Op-ed of the day: Is part-time work the way to go?

Is it unnatural to work full-time? That’s the question that Ann Brenoff asks in The Huffington Post.

In her column she profiles Anya Strzemien, a 33-year-old editor who decided to take a sabbatical from the 40-hour week.

Once Strzemie applied the brakes to the pace of her job’s demands, it didn’t take her long to figure out this truism that a lot of midlifers still struggle with: Working in a part-time job, if you can afford it, is the way to go. It can be just as fulfilling and meaningful as the one that stakes a claim to your every waking hour. And, amazingly, she found, you can actually accomplish a great deal when you aren’t walking around fried all the time. “I really maximized the hours I did work so, for better or for worse, I was getting more bang for my buck work-wise,” she said.

Strzemien said that she created a genuine work-life balance, got outside, and felt less stressed. But is it really affordable? Brenoff argues that, for many of us, it is.

Truth is, we spend to our capacity. No matter how much I ever managed to earn, I managed to spend it. We adjust our lifestyles to our income level. It becomes a matter of learning to live on less. Fewer meals out in exchange for more meals around the dinner table with the family. Fewer surfing trips to Hawaii but having the energy and time to paddle out to watch the sunrise from your board off the beach that’s a half-mile away. Community college for our kids instead of the four-year alma mater that now takes six years to complete. And figuring out what’s seriously more important to you: Your health, your stress level, your happiness vs. your sense of self-importance that comes from responding to the boss’ text within 15 seconds.

What about you?

Read Brenoff’s column here.