Hello and thanks for your attention.


Right now i am a full time software developer(among other things) in a small company, around 16 people, has been for now nearly 9 months, but due to significant increase of stress at workplace i wish to reduce my work time or if not possible leave the company altogether, but i prefer not to leave if possible so i am looking for a way to persuade my employer to allow me to continue as a part time employee(what i have in mind is 25-30 hour per week).

Full story:

Right now i am 22 year old collage graduate with 2-3 years of experience mostly as freelancer and part time during my study, my current job is my first full time job out of collage and it started as pretty normal job with low but decent wage and normal workplace conditions and responsibilities. However ever since our lead developer left i find myself overwhelmed with pressure and responsibilities at my job.

The situation is that me and our lead developer arrived at the company at the same time, and spent a lot of time together so we became friends and because i am the kind of person who knows a little about everything the lead developer got me involved in pretty much every thing in our company from desktop programming(my offical job) to hardware assembly, web developer and Server administration, and so beside my normal programming job i end up begin responsible with some of Lead dev responsibilities as well when he was occupied with stuff. It was kinda hard on many occasions but i liked working with lead dev and i was gaining a lot of experience.

my problems are started when about 2 weeks ago our lead dev left without saying a word, and not in a professional way, just while we were on the process of publishing our two main products. so i got stuck with sorting everything out, figuring out where are projects that our lead was working on, what was he doing, where were documentations, resetting server and cloud passwords really just about everything. and now while i still have to keep up with the dead lines at my own projects i have debug projects of previous lead dev, handle accounts and subscriptions and really everything.

And at this point i would like to once again repeat that i am 22 years with only 3 years of mostly part time experience. with begin youngest and most inexperienced developer at our company, no one listens to me. I am having very hard time getting other developer to do some of the left behind work(which i cleared with technical manager), I was Told by our Technical Manager to reset all passwords and all other devs acts if i am running around resting passwords and firewalls because for fun something. I am so tired of arguing.

BUT WAIT! it gets better! not only our technical manager is in Germany right now and will be there for several more months. this morning our ex-lead dev called the company all mad and most likely drunk because he thought someone hacked his accounts using data he left behind on his work computer(and i remind you the he left without a word to anyone). So he asked my to clean his personal data, and then he called our boss Blamed them for hacking his accounts, Threatened to hack them, i say that again, HE THREATENED our boss that he would hack our company in retaliation and expose all the codes, and then he asked me to give him all the company codes(which i refused ofcourse) and told my boss that i am working with him in this whole hacking thing.

I swear to god if we weren't friends before i would have told my boss to press charges against him or something.

Honestly i just want scream right now, i am effectively lead dev but no one listens to me, i am in charge of our server and most cloud accounts right now while my old supervisor is on a drunken rampage against the company, and because he and i were once friend everyone is giving me the stink eye, and with everything i still have full load of work as my official job as desktop developer.

I don't want to leave my first full time job with so little previous work history, but if things just go on like this i am just afraid of something worse happening.

I just don't know what to do right now other than finding a way to somehow escape all this. and i really need a break.

sorry for the long story.


I have read the question that questions seems to be the duplicate of. And reading the answered help me a little. Although one thing that i would say is the different in my situation is the fact that at the moment company is under staffed and under pressure, And i wonder if it is a good idea to take advantage of that fact by saying that if they don't take me as a part timer employee i will simply leave, and also what's a polite way of saying that. I have never been in this much pressure and i don't think people really respect me enough with all that happened to be persuasive enough by begin straight forward.


4 Answers 4


TL;DR: Your company seems to be in full panic mode right now, and at least part of the responsible management is absent. Make it crystal clear to whoever is in charge that you have an impossible list of tasks right now and need some priorities to work on; also make it clear that it is not possible (for you alone, at least) to solve everything at once, so that some parts will not meet deadlines/expectations. Which parts that should be is then up for managers to decide, you neither have the authority nor the pay grade to decide that on your own.
Save the worry about working time until things calm down.

I can understand that you are suddenly tasked with a lot, while on the other hand you are still seen as the "new guy". The one advice I can give you: Don't make this your problem. This is something for management to sort out.
Prepare an overview of things that need to be done:

  • securing your data from old lead
  • understanding and fixing what he left behind
  • working on project to be published
  • working on your own project
  • general sysadmin tasks (passwords, cloud, etc)
  • ...

