9 Reasons to work part-time
There are many reasons to work part-time - from wanting to work less so you have more leisure time, to wanting to stay involved, or just needing to keep the bank balance ticking over. Over a career, most people will work a 40 hour week, sometimes more, and as they reach the usual age of retirement it may be time for a change. There could be other reasons too, such as spending time caring for someone, grandchildren or even wanting to have more than one part-time job to add variety. Whatever your reason, a lot of people don't want to fully commit to one full-time job.
Part-time work is different from the usual eight hour day and can throw up some challenges and contradictions. While some say part-time offers more freedom and control, others say it's unpredictable. This way of working can often mean a higher hourly salary, but because it's less of a commitment it can also mean income being less dependable. For some, it can be challenging to switch from the mentality and routine of full-time employment. Part-time jobs are likely to increase in number as the popularity of the Gig Economy grows.
1. You can control your hours
This is possibly the most significant advantage of being a part-time worker: it can give you the ability to choose and control the number of hours you work. Flexibility is a desirable benefit! Unlike full-time work that often means you have to work regular shifts, part-time work is often assigned on a time period of your choosing (or one that you and your employer agree to).
2. You have more time to do other things
With the ability to control your time comes the freedom to decide what to do with it. Part-time jobs allow you to pursue other interests or obligations you may have. Some people will want to pursue leisure interests, others will have commitments to family or in the community. Having more time also allows you to develop personal skills or even pursue some further education.
3. Less corporate structure to navigate
Some people like the structure and rigour of a large business and thrive on it, but there are many others who after years of working in larger organisations would like a break. Part-time work usually means that interactions are limited to being between you and your immediate manager, or the team you are working with. You won't be as close to the everyday workings of the larger organisation and as a result, there won't be as many corporate hoops to jump through.
4. There’s no limit to how many part-time jobs you can have
Working part-time also gives you the ability to take on more work if wanted. You may want to work in a similar role but in different organisations or do something completely different. Variety is often the spice of life and with part-time work, mixing and matching jobs is always possible. As long as you can fulfil the obligations demanded by each one, having multiple part-time jobs is very possible and can be exciting and fun.
5. There’s a wide variety of opportunities
The way people are working is changing from being pigeon-holed into one industry, staying and then growing over a career. This linear model of career-building is being eroded, even by younger workers who don't want to follow the same career path as their parents. They too are looking for variety. This means that workplaces are also beginning to embrace the part-time approach, which in turn means there are more roles like this available.
6. Part-time is a chance to do something different
However long you have worked in one sector or industry, part-time work provides an opportunity to try something new. If you have a profession you enjoy, a change to a different type of business or sector is one option. You may also want to try something entirely new and with part-time work, you can give it a go. It takes confidence and belief to put your skills to something different but life should always involve learning and in this way, part-time work can also be about developing your skills.
7. It’s an extra source of income
People are living longer, we are more healthy overall and we have aspirations and dreams about what we would like to do once we reach our later decades. Trouble is, it all costs money. So for many, part-time work is an opportunity to earn and still have the freedom to do the things you choose.
8. It keeps you involved and engaged
Money is often the first thing that comes to mind when anyone talks about work, part-time or full-time. However, for people over the age of 45, being part of an organisation is also about using experience and knowledge, being with other people, interacting and socialisation. In other words, it's about mental and social health, as well as financial well-being. People's views about retirement are changing from being a time to completely stop work to being a period of mixing work with leisure. This is where part-time work can play such an important social role. It keeps people active and involved.
9. It complements your lifestyle
All these reasons combine in one of the best things that part-time work can offer: it complements your lifestyle. With more control, it is possible to work around your life, and not the other way around. If you are at the stage when you would like more balance, part-time work can certainly help.
This way of working offers benefits to both employees and employers, in that they maintain access to a highly skilled group of workers without the responsibility of taking on full-time staff. There are disadvantages of being part-time but weighed up against the benefits of flexibility and complementing your lifestyle, it will continue to have a critical role to play in the workforce of the future.