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The startup where I am involved as a co-founder (no salary, I work on Saturdays for them) is pressing me to go part time in my current job I current have. I need to apply for a part time job in my current company, but I would prefer to retain part time rather than quitting as it is not unusual for a startup to fail. I am not exceptional employee, but do my work well enough and my experience with things specific for the company may motivate them to keep me.

The obvious approaches are:

  • Ask for the part time job, not explaining why, and say "reasons personal" if directly asked.
  • Tell some reason that may be remotely relevant but is actually not the main reason. Do not tell about the startup.
  • Tell them about the startup.
  • Tell about the startup and explain reasons why I want to leave.

Which of this approaches is the most professional and may most likely result in the goal I prefer, obtaining the part time job without the need to quit completely?

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    What you're missing here is explaining to your current employer what the advantage is to them of letting you go part time. – Philip Kendall Sep 25 '17 at 11:09
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    I assume you've considered conflict of interest and non-compete clauses, and talked to a lawyer? – HorusKol Sep 25 '17 at 12:06
  • The startup business and my role there is thank goodness sufficiently different – eee Sep 25 '17 at 13:18
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    @eee what does your contract say about outside work? it doesn't matter if the startup is different you may well be in breach of contract if you do not get permission - and working for two masters is not normally considered "professional". – Neuromancer Sep 25 '17 at 17:17
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    Let's assume for simplicity this is not a problem. I am obviously reading my contract with great attention. – eee Sep 25 '17 at 18:19
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Which of this approaches is the most professional and may most likely result in the goal I prefer, obtaining the part time job without the need to quit completely?

Of the choices you listed, I'd suggest:

  • Ask for the part time job, not explaining why, and say "reasons personal" if directly asked.

I don't think lying makes sense.

Be prepared to discuss what you would like to happen to your salary and benefits.

And unless your company has a number of part-timers, don't be surprised at resistance to the thought. Be prepared in the event they say "No".

You may be better off finding another part-time job or consulting gig as you attempt to ease your way into your startup role. That would give you a lot more control and flexibility.

3

I'll give you the Shark Tank answer. If you believe in the startup and you are a founder/owner, commit. Most startups do fail, but one of the reasons is lack of commitment. What happens if you go from one day a week at the startup to seven? Can you get the product/service to market or to an investable stage quickly? What is the reward? Will the startup bring you millions or wages? If you can bring a $million product to market in three-six months of 7-day weeks, you should quit and crash on friends couches (or call mom & dad about your old room).

If you still think part-time is better, it's hard to say. You said there is no legal conflict, so you need to think about perceptions. If you say it's personal and they find out it's business, that could be a problem of perception - they could feel lied to. If you are just "average" as you say, they should be fairly neutral towards you - less likely to feel "hurt" than if their best employee wanted to leave. If they like you personally, they may be more willing to help you start your own business. In that case being direct is best, even better if the company is small and young - they may admire the entrepreneur in you.

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With all respect,

I believe, what keeps your network of relationships, is to be true, about your attitudes. I mean a good relationship network.

The working relationships, is very important in your career. Therefore, I believe that telling the truth is always the best way to approach professional life.

However, I also believe it is very difficult to do well, two things at the same time.

If Entrepreneurship is within you, be prepared to give the best, and all your time will be short. you will have to live your startup, breathe your startup ... there is no other way, or claw or money.

Everything always comes at the right time, I wish you luck!

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