A Work-Life Balance Update

Shortly after starting my Master's Postgraduate degree in September 2022, I decided to drop my hours down to technically part-time hours. Full-time hours in the NHS is 37.5 hours a week. Long shifts are 12.5 hours, with a 1 hour unpaid break, therefore this works out as 3 shifts a week for 3 weeks a month, and 1 shift a week for 1 week a month. I decided to drop my hours to 29 hours, because this was the lowest contracted hours that still allowed 4 shift requests a month. Shift requests mean you can book days off, which are very much needed for social life. This means - or should mean - I alternate between 2 and 3 shifts a week. 

The main reason I did this was to give me more flexibility. Since Covid-19, our NHSP bank rates have been great. For weekdays the hourly wage is £32, nights and Saturdays £38 and Sundays or bank holidays £40. I decided I would pick up on average two shifts a month to then bring my hours back to almost full time hours, if not more on occasion, whilst also earning slightly more for a savings pot. 

Well, the rates have now been dramatically reduced since April, so in April I did 9 extra shifts which yes, was draining but meant that for the summer months (May - August), I don't need to pick up extras to support myself financially, with the rates reduced to starting at just £20 an hour. I also have so many hen parties, weddings and family events coming up, so very little downtime, with an essay also to write!
Come September, I'm increasing my contracted hours back up to 37.5 hours a week. My Master's will finish and therefore I don't need quite as much flexibility with shifts, nor as much money as I'm not having to pay tuition fees and everything else going into assessments and learning. I think it will feel like I'm working a lot more days, however because I also have the two "office" days a month with my Shared Governance role and Professional Midwifery Advocate job, I think it will feel like a nice balance. 

Not to mention, come the w/c 23rd September, I have 4 weeks annual leave to travel around America which is quite exciting! Also, by that point all 5 of my hen parties will have been finished, my sister will have turned 40 and had her big birthday, and 4 of the summer weddings will have finished. Can you tell it's been a stressful year? I'm feeling optimistically hopeful that I won't feel overworked and it will be a smooth transition, especially as I won't be doing university work and gardening in all my downtime as well. Fingers crossed! I will keep you updated.