I've been a part-time employee for 6 months at a small software company that has just signed a bunch of significant contracts over a broader scope than we were prepared. After several failed attempts at hiring new interns, deadlines started to arrive and I've been offered the option to become full-time. Other than the increased demand, there were a few key factors in their decision:
- My contract expired on January 1st. The partner responsible for renewing it was unable to show up in time due to personal issues, but she's back and handling it. I haven't signed it yet.
- I'm about to graduate, so I don't have classes left to attend and the university can no longer prevent me from working full-time.
- The project I've been assigned to is huge, poorly documented, approaching the deadline, and heavily reliant on our technology stack. Even if an experienced developer showed up tomorrow, s/he wouldn't be able to study it and deliver results by the end of the month.
I accepted and started right away, even without a signed contract, because time was running out. However, I found it is a job far above my skills. There are a lot of tools I have never used before. Requirements change on a daily basis. I've been working from 7 AM to 8 PM, with barely any pauses, and nearly missed the first delivery.
So, I don't mind the extra work and the stress, but I feel like putting my personal life on hold all of a sudden should be rewarded accordingly. That being said, I've had several opportunities to bring the issue to their attention, but held back to avoid a distracting discussion at work. Unfortunately, only now I have realized that by not pushing back, I've set them unrealistic expectations.
My main concern is about the overtime. Everyone at the company is on salary, so 40h/week is essentially a suggestion. In fact, I arrive at the office several hours before anyone else, which means there's a lot of hidden work. Still, I have stopped exercising, taking language classes, training other skills to make it work. I need them to either give me extra vacation time to focus on those things or just pay the hours, both options seem fine to me. So, whittling down the question, what I want to ask is:
- How can I approach the partners about the overtime? I want to be assertive but still be seen as a team player. There's already some history among us, and the end of the contract means termination is a possibility.
- What should I prepare for? If, instead of the yes/no answer, what kind of compromises should I consider if I want to remain where I am?