Returning to STEM
Returning to STEM

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Returning to STEM

3.1 Time

Figure 4 Time

One of the key issues you’ll need to decide is how you want to work and how you will manage your time. Some returners find themselves working too many hours, perhaps due to peer pressure or the demands of their working environment, while others settle for too few hours and feel that their real potential may be undeveloped.

Finding the right balance will depend on careful reflection of your own circumstances and an awareness of the choices that might be available. For example, it has been reported that across Europe, between two-fifths and two-thirds of women would like a change in the number of hours they work (Silim and Stirling, 2014, p. 23). The UK has the highest proportion of female part-time workers in Europe (see Table 1).

Table 1 Percentage of workers who work part-time because of caring responsibilities by country, 2012

FemaleMale
UK41.75.7
Germany25.52.7
Spain14.61.2
Netherlands36.67.8
France33.76.4
Sweden20.16.4
Poland9.40.6
Source: Silim and Stirling (2014)

Look back at the diary you kept last week of how you spent your time, and your notes from Activitiy 2. How many hours per week could you work? If you gave up some of the activities that were less important to you, or that you could delegate, how many hours do you have for the working day? How flexible can you be about what those hours are? You will come back to the issue of time management and planning later this week.

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