Did you know that more than 25 million people are employed on a part-time basis in the U.S.? While that’s far less than the number of people employed full-time – about 127 million, according to data from Statista – it’s clear that part-time workers make up a huge chunk of the workforce. And there’s a good reason for it.
Part-time work sometimes gets a bad rap when compared with full-time work, but this stigma couldn’t be more inaccurate. The truth is that part-time workers are absolutely vital to the economy and a wide variety of industries. Companies of all shapes and sizes and across all sectors rely on these individuals to stay afloat. From summer jobs and seasonal work to year-round part-time gigs, there’s no question that part-time employees are essential.
Part-time work can be extremely beneficial to the employee, too. There are many reasons why someone might choose to work part-time: schooling, family obligations, age… or, simply because they choose to. In fact, part-time work can be a great choice for parents, retirees, and new graduates.
Let’s take a closer look at part-time work and explore the benefits of this work style.
What is Part-Time Work, Exactly?
You might be surprised to learn that there isn’t a clear-cut definition of what constitutes part-time work. The Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets legal requirements for hours in the U.S., doesn’t specify a number of hours per week that is considered full-time employment. It turns out that it’s up to the employer and company policy to define what is full-time and part-time.
Traditionally, we think of a full-time job as a 40-hour work week, and anything less as a part-time job. But many companies define a full-time week as 35 hours, or 30, so the definition isn’t as precise as you might think.
Generally speaking, part-time jobs are those that don’t require a full eight-hour a day commitment, five days a week. But it’s important to realize that the definition of part-time really depends on the employer’s policies, not a set number.
What Kind of Jobs are Performed Part-Time?
A vast variety of jobs can be performed part-time – almost any job you can think of, in fact. From food service and accounting to retail, manual labor jobs, administrative roles, childcare services, and much more, part-time jobs are as varied as they come.
Equally varied as the types of part-time jobs out there are the people who perform them. And this style of work has benefits for several demographics. Let’s take a closer look at just a few of them.
The Benefits of Part-Time Work for Parents
Are you a parent? Whether your children are young toddlers or teenagers, part-time work can be very beneficial for you. Here are some of the key benefits:
More Time With Children
When you’re working full-time, you’re gone most of the day. This might work fine when you have school-aged children, but if you have young kids you’ll be missing out on most of their day. Plus, you’ll need to have some kind of childcare set up for the hours you’re gone. That’s why part-time work is so beneficial for many parents; it allows for more time with their children throughout the week.
Better Work-Life Balance
Being a full-time working parent is hard. Very, very hard. Balancing the requirements of work with all of the obligations of parenthood is no easy task. And part-time work can help you get a lot of that balance back. When you’re not required to spend eight hours a day in an office, it’s a lot easier to keep everything straight and find the time to do everything you need to.
Keep Skills Current
Another benefit of working part-time as a parent is the chance to keep your skills current, assuming you’re able to get a part-time job in your field. It’s a great way to avoid a lengthy resume gap while you’re raising kids, and to keep up with the latest in your field until you’re ready to return to a full-time schedule.
The Benefits of Part-Time Work for Teachers
Teachers can also benefit from working part-time, whether that means working part-time outside of their teaching obligations or actually teaching part-time.
Returning to School
If you’re a teacher but want to return to school to gain a higher degree, teaching part-time might be the perfect solution. This allows you to cut down on your hours to commit the time you need to your studies, while also still making an income.
Explore Different Industries or Careers
Working part-time outside of your teaching career is another option, and it can be a great way to explore other fields (inside or outside of teaching). Plus, working part-time can help you to supplement your income while exploring your options.
One thing about being a teacher is that once the school year ends, you’re out of work for the summer. And while it’s nice to have a break, that missing income can be substantial. That’s why many teachers turn to summer jobs, particularly part-time ones. Make up for those lost paychecks over the summer and keep up your income until the school year resumes.
The Benefits of Part-Time Work for Retirees
Those who have retired from their careers or their full-time jobs are in a unique position to benefit from part-time work.
Keeping Up Activity Levels
Many retirees complain that they’re bored or stagnant shortly after retiring from work. A part-time gig is a great way to combat that. It can help retirees keep up their activity levels, get out of the house, and interact with the public. To put it simply, it can keep you from getting bored – if you’re retired and looking for something to keep you occupied, part-time work might be a great solution.
Contributing to Society
Some retirees struggle with the idea that they’re not contributing anything to their communities, or even to society at large, once they’ve exited the workforce. Part-time work can give retirees something to look forward to while they make a contribution – even if it’s something as simple as ringing out customers at the grocery store.
Maintain an Income
Another benefit of working part-time as a retiree is the chance to maintain an income once you’ve stopped working full-time. Many retirees don’t want to rely solely on their pension or retirement plan once they’ve exited the workforce, and bringing in even a modest income through part-time work is an excellent solution.
The Benefits of Part-Time Work for New Graduates
Recent college graduates can also greatly benefit from working in part-time roles. Here’s why:
Test Out a Career
Have you just graduated college but aren’t quite sure what you’d like to do yet? Working part-time is a fantastic way to “test drive” a field or industry to find out whether you like it. You’ll get a sense of the real-world inner workings of the field, and you’ll be able to observe full-time workers to get an idea of what it might be like.
Getting a part-time job with a company you admire or would like to work for in the future is a huge step for new graduates. Getting your foot in the door in this way is the first step toward building your network and being able to land a job in the future. If nothing else, it’ll help you add a key line to your resume and give you an opportunity for great referrals when you do start applying to full-time roles.
Start Paying Down Debts
If you’ve recently graduated, it won’t be long before school loans and other debts start to come calling. Getting a part-time job right out of school – even if it’s not directly related to your field of study – is a great way to start making money right away. Money that will be crucial when it comes time to pay down your debts.
Why Work With a Recruiter to Find Part-Time Work?
Whether you’re a parent, retiree, teacher, or new graduate, working with a professional recruiter to find a part-time job is an effective way to find a role you love. Recruiters have access to all sorts of jobs, including part-time roles, that can suit your lifestyle. And because recruiters take the time to get to know you, your job requirements, your experience and skills, and your short- and long-term career goals, these individuals have the unique ability to match you with an employer who checks all the boxes.
Find Your Next Part-Time Job With PrideStaff
Interested in a part-time role to get a better work-life balance, supplement your income, and suit your lifestyle? Working with a temporary staffing agency like PrideStaff can help get you there. Contact a member of our temp agency’s recruitment team to learn more, and get in touch with your local PrideStaff office to find your next opportunity.