In an earlier Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll, half of female ODs and 1/3 of male ODs currently working full-time said that they’d prefer to work a part-time schedule if they could. So in this Pop-up Poll, WO asks what’s keeping you from doing so?
Not surprisingly, the answer, overwhelmingly, is money—or some variation of that. A number of people wrote in that their student loan debts or the cost of their health insurance require them to work full-time; others said that their practices are still starting out or that their full-time work schedule supports the entire staff so they can’t cut back.
Others wrote in that as a single people, they can’t rely on a spouse’s income to make up the gap. The pull of the part-time schedule was reflected in some of the responses. One OD wrote that she opened a practice cold three years ago is working at least 50 hours a week, including administrative time. “Wish I had more time to spend with the kids,” she wrote. Another found her happy medium, saying, “I used to work full-time, and now work four days. I don’t regret like moment of it—cutting back the hours. I was working three days and would like to return, but I cannot give up independent contractor work in a gorgeous new office.”
A few women wrote in that they don’t want to upset the status quo, fearing that if they asked for a different schedule, they’d lose the one they have. And at least one OD lamented the difficulty of finding ODs who are willing to work part-time for someone else, keeping her, for now, in between a rock and a hard place with working more than she’d like but not enough to warrant a full-time OD.
Eight-six percent of respondents said that they are women ODs. Forty-one percent of respondents said they’re practice owners, 51 percent said that they’re employees and the remaining 8 percent said that they’re both working for themselves and someone else.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Pixabay