I'm working for 2 months in a company and I would like to change my work days to something lighter. I've written this text. Do you think I should succeed or be fired upon sending it?

Hi {Manager}, how you're doing? I hope you're doing well :)

I am really enjoying working here at {Company}, these (almost) two months were very nice! I intend to work here for a long time. However, it gave me some insight about my relationship with work, and I would like to discuss this with you.

I want to evaluate the possibility of changing my work days to something lighter.

I have a strong urge of self-improvement, especially in regards of programming. I took the job initially because I thought I could study and work - however, the work is so demanding that I'm not finding time and energy to study, to take my React and PHP skills to the next level, to learn software architecture from the best and, perhaps some day, even join my cousin on the ranks of great programmers. 1

That's why I would like to re-arrange it. I would like to not work on Mondays and Fridays and get paid less proportionally. Now, I receive X USD for 160 monthly hours. My goal is to get to 96 hours for Y USD. {Company} will be paying me the exact same hourly rates as you do now. I will keep the same daily quota of tickets and I am willing to give {Company} something in return for this, which is abdicating from days off at holidays. That means I'm willing to work on holidays too if you want.

Can you please give it some thought?

Cordially, Lucas.

1 My cousin is something that came up in the interview, he's my mentor and an extremely successful developer.

Even though I want to make my work scale lighter, this job is important to me and I would prefer to keep it full time than to lose it altogether. I work remotely, 8h a day, Monday to Friday.

The job is client support, I answer support tickets. I take around 5 of them per day, so theoretically, there's no "production line" that depends on me.

Do you think it's OK to send this?

Edit September 6th 2018

good news everyone I'm fired

So, I'm not exactly fired, but I'm getting out of the company on Monday. I realized I was lying to myself. I'm a perfectionist developer working on client success, dealing with bad websites and code every day. It's not who I am, it's not what I want to do. I love clean architecture, writing good and intelligent code. I'm miserable in this job. I'm leaving. When I asked about half-time they basically said "Do you want to keep doing this as a living?" - and I realized that I didn't.

  • There are too many varied questions, focus on one question – goamn Sep 3 '18 at 3:32

Don't do this sort of thing by e-mail. Arrange a meeting with your manager (yes, you can have meetings even if you're remote) and discuss it in person. With this sort of thing, it's really important to be adjusting your tone and the like to that of the other person, and you can only do that if you can hear (and preferably see) them.

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The job is client support, I answer support tickets.

This is dangerous, you seem to be an easily replaceable employee and they want someone to cover support for X hours. Not because it's a demanding specialised job, but because it's customer support and they need someone for certain hours. So what you want to send may well get you terminated and replaced by someone who actually wants to do the job.

If they accede to your request, then they have to replace that time. They would need two part time staff to cover one job with all the logistics and headaches that go with it. It makes more business sense to replace you with a full time person.

It's rarely a good idea to try and make changes just after you start a job and before you have proved you're worth the effort. Generally if you can't fit your life around your job, you should look for a job that fits better unless you have some outstanding leverage which I don't see here. Unless your cousin owns the company, he/she isn't much leverage and it's best to stand on your own merits anyway (I have a cousin who's a great netball player, that doesn't mean I know anything about high level netball or even that I would look good in a netball skirt).

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  • 1
    The OP is, in effect, asking the employer to hire someone to work just Monday and Friday. That could be difficult even if the employer were open to using two part time workers. – Patricia Shanahan Sep 3 '18 at 15:39
  • Yep, employer will think he just wants a long weekend – Kilisi Sep 3 '18 at 16:52

If you introduce a miscommunication in your employment arrangement, i.e.

I took the job initially because I thought I could study and work - however, the work is so demanding that I'm not finding time and energy to study

as an employer, I would assume we will continue to miscommunicate. The interview and hiring process should make clear the requirements, demands and expectations of a job. Renegotiating it after only 2 months is improper. Even if your employer agrees, I would have doubts about your stability as an employee.

There two considerations here:

  1. Your message indicates a desire to advance, but it is impatient. A more appropriate message is to ask how you can achieve a position like your cousin's while in your current role. Asking your manager/supervisor for guidance and support for advancement is fundamentally different from telling them that you are dissatisfied and wish to change the terms of your employment.

  2. Tell your employer your desire to study outside the normal work schedule, and ask if there are programs or work schedules that can accommodate your desire. If your employer already offers alternative schedules that may suite your needs, there is no need to demand it from them. However, if others have tried your approach, or something similar, and been dismissed you will discover this without putting your current position at risk.

Telling someone that supervises others what you see as acceptable options is presumptive. Asking what options are available and having conversations about how to advance is proactive. Your fundamental message is "you don't know me or what I need or want, so I must demand a different arrangement" is not the best approach. Asking what is available and how to achieve more is productive and allows you to align your ambition with your employer's needs.

However, some employers/managers/supervisors do not have the perspective, skills or insight required to understand these things. If that is the case then after exploring and asking about options, providing a framework to meet your goals within the employer's tolerance (like your letter) is a better alternative than to quit a company that might accept your terms. Just understand that you are being arrogant if you do not ask about other options before presenting your request in the letter you provided. You assume a lot about their ignorance and little about what might be your own lack of insight, experience or negotiating skills.

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