Posted: 22 May 2023

Everyone may have their own personal reasons – even the desire to have more "me time" should be reason enough to decide to work part-time.

Jenny, Lissa & Stephan all work part-time and talk about their personal reasons behind the decision, their experiences, stereotypes and much more! Teaser alert: Working part-time is more multifaceted that you’d expect!

Diversity is our superpower and cyber unites us!
We empower each other. We accelerate growth. We shape the future.
But how? With our common passion for topics related to cyber and, more importantly, by giving our team the opportunity to choose flexible working models.

Everyone may have their own personal reasons – even the desire to have more "me time" should be reason enough to decide to work part-time.

Hello everyone, you are all part of Deloitte’s cyber team and in different working time models. What is your current position and what does your time model look like? 
Stephan: I am a senior manager within the capability group “application security” and have been working on an 80% schedule, meaning 4 days per week, for more than a year now. Usually, Wednesday is my non-working day.

Lissa: I’m a manager in the cyber defense team, currently working 62,5% part-time, 5 days a week. After I had my baby, I started my part-time schedule first with 2 hours per day, then increased to 4 hours per day, and now I'm working 5 hours per day. Soon I'll be back to full-time.

Jenny: I am a senior manager within the capability group “strategy”, and work 80%, usually 4 days a week.

What lead you to the decision to work part-time?
Stephan: I felt like I had too many things on my agenda – work, being a parent and a son to a 85 year-old man. In addition, about two years ago, I got some health issues, which made me think about how I should prioritize things in my life. While I was very proud of my work back then (and still am today), I decided to give more room to other areas in my life as well and chose to work part-time.

Lissa: I decided to work part-time because I have another full-time job at home: raising my child. Due to that I am able to accommodate both parts of my life.

Jenny: There are several reasons for that. On the one hand, I have a family with three children with whom I want to spend more time. On the other hand, I like to have more time during my work week to consciously engage in activities outside of my professional responsibilities.

What stereotypes are you constantly exposed to as a part-timer, both in your personal and professional life, and how do you deal with it?
Stephan: Sometimes I am confronted, both personally and professionally, with the question if I would still be able to perform what is expected of me. Also, some people seem a little envious that I have one more "free" day per week. In these cases, I try to explain that this model comes with a lower income and performance expectation as well as gives me a chance to balance my life overall so that I am able to actually accomplish more and better on the remaining four days.

Lissa: Part-time workers are often stereotyped as not being able to accomplish as much as full-time workers. However, I’ve learned how to prioritize my work thus making it more efficient with higher value and impact for the client, my team, and myself.

Does anyone have to have a specific reason e.g., children, to work less or do you think everyone should be able to take advantage of part-time work models? And how did your team members react when you changed work models?
Stephan: Everyone may have their own personal reasons – even the desire to have more "me time" should be reason enough to decide to work part-time. I’ve received mixed reactions from the team at the beginning. Most of them were very supportive, some even see me as a new role model. Others didn't understand my decision in the first place, but they definitely do understand my choice now.

Lissa: Part-time work is a deliberate decision, and everyone has their own important reason for choosing such a working model. Life and work are constantly changing, and part-time working models offer the opportunity to adapt as needed.

Jenny: In my opinion, it is not necessary to lay out a specific reason for working part-time. The work in our cyber team ​​is challenging and exciting which requires a variety of skills in order to be successful within our domain. On the one hand, we are cyber security experts and on the other hand, we are also advisors and trusted contacts for our clients, business owners and entrepreneurs who themselves are responsible for their own business. And I don’t want to forget to mention that our business is growing fast! Getting involved and seizing opportunities here requires a rich personal portfolio and I think it helps to take a little bit of your time each week just to refuel your batteries or engage in topics that aren’t business related. This also has the advantage that you might even learn something that proves to be beneficial for project or client work at Deloitte.

What are the benefits of working part-time? In what ways does it provide more flexibility in your everyday life and how do you make use of your “new” time?
Stephan: I try to spend half of my Wednesdays with things that are good for myself e.g., doing sports, visiting a museum, working on some personally motivated education, or just hanging out. The other half I dedicate to my dad and the rest of my family. Focusing on those areas of life on one specific day helps me to focus on my work on the other days – some juggling is still required though, of course.

