If you’re exhausted at your full time job, it’s easy to look at friends working part-time jobs and think they’ve got it made. The world of part-time jobs, you think, would let you finally have enough time for your family, and a career.
But before you jump into a less-than-full-time position, think seriously about the negative side of part-time jobs before you get trapped. Not every negative listed below is true of every part-time job, but being aware of the downsides can help you avoid them.
Part-Time Workers Earn Less per Hour
Usually employers give workers in part-time jobs disproportionately smaller pay and benefits packages. They figure the flexibility of being able to fill a part-time job outweighs the hit that you take as an employee. Many employers don’t give all health, retirement and other benefits to part-time workers which will cost you.
Moreover, you often step off the path to promotions when you reduce your hours and commitment, which also reduces your earning power. Ultimately, you feel the hit through a lower per-hour package of pay and benefits.
You May Work More Hours Than Predicted
It’s difficult enough to squeeze a meaningful career into 40 hours a week—much less into 16, 24 or 32 hours. Your colleagues forget that you’re not at work on Wednesday and call your mobile number for help. Or you take home a project, aiming to put in a single hour, but end up working all night.
Before taking on a part-time position, be brutally honest with yourself and your supervisor about how many hours will truly be needed to get the job done right. Also, you’ll need to get proficient at setting boundaries.
You Miss out on Career Opportunities
Perhaps the most obvious negative of part-time jobs is losing out on high-profile projects, assignments or trips. Sometimes superiors take you out of the loop—which you can combat by seeking out these opportunities and making it clear you’ll still do a first-rate job. But sometimes the most exciting professional challenges simply aren’t compatible with the schedule and lifestyle you’ve chosen.
Console yourself with the thought that after your children are grown, you can return to the hard-hitting career you loved. And discuss with your supervisor a path to promotions and advancement that is compatible with the current metabolism of your work.