to a financial expert first!


If you’re living in the United States, approaching your retirement age, and considering working part-time instead of retiring, it could lead to a delay in the disbursement of your social security payments. Consider talking to a financial expert and discuss the impact of part-time employment on your social security payments before making the final decision. 

Passion projects

Are there any particular skills you want to learn or a new gig you want to start, but don’t have the time to do so? If you switch from full-time to part-time, you can get some much-needed time to pursue your passion and hobbies without losing your job. 

How do I switch from full-time to part-time the right way?

After you’ve made up your mind about switching from full-time to part-time, you will have to break this news to your employer. This is where you’ll need to create a strategy instead of jumping the gun. Here are a few things you need to do to ensure a smooth transition.

Be clear on the reason for the transition

The first thing you need to do is to assess the reason you want to switch to part-time. This will help you create a proper plan of action and determine the duration of part-time employment, your revised working hours, and any other particulars you need to strengthen your case.

Determine your revised working hours

If you have a compelling reason to switch to part-time employment, the next logical step is to think about the number of hours you can easily work during a day. Remember, the number of hours you commit could depend on the reason you’re opting for part-time employment. 

For instance, if you want to switch part-time to pursue a course at a local college and you’re expected to dedicate 15 hours every week to your coursework, you shouldn’t commit to working 30 hours a week at work. 

Identify job duties that can be delegated to others

Working part-time means you will be spending less time at work, so it’s important to figure out which of your job responsibilities can be delegated to another team member. Consider compartmentalizing your job into specific areas of expertise, such that each area of expertise can be assigned to a team member.

For example, if you’re working as a data entry specialist and your job duties involve entering data into software and reviewing it for accuracy, you can delegate the data review task to another team member while managing data entry on your own during your part-time work hours.

Full time to part time: talk to your supervisor

Now that you’ve figured out your revised working hours and job duties that can be delegated to others, you should schedule a meeting with your supervisor to apprise them of your decision. During the meeting, explain to your supervisor why you want to switch from full-time to part-time. Make a compelling case for your situation and be respectful. You should consider writing a script and practicing it before scheduling the meeting.

Example


Here is a sample script you can edit and use when you’re preparing for a meeting with your supervisor to request a transition from full-time to part-time.


Hi [Name].

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I would like to discuss my current workload and schedule with you. Due to [reason(s)], it has become difficult for me to commit fully to my job role. However, I enjoy working at this organization and I don’t want to quit my job, so I would like to ask if it’s possible for me to switch from working full-time to part-time.


I have given a lot of thought to this and prepared a win-win strategy for us that will allow me to dedicate sufficient time to my current employment while tending to my personal commitments. I’m currently responsible for [job duties]. I would like to retain my job duties involving [job duties that you want to manage] while working [number] of hours per week and delegate the responsibility of [job duties that can be delegated] to another team member.


This type of delegation will not only prevent disruptions at work, but it will also allow my team members to specialize in certain areas of my job. I understand that this type of working arrangement is not easy to prepare for, which is why I would like to collaborate with you to figure out the best approach to this transition.  

Create a formal request

After the meeting, your supervisor might ask for some time to think about your proposal to switch to part-time and consult with HR. This is when you should consider writing a proper resignation letter to switch from full-time to part-time. 

How do I write a resignation letter to go from full-time to part-time?

So now that your supervisor and HR have agreed to let you work part-time, they might ask you to write a resignation letter. The purpose of this letter is to serve as an official record that you have opted to work part-time. Here’s an example of what to say in a resignation letter from full-time to part-time.

Copyable


Dear [Employer Name],


I am writing to confirm that I will be reducing my working hours from [number] to [number] per week and switching from full-time to part-time employment at the company. Due to [reason], my schedule will not allow me to work full-time starting [date]. 



I deeply appreciate your cooperation and assistance in this regard, and I assure you I will do my best to meet your expectations during my revised working hours. During my final week as a full-time employee, I will try my best to ensure a smooth transition by coordinating with my supervisor, delegating some of my key responsibilities to another team member, and providing sufficient training and coaching in this regard. 



If there is anything else I can do to ensure a smooth transition, please feel free to reach out to me at [number] or [email]. As always, I am truly grateful to be a part of an organization that understands my needs and is willing to provide me with some much-needed flexibility.


Regards,


[Your Name]

Key takeaways

  1. Switching from full-time to part-time is a good way to pursue your passion projects, tend to personal commitments, and/or get some much-needed time for yourself without losing your job.

  2. Before making the transition, you need to have a proper plan of action. This includes a compelling reason to switch to part-time employment, reduced working hours you can fully commit to, and a breakdown of your job duties that can be delegated to other team members.

  3. You may be asked to submit a resignation letter from full-time to part-time. This letter is written differently from a normal resignation letter, and the emphasis should be placed on your commitment to your current job role. 

Asad Faruqi

Asad is a digital, technical, and UX content creator. Since 2014, he has written on a wide variety of topics, including technology, finance, human resources, and marketing. Additionally, he enjoys mentoring new immigrants in Canada on job interview best practices and networking techniques and was featured on the Immigrants of Toronto podcast. A ‘certified’ foodie and sci-fi movie buff, you can count on Asad for some excellent recommendations.

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