I’m in the process of becoming self employed and have saved enough money for almost a year of joblessness.

To ease the transition I would however like to continue to work two days a week in my current position. I’ve got a unique position and it would be difficult to replace me (not impossible of course). I have developed a lot of systems for the workplace and my understanding of them is unique.

I’m a permanent employee with fixed hours, they can’t be changed I’ve checked this with HR. My manager is in early stages of hiring someone as a contractor to work for me to extend capability of my role. I would like to quit and offer to take that contract position at two days a week until they have fully replaced me.

I both like and respect my boss, and feel like this might be a dick move, on the other hand I’ve worked very hard and delivered a lot of wins for his department. Essentially I feel like it’s my life and I should go for the best situation for myself following several years of diligent and hard work.

What would be the best way of approaching my boss with this proposed plan for converting to part time?

Edit: My position consists of two main aspects; 1) Creation of new tools 2) Maintenance and customer support for tools I've already created. Moving to 2 days per week would stop 1 but allow enough time for 2. Training a successor might be tricky but not impossible in that time, easier if they have a strong relevant technical standing

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    As a side note maybe a consulting contract where you can be called and paid by hour can be a better deal to you and the company. One good aspect of it is expect for work full weeks for first month but it wil naturally dry out and you will be needed less and less over time.
    – jean
    Dec 1, 2017 at 11:31
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    @jean I hadn't considered this, it's a very good idea though and worth discussing with the boss.
    – Anon
    Dec 1, 2017 at 15:08
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    Just so you know as a contractor, you could get let go at any time, for no reason and no pay. Are you planning on requiring they sign an agreement to allow you to do this for a minimum period of time? That could get tricky.
    – user8365
    Dec 3, 2017 at 16:00
  • Thanks @JeffO yes I’m aware and I’d expect them to want to terminate the contract as soon as possible.
    – Anon
    Dec 3, 2017 at 21:18
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    @Anon as a note, my predecessor did this for my company. I was brought in, he stopped working for us about 2 weeks later, but was contracted to help train me in his work for about 6 months. Turns out all the really tough stuff he did was 3 years away, but that initial start was amazingly helpful for me to understand his thinking. I commend you on offering that to them, and you should point out that getting someone into the system with a jump start will be immensely helpful to that person and the company overall. Dec 7, 2017 at 16:23

3 Answers 3


Arrange a 1-1 chat with your boss and lay out your plan, you'll need to stress that you're pressing ahead with your plan to move self-employed regardless but that you respect your boss and your current employer's business needs and feel that the move to part time would be mutually beneficial as they would continue to have access to your skills and knowledge (crucially for transfer of these to a new full time hire - you'll want to stress these aspects) and you'll continue to have some reliable income in the short term.

Some employers will go for this sort of arrangement but if I'm honest more often then not they don't so be prepared to hear a "No" - I don't see any harm in asking though and as long as you make it clear that you are trying to meet the needs of both parties I don't think there are any negatives to doing so.

  • Might also be worthwhile (if they say no) offering to stick around full-time until some knowledge transfer can be allowed, or until your replacement can be found if you are in a very business-critical position?
    – user34587
    Dec 1, 2017 at 9:28
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    @Kozaky why? That is only beneficial to the company, and that same company just turned down a mutually beneficial agreement. You don't owe them anything more at that point.
    – Erik
    Dec 1, 2017 at 11:45
  • I have to agree with @Erik here, the reason I want to leave is to free up my time with a smooth transition
    – Anon
    Dec 1, 2017 at 15:12
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    I took this approach and had the conversation a few days ago and the outcome was very good. He’s keen to keep me on for a few days a week, we’re both hopeful there won’t be any HR problems, but it’s not guaranteed. Thanks also @Joe Strazzere for your answer
    – Anon
    Dec 8, 2017 at 16:46

I would like to quit and offer to take that contract position at two days a week until they have fully replaced me.

What would be the best way of approaching my boss with this proposed plan for converting to part time?

If you are comfortable enough to be honest with your boss, that would be your best move. It sounds as if your plans are firm, so I expect you have nothing to lose anyway.

Something like "Boss, I'm planning to leave. I could just give my notice and leave now, but I have a thought that might be better for both of us. How about if I work part-time while you find a replacement? I would be happy to offer to work two days per week... " should start off the conversation. You can then expand on why this is good for the company. Emphasize their benefit, not yours.

It might work. It might not.

Best case, you get to work twice per week for a while. Worst case, you find a new part-time job.

When I retired, I offered to help the folks in the local office of my employer in any way I could. After a few months I was asked if I could help. I ended up consulting with them two days per week. It worked out fine for all of us.



Just talk to your manager about your plans. It's natural that people's life-plans change and that people leave jobs to go on to other challenges and directions.

It's great that you're willing to work part time and knowledge-share for a while as a contractor.

Sorry, but I can't see the down-side here for either you, your boss, or the company.

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    Thanks for the reassurance @Snow . I feel loyal which makes this a difficult decision, ultimately though I don't want to be here forever.
    – Anon
    Dec 1, 2017 at 15:13

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