Negotiating Part Time Work / intermittent leave

My struggle with mental illness impacts my ability to function. I don’t know where to ask for help. We have company social/support groups for POC, women, and LGBT folks, but we don’t have a mental health or disability group.

My PMHNP and I filled out paperwork for me to take intermittent FMLA leave – for four hours a (rolling) week, I can just not work, and not be fired for it. I work at a company with more than 10,000 employees, and am the only person in the entire company taking FMLA leave on an intermittent schedule. My FMLA leave is only approved for the next six months.

I feel reasonably confident in the work I’m doing. I like the culture of the company and my team/org within it. I’ve been getting net-positive performance reviews, but with the caveat that I have periods of above-expectations productivity and periods of below-expectations productivity. I’m surviving right now, with the ability to miss 4 hours a week for FMLA, and the occasional day as sick time under our “unlimited” time off policy. I’d do so much better with slightly lower expectations, more ability to work remotely/off-hours, and/or fewer overall hours.

I’d love to only work 30 hours a week (at reduced pay). I have no clue if this is an option, or how to approach it with management. I’d rather have expectations and compensation set for the work that I’m able to do than be constantly afraid that paperwork will fall through (or won’t be able to be renewed) and leave me in a situation where I can’t do what is being asked of me.

Has anyone negotiated down to part-time work from a full time position?
Is anyone in management and has advice/insight from the other side of the conversation?
Is my best bet to try to find a new job and negotiate an initial job offer down to part time?

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There’s a software engineer who’s written a lot about workweeks, productivity, negotiating workweeks, working remotely, etc. You can find one of his blogs and his name here . I strongly recommend his writing. I don’t think he’s written much at all about the context of mental illness, but I think you might find it very useful. Cheers, S.

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