Lissa: Having "only" 1.5 instead of 2 jobs generally helps me balance work and life which supports my overall well-being. The part-time working model allows for me to devote more time to my baby, to stay mentally healthy, and simply to get enough sleep. I listened to a discussion on International Women’s Day about the importance of getting enough sleep to not just be healthy but also to be able to successfully achieve professional career goals.

Jenny: Currently, I often use my free time to have a more conscious and calm start into the week together with my children. We have a big breakfast and talk about what the week has to offer – when the world around us is already busy and running. I also take the time for learning new languages, like Spanish and Dutch – one of my favorite hobbies. I do my homework for language school and talk to a tandem partner via Skype.

Stephan, men in part time positions are still a rare phenomenon on today’s world. How do you cope with that and what is your personal advice to all men who would like to follow you as a role model?
Stephan: Unfortunately, that's true, but I also have the feeling that it’s slowly changing. For example, one of my male team members has also decided to work part-time. Since last summer he has been working 80%. My advice to everyone, men and women, is to follow what's good for you! It's also fine to just try something new and change it later if it doesn't work for you. You can always go back to a full-time job.

Jenny, it is still possible to have a successful career even if someone is working part time? And what advice would you give to others?
Jenny: Of course, I am convinced that a successful career is also possible when working part-time –because it simply must be. The contribution a person makes to this company cannot be measured by the sheer number of hours. Look at me as an example: the calm and conscious start to the week gives me strength and endurance. My exposure to other languages ​and therefore other cultures makes me a better project manager – such as in my current international project, in which I am responsible for colleagues from the Netherlands and Argentina. Nonetheless, reducing working hours is a challenge. For me, it means that I need to delegate tasks and that I am not there at certain moments so that decisions have to be made without me. This is not a general problem at all and works out really well but definitely requires the skills that have to be learned and developed first.
My advice would be to develop your project team and create a basis for mutual trust. Enable your team members to work self-responsibly and give them the freedom to do things they are good at. And of course, never forget to make time for things you're passionate about. Even if you think it is not directly related to your career.

Lissa, how can a successful collaboration look like if the rest of the team works full time? What are the key factors for success?
Lissa: That’s a good question which makes clear that the whole team is needed to make part-time working a success. Out of my experience the most important factors are good communication, good time management and the flexibility to adapt to the needs of the project and the team.

Regardless of your working model, you always have one thing in common with your team: your passion for cyber topics! In what way does this passion express itself in you?
Stephan: I've been working in cyber for more than 20 years now and my passion for it never left because every new client or project has given me the opportunity to learn something new – whether it's technical skills, project management skills, interpersonal skills, or others. Due to this joy, I am naturally doing my best and hope that the people around me can notice this.

Lissa: I’m passionate for cyber topics because they’re crucial if we’re talking about critical infrastructure and smart cities – two subjects that I am personally very engaged about.

Jenny: What I like most about cyber ​​security is that it is a multidisciplinary topic. I am a business criminologist dealing with threat analysis and risk management. I work with computer scientists, engineers, economists, political scientists, and many other people. In addition, our team members come from all parts of the world. I simply enjoy working here and being part of the Deloitte’s cyber team.

We are happy to share a lot more inspiring stories of our colleagues about the diversity in Deloitte’s cyber team with you – check it out!

Furthermore, you’re very welcome to get to know more about your career opportunities in the cyber team and to learn more about our cyber services.

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Sven Schulz

Sven Schulz

Employer Branding Manager

Sven ist seit 2018 im Team Employer Branding & Personalmarketing bei Deloitte Deutschland tätig. Dort verantwortet er unter anderem Employer Branding Kampagnen mit Fokus auf berufserfahrene Talente.  Im Deloitte Karriere Blog berichtet Sven über aktuelle Karrierethemen und relevante Business Entwicklungen, die Karrieremöglichkeiten für die unterschiedlichsten Profile bereithalten.

Jennifer Koschel

Jennifer Koschel

Associate Manager | Employer Branding

Jennifer ist seit 2019 Teil des Teams Employer Branding & Talent Attraction von Deloitte in Deutschland. Sie verantwortet nicht nur den Karriere-Blog, sondern auch Employer Branding-Kampagnen für verschiedene Businesses und Zielgruppen.