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The Pros and Cons of Part Time Jobs
A part-time job is generally considered to be employment that is less than 40 hours of work per week. Some employers consider between 32 and 40 hours of work per week to be full-time, but part-time jobs are usually classified as anything less than 40 hours.
Working on a part-time schedule has many perks and provides the optimal flexibility needed by some individuals. For example, parents with young children, students, and people who have out-of-work responsibilities often find that part-time work is their only option. Others work in part-time jobs because they are unable to find full-time positions – and working part-time is better for them than not working at all. In some situations, part-time employees can earn as much as full-time employees on an hourly basis, but most employers do not offer benefits such as health insurance, vacation time, and paid holidays to their part-time employees.
There are many pros and cons to working part-time and there are also several specific industries that are known to have many part-time positions available. See below for some of the factors to consider before deciding if a part-time or a full-time position will work better for your specific situation.
Pros:Students in high school cannot work during school hours, and those who want to work need part-time work schedules so they have time to attend school, participate in extra-curricular activities, and do their homework. Part-time work schedules allow high school students to work after school and on the weekends.
College students also need flexible work schedules. Every semester, a college student’s schedule changes and the hours of part-time employment can usually be adjusted to accommodate busy school calendars.
Cons:High schools students often try to squeeze part-time work into their busy school schedule and their academics can suffer. Part-time jobs for high school students are only feasible if employers are flexible and understand their employees’ school demands.
It’s very difficult to attend college full-time and also work. Some college students do manage to work while they attend school, but such a busy schedule can lead to exhaustion and/or poor academic performance.
Pros:Part-time jobs are great for parents with young children who want to work, but do not want to place their children in daycare centers or with babysitters while they are at a job for eight to 10 hours per day. Parents with part-time jobs can organize their work schedules around their children’s school and activity schedules, or sometimes around their spouse’s work schedule.
Cons:Even with part-time employment, parents must sometimes pay for childcare during work hours. Childcare can be expensive and may cost more than the salary being earned. Also, some childcare centers do not accept children on a part-time basis. Likewise, most school-aged children are on break from school during the summer months, and this can pose a problem for parents who must work year-round. The cost to send children to summer camp or daycare during the summer may be cost prohibitive.
Pros:Most part-time employees are not offered benefits from their employers. If you are a person who does not need benefits – such as health insurance, a part-time position may be a good choice.
Cons:Employer benefits are nice to have. Retirement packages can help you save money for your future and health insurance is necessary in today’s world. With part-time employment, you might not be offered these two benefits, in addition to receiving no sick days, vacation days, or paid holidays.
Re-entering the Workforce after Time Off
Pros:Did you stop working for a few years when you had young children at home? If so, looking for part-time employment is a great way to re-enter the workforce. Going from staying at home with children to working full-time can be a shock to the system. Easing your way back into the working world with a part-time job is a good way to test the waters and get used to working on a regular schedule.
Cons:Re-entering the workforce can be difficult because you are competing for jobs that more experienced people also want. Also, well-paying part-time jobs are not as plentiful as full-time jobs, which can make obtaining them challenging.
Stepping-Stone to Full-Time Work
Pros:Part-time jobs are great stepping stones for people who want to work part-time right now, and think they will want to work full-time in the future. Once your employer sees that you are a great employee, you may be offered a full-time position when you are ready to increase your hours.
Cons:Moving from a part-time position to a full-time position can be a difficult transition. Part-time jobs tend to be more flexible and can be worked around your personal commitments. When a part-time employee moves from a part-time job to a full-time job, the adjustment can seem overwhelming.
Scheduling: Mornings, Afternoons, Evenings and Weekends
Pros:Available schedules for part-time positions can allow you to work two part-time jobs, take care of children, start your own business, attend school, or have time to relax. If you’re a morning person, you may want to work only morning hours. Or, if you like to stay up late at night, evening positions are often available.
Cons:Employers may ask their part-time employees to work shifts they do not want. This can cause problems, for example, for people who have children at home or who do not have transportation to and from their jobs during certain times of the day.
Where to Find Part-Time Employment
There are many resources for finding part-time jobs, and it can be helpful to use more than one during your search.
The Internet: There are many websites that compile lists of part-time job openings that can be found by conducting a search by location or by the type of job. Some of those sites include AllStarJobs.com, Indeed.com, CraigsList.org, CareerBuilder.com, and Monster.com.
Local Newspapers: While many employers have gone from using classified ads in local newspapers to advertising job openings via the Internet, some employers still do post their part-time job openings in local newspapers.
Job Bulletin Boards: Local grocery stores, coffee shops, and restaurants often have public bulletin boards where employers will post advertisements for part-time job openings.
Placement Services: There are some job placement services, such as http://tentiltwo.com that help part-time job seekers find work.
Word of Mouth: many part-time positions are found by word-of-mouth. If you are looking for work, make sure to tell anyone and everyone you know. Someone is bound to have heard of a part-time opening at their place of employment.
Written by Melanie Fischer, Career & Job Expert who has been writing professionally for over 10 years.