Make it very clear that you are only one person and that you can't do all this at the same time. It is then up to your manager to set priorities and redistribute the tasks. If your manager doesn't, if he maybe doesn't understand that any one of these tasks might well take weeks (depending on the state the old lead left his code and projects in) then make sure to properly document your attempt to point out the problems and just start working on one of the points. Make it very clear (in writing/email) that you are now working on XX and that thus YY and ZZ will not be finished in time for the deadline.

If other colleagues are not respecting what you are doing or not cooperating, ask your manager to help. Again, point out that this costs you already non-existing time and should therefore be avoided. And also again: This is not your problem to solve, you are not a manager (neither in title nor in pay). While usually you shouldn't go to management with any small office quarrel, now is really not the time to spend on socializing.

About the reduction of work load: I can only assume, but I'd guess that your manager is in panic mode now. The lead left, on very bad terms, and you are the only one left who has any ideas what is going on. You burning out is the worst that can happen to the company in this situation. However, as from your question it seems that there might be some missing management for the whole situation, your manager might hope that you can simply solve everything and didn't even consider that this is way too much for you. I would suggest to try the approach above, get things sorted out and get back to a clear, realistic task list. If your manager is not able or willing to provide that, your best bet would be quitting. If thinks calm down but you still want to go down to part time later, that is a discussion for a later point.

To end on a positive note: If you play this situation properly, keep your calm and work together with management and the team, it is a great chance to show your qualities. From what I heard, your company is looking for a new lead dev. ;)

  • Upvoted for the last sentence.
    – Cyphase
    Commented Sep 3, 2019 at 4:09

I think a lot of answers here will tell you to play hardball. And while it is helpful to make yourself clear what you can and what you are willing to do, drawing a line in the sand in a confrontational meeting shouldn't be your first move to change your situation.

I'd rather start with a smaller meeting with your direct manager. Prepare a list of everything you are responsible beforehand and ask him to prioritise and estimate durations for different tasks. Make sure there is a puffer for complications.

Get this in writing or write this up after the meeting and send it to your manager.

You can always have the other talks afterwards and you might start better into the hard confrontational parts, if you can show that your manager misscalculated the time needed for certain tasks.


I would say short of trying what other people have suggested here if you have communicated and your management still feels everything is fine then you should have no reason to get all excited either. You come in and leave on a normal day schedule. Work will be there tomorrow. However if they are sweating bullets and still expect you to pick up the load because of their inability to properly staff and backfill people to ensure staff shortages don't happen, then that's a different situation. I would just leave on time because they have no reprieve otherwise. in the meantime you can find yourself a better paying job by going down the street. It's almost a guarantee these days. Trying to stay and work your way up at one company is not going to get you nearly as much money or a better title as when you leave a company and go down the street.


Reduced hours and responsibilities is one approach, but it might look strange if you already feel like you're under suspicion for your previous association.

You could also approach this by call a meeting of the various stakeholders - your current boss, perhaps you can include the guy in Germany via conference-call, etc.

Then in the meeting,

  • make it clear this is nothing to do with you

  • this guy is an obvious threat to the company, what will "we" do about it? e.g. change passwords, arrange an external security review, etc. to manage the possible risks

  • outline the impact the departure is having/will have on your department's deliverables. Not on you - but on the business outcomes for which you were both responsible. E.g. Product A will be late, you guys will have to prioritise between Hardware Job 1 and Product B rollout.

  • once outcome is understood (and it is best communicated in terms of forcing priorities, which will make it clear what limited capacity you have) then you can propose solutions. E.g. hire another dev, re-schedule timelines, etc.

Make it factual, eliminate all the emotive language and concerns, and focus on the business outcomes of your dept. and on the risks of this situation to the business. Then propose a couple of solutions for the business that will also alleviate the pressure on you.

The business is unlikely to want to accept less hours right now if capacity is already reduced, so perhaps take the opportunity to play the long game. Either re-build the team or for every new request ask what you have to drop to get it done.

Response to edit: It sounds like you're at the point of leaving and you're understandably focused on resolving this in particular way because you don't feel confident to tackle the other approaches discussed. That's OK.

It won't matter how polite you are, because management already under staffing pressure will not react well to further loss of capacity, and outright threats to leave won't be at all constructive. You don't seem happy to stay and any threats will be either accepted or you'll lose reputation even if you 'win'. Either way, it's worth having a plan B before you start.

Perhaps start looking for a new job first. A wise monkey has a grip of the next branch before it lets go of the last one. Then once you have a signed contract in hand, you're at worst in a better negotiating position and at best you're outta there.

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