How to Make Part Time Work for You

There’s plenty of reasons people have to take part-time jobs — employers can’t afford you, you’re fresh out of college with no experience, or you’re simply in a small town with very little opportunity to grow. But, what if part-time wasn’t your only option? What if it was a choice? Part time work gives you flexibility and a healthier work-life balance, and it doesn’t always mean a smaller paycheck. There are ways in which you can make part-time work for you, if you’re willing to consider alternative lifestyles and can sell yourself as someone who’s worth an employer’s investment.

The stigma with part-time jobs is that they’re usually entry-level, and don’t pay a lot. But, then again, does someone really need 40 hours every week to do their job? Most full-time employees don’t need the extra hours, and waste them at the expense of their employers because they aren’t challenged to do more. But, if you can show you’re capable of doing the same work, in half the time, doesn’t that make you as valuable as the full-time person? Maybe you can and maybe you can’t, but if an employer is willing to bend the rules, you have some options to make part-time work feasible and fulfilling.

If you can, negotiate to work remotely. Some jobs don’t require you to work in an office, which means you can move or travel to places that are cheaper to live. If you decide you want to work while on the road you’ll save money in rent and utilities, but only if you travel wisely. Plus, you won’t have to wait for your retirement from a full-time position to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Many travel bloggers and freelancers are able to live with under $1,000 a month because they know how to travel on a tight budget.

Then, there’s the option to freelance on the side. You can keep your part-time job to make ends meet while working from home to pursue a side career. Some people start freelancing to make an additional income, and end up pursuing the career long-term because of the flexibility and autonomy it provides. However, there is a lot of competition, so you’ll need to build a network of potential clients and get referrals as soon as you can.

If you need money ASAP, apply for seasonal work to get you through slow times of the year. Service-based seasonal work can help you make a lot of money quick, if you don’t mind working long hours for a few months. But, after the busy season is over, you can resume your part-time job with a savings cushion. While this isn’t ideal for those with families or a lot of responsibility on their plate, working hard for a few months out of the year can help you build the savings you need to feel comfortable working part-time the rest of the time.

Working part-time jobs gives you an array of experience that will attract full time employers. If you can’t get the full time position you want at the company you work for now, feel free to look around and see if your skills could meet another part-time or full-time employer’s expectations. Until then, consider the possibility that your dream job doesn’t have to come with a full schedule and cubicle walls. You may realize that part-time is all you need to make your career work for you.