Flexible working has become increasingly popular as jobseekers and employers adapt their work-life balance to fit their lifestyle or family commitments. Local employers are offering increased flexibility, within diverse role types in an array of sectors, from trainee positions to senior management positions; part time work has become one option.
It is important that you do not jump into a reduced work opportunity before considering whether it truly is the best fit for you and your lifestyle. So, if you are considering a change of pace or getting back into the workplace after a career break, here are the pros and cons of flexible part time work.
More Time for You – The main advantage of part time work is that you have more time to spend with family and friends; more time for yourself and your lifestyle. A flexible working schedule is often an advantage when dealing with those unforeseen circumstances that mean you need to stay at home and your workload will not be effected.
Remain on Track – Keeping your toe well and truly dipped into the workplace pond at the same time as adopting a flexible working pattern allows you to continue in your career and in some cases stay on track to general advancement. It can also make the transition to full time employment further down the track, less cumbersome.
Fitting Full Time Work into Part Time Hours – In this technological age, checking emails “on the go” has become common place, essentially making you “on call” 24/7 without meaning to be. Boundaries are important; although you may feel obliged to answer that seemingly important email, step back, remember your work-life balance and assess; can it wait until you are back at work? If yes, then leave it – part time work is just that.
Cost vs Compensation – Part time work inevitably means less money in your wage packet. This will effect the choices you make when returning to, or looking for, a flexible work option. Travel costs, travel time, childcare, benefits offered by the organisation all need to be considered before you make that leap. An “ideal” job opportunity may not be as good as it seems when you sit down with your calculator.
Finding those opportunities – It can be sometimes difficult to find the ideal role for your work-life balance without help. Even if the right career path is not immediately available, registering with a reputable recruitment agency in addition to your own efforts, should ensure that you are contacted when an appropriate vacancy comes in, and you may even wish to consider temporary work as an alternative. There are a great variety of temporary assignments available often to suit your work-life balance.
For many the pros of part time work outweigh the cons’; but take heed, your idea of the perfect part time position offering an exceptional remuneration package and the option to advance your career may be like looking for a needle in a haystack; however hard you look, so you may find that you need to be willing to compromise. Put simply, part time work could be the answer to the work-life balance question; but only after careful consideration of the costs and compromises involved. Take a considered approach to changing to a reduced work schedule; and you never know – you may wish that you had made the change sooner.