Finding a part-time job is rarely a problem because they’re a dime a dozen. You could pick a direction in any city, throw a shoe, and hit a business that needs an extra hand. So the question then becomes which part-time job is right for you?
While it’s not as serious as choosing a lifelong career, it’s still important to pick the right part-time job because
- Job satisfaction is important.
- Your part-time job should accommodate your lifestyle, within reason.
- It can be an educational experience where you pick up valuable skills that you can apply later in your career or home life.
Choosing the right part-time job can be a fulfilling experience that helps you build relationships with people and build your work ethic, not to mention the paycheck that foots your bills and other expenses.
What do I need to know about part-time jobs?
To begin with, most part-time jobs are easily accessible even if you have no education or previous experience. That’s because these jobs don’t typically require a lot of training and can be done by just about anyone in good health. They’re a great option for people who don’t want to commit to fulltime positions, usually because they have other commitments in life.
Part-time jobs are also exactly that—part-time. While there’s no hard and fast rule about what exactly part-time is, many companies in many countries define a 40-hour workweek as fulltime. You should, however, generally expect to commit anywhere between 12 to 32 hours a week to work depending on your specific employer and the country you live in.
Almost all part-time positions pay an hourly wage. Since the work is often repetitive and fairly simple, it’s generally considered a fair practice to establish a standard wage because you’re essentially selling a set amount of labor.
While most fulltime or salaried positions offer benefits and perks, many part-time positions do not. You should clarify what, if any, you receive with your employer before being hired.
Why does it matter which job I pick? It’s only part-time.
Every part-time job is different because every job requires workers with the right set of skills. For example, if you find that you don’t enjoy making small talk or meeting new people, then customer service is probably not the right work for you. Even if it pays well or provides perks and benefits, there’s a high chance that you won’t enjoy the work and you’ll find yourself going home frazzled and burned out at the end of the day.
Sometimes the emotional cost of doing work that doesn’t suit you isn’t worth the payout.
More than that, many part-time employees are capable of finding job satisfaction in their work. It feels good to know that you’ve done a good job and provided a service or product of quality (even if it’s not your business). Who knows, you might even make a suggestion at work that actually improves your workplace!
How do I pick the “right” job?
Work is… Well, work is work. For most people, work is going to involve doing at least some tasks that you don’t enjoy or maybe even downright hate. But you can do a lot to mitigate that and even find enjoyment in your work if you pick the right job. That means a job that suits you and meshes well with your unique blend of interests, skills, and experience. It all starts with you.
It’s also important that your work environment is right for you. Work is much more unpleasant and intolerable when you’re in an environment that’s difficult for you to cope with. Working in a vet clinic if you’re afraid of dogs can be a traumatizing experience. If you’re claustrophobic, you probably don’t want to spend long hours alone in small spaces with no windows, but that’s what some jobs require. You’ve got to pick the right place to work. Sometimes toughing it out works, but sometimes you end up carrying more of that stress home than you realize.
Something else you can do to increase your chances of finding a good job is to make sure it can support your lifestyle. That means both being able to cover your expenses and accommodating your schedule. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your boss should make your work schedule fit around your life, but rather that you should try and find a job that minimally impacts your schedule in the first place. Many part-time jobs are service positions and so need to be done at specific times to keep the business running.
Picking a part-time job that uses your skills is much more fulfilling than one that doesn’t. If you feel that you’re especially talented at something—animal husbandry, cleaning, writing, whatever it might be—finding a job where you can put that to work and improve on it and give you a strong sense of purpose while you’re at work.
Choosing the best part-time job can be a little complicated because you do have to do some reflection if you want to have the best possible experience. It’s important to pick a job that complements your personality, lifestyle, and skillset. Make your work-life work for you. If you just want an answer and you don’t want to think anymore, take this short quiz and find one which of these 5 popular and common part-time jobs best suits you.