How Many Hours Is Considered Part Time Employment?

How Many Hours Is Part-Time? | Definition & Tips |

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Many jobs require employees to work 40 or more hours a week, but part-time positions require fewer hours. Part-time work can offer many benefits to those interested in working fewer hours each week. Learn all about part-time work in this article.

What is part-time work?

Jobs that require fewer hours than full-time positions are considered part-time. Since there is no single definition of full-time work, every individual company determines how many hours a week they consider to be full-time and how many hours they consider to be part-time. The Fair Labor Standards Act provides all workers with certain rights and protections, such as compensation for overtime, minimum wage, and child labor, but it does not establish a threshold for full-time or part-time hours. Generally, full-time is somewhere between 30 and 40 hours (or more) per week, and part-time is anything less than that.

Some companies offer a type of position called a job share, which is when two people share a full-time position. Job sharing is becoming more common as professionals seek flexible schedules. Job sharing is most common for office positions where full-time work is prevalent, and most employees work set business hours. In this way, employees receive the flexibility they desire, and the company maintains its stable workforce.

How to find a part-time job

Use these steps to find a great part-time job.

1. First, set your career goals

Know what sort of position you want before you begin your search. For example, if you hope to move from a part-time position into a full-time position, look for jobs with that capability.

2. Second, prepare your materials

Update your resume, and draft a cover letter template. Identify your skills and qualifications so that you can quickly evaluate job postings to see if you are a good fit. Match your skills to those listed in the job posting. Adjust the wording in your resume and cover letter if needed to match the language in the job description and align your qualifications with the employer’s expectations for the role.

3. Then, search effectively

You might begin with an online search and use job posting websites that allow you to job hunt within set parameters like position, salary range, hours, and location. After applying to some applicable roles, reach out to those in your professional network to see if they have any leads on open part-time positions. Finally, consider temporary work through a temp agency to get help from a job search professional in refining your search to what’s available in your area and matches your qualifications.

4. Next, pursue skill-building opportunities

Remain confident and focused as you apply to open positions by maximizing your time with productive pursuits. While you search, continue to develop your skills and qualifications for work through volunteering or furthering your education. You can then list these activities on your resume to demonstrate newly developed or refined skills as well as initiative.

5. Finally, prepare for the interview

Research the company, and prepare for the interview the same way you would with a full-time position. Establish a list of common interview questions for the industry and position, and prepare a list of your questions about the position.

Types of part-time jobs

Here are some of the most common types of part-time jobs:

  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Foodservice
  • Office administration
  • Freelancing
  • Social media marketing

Part-time jobs are available in all industries and sectors. While part-time work is prevalent in the service industry, professional offices also often offer part-time positions.

Benefits of part-time jobs

Here are some of the many benefits of part-time work.

More time to care for your family

Part-time work gives working parents or those with other family members in need of care more time to spend with those relatives.

Supplement income

Part-time work is a great way to supplement earnings without a huge time commitment for those with a secondary source of income.

More time to finish school

Many students use part-time work to earn money while they finish school.

Enjoy leisure time

Some part-time professionals can develop their hobbies during the extended free-time provided by part-time work.

Control your schedule

Part-time work is often flexible, so those working part-time can create a schedule that works for their life. In some cases, they may be able to choose which shifts they prefer or set specific hours they’d prefer to work.

Hone your time management skills

Part-time work requires dedication to the job, just as full-time work does. With less time on the job, part-time workers must prioritize their duties to get them done during the shift.

Work from home

There are many remote part-time positions, including freelance positions that offer even more flexibility than traditional part-time jobs.

Tips for part-time jobs

Here are some tips that guide your part-time job search or job transition.

Part-time job search

Use these tips to maximize your search for a great part-time job:

  • Be flexible. Consider a variety of positions that match your skillset, and determine time management strategies to structure your time on the job.
  • Provide an explanation. Some interviewers may ask why you prefer part-time work over full-time work. Prepare an answer to this question, such as how part-time work allows you to care for your kids after school, or it gives you time to complete your homework.
  • Look into freelancing. Companies hire freelancers, also called contract workers, to complete a specific project. In many cases, these professionals get to set their own hours and often work remotely.
  • Review the hours. If you are unsure whether a posted position is part-time or full-time, look at the job description. Often, employers list the expected hours per week there. You can also discuss the opportunity for part-time work during the interview.

Transitioning from part-time to full-time

Use these tips to move from a part-time position into a full-time position:

  • Show commitment. Be timely and on task when at work. Show your manager that you are as committed to your position as any full-time employee.
  • Take on responsibility. Ask for additional responsibilities at work. Exceed set expectations to show that you are ready for more leadership opportunities.
  • Volunteer for extra shifts. If someone calls off work or there is an unfilled shift, volunteer to work. Show your organization’s leadership team that you have the time to devote to a full-time position.
  • Ask to move up. After you have demonstrated your commitment to the job, ability to lead others, and that you have the time to work, ask if there are any full-time openings available. If not, ask your leadership to consider you for a full-time position as soon as one opens.

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