How To Make Part-time Work For You

According to a recent article in The Telegraph, a growing number of people in senior positions, across a range of sectors, have forged successful careers by working part-time. Louisa Peacock reported, “more and more employers are seeing the potential of employing people on a flexible basis, too – for one thing, they will be cheaper to hire but are just as committed to the role.” The article listed the top ten most inspirational examples of part-time power brokers taken from a list of 50 compiled by part-time jobs site Timewise and Earnst & Young.

Mike Dean