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Benefits of working part-time: types of jobs and salaries
CareerBuilder | March 16, 2021
Tips for making a part-time job work for you. How many hours are required, things to expect and how to find the best PT job for your situation.
Getting a part-time job can prove beneficial if you want to generate extra income or work while the kids are at school. Maybe a tree farm hired you to help out during the Christmas season, or perhaps you're working weekends as a cashier at a salon. Many different types of part-time jobs exist, and each one offers its own distinctive set of responsibilities.
Expect Unpredictable Hours
At many part-time jobs, you'll work different hours every day. Some companies might need you to work the graveyard shift, then show up for the swing shift the next day. You might work as a stocker at a supermarket, which might mean coming to work at 10 p.m. and clocking out at 3 a.m. Getting used to varying schedules can take time, but if you want your boss to give you more hours, showing your flexibility might help you get extra work. Your willingness to work odd hours can also come in handy if you decide you want to transition into full-time work.
However, some part-time work involves predictable hours. For example, if you work as a receptionist at a dentist's office, you might have a set morning or afternoon schedule. Set hours might prove more beneficial for people who have to work around other responsibilities, such as another job or family members.
Part-time work might also require you to work weekends and holidays. Many companies hire seasonal workers during the winter holidays, so you might have to sacrifice time with family and friends for work commitments. Some of those companies keep their best workers on staff after the holidays, so you might consider working toward that goal if you'd like to keep the income.
If you're unhappy with the hours you work, consider searching for another part-time job that might fit your schedule better. Too much job-hopping can make you undesirable to future employers, but if you switch careers for a good reason, you'll benefit from the change.
Know What You're Worth
If you're underpaid as a part-time worker, you might not take your job seriously enough, and your performance might reflect your apathy. Most part-time jobs pay an hourly wage instead of a salary, and these jobs often pay once or twice per week. Figuring out what you deserve to earn at your current part-time job can help you decide whether to keep the job or look for something better.
Alternatively, you can ask for a raise if you've built a solid track record and demonstrated commitment to your job. Companies like to keep valued employees who contribute to the company's success, so you might have leverage to add a couple of dollars to your hourly rate. However, avoid asking for a raise too quickly or for too much. Conduct research to find out what other professionals make in your position so that you can make a reasonable request.
Pay Attention to Geography
If you're juggling two or more jobs, you don't want to add more stress to your schedule with long commutes between locations. Choose a part-time job that's within a short walking or driving distance from your primary job. You'll spend less time on the road, which means you get to rest more at home after a long day.
You can also look for part-time jobs that allow you to work from home. You might prefer to choose your own hours so that you don't have to worry if your boss at one job needs you to stay later during peak work periods. Above all, you'll save money on gas, and you'll enjoy the privacy of your own home.
Many professionals, such as part-time teacher Vanessa Madrid, work shorter hours because they can't find full-time work in their geographical areas. Madrid spends part of her day in the classroom at Riverside City College, but she struggles financially to take care of herself and plan for the future. Marketplace contributor Adriene Hill explains that almost 8 million people want full-time jobs, but they must settle for part-time work instead.
If you're stuck in this rut, don't stop searching for opportunities. Keep your part-time job so that you maintain your income, but devote at least 15 minutes each day to a job search. You might find the perfect opportunity in between shifts, and you wouldn't have known about this possibility if you had given up your search.
Beef Up Your Resume
If you're a high school or college student, you can benefit from a part-time job. You'll find yourself ahead of your peers when you start looking for full-time work because you'll already have one or more entries on your resume. Plus, you'll learn responsibility and develop financial skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.
You might not get the best perks if you're the latest hire in part-time work, but you'll still gain experience. Don't worry about vacation days, bonuses, or other benefits that senior workers have. Instead, focus on proving your skills to your boss and learning as much as you can from the experience.
Make the Most of Your Part-Time Job
When you can't stand your part-time job, consider searching for jobs to find one that better meets your needs. However, if you're happy at your workplace, you can improve the experience.
Start by focusing on the skills you want to develop. For example, if you hope to work as a lawyer one day, concentrate on learning people and communication skills, attention to detail, negotiation skills, and other assets that might help you in your future career.
If you're not looking forward to a full-time job in the future, focus on making each workday different and interesting. Get to know your co-workers, offer to help customers when needed, and step in if someone else can't work.
Part-time jobs can offer plenty of fulfillment, no matter what your stage in life or your aspirations may be. These jobs can also lead to promotions, which might offer better job stability and income for you in the future.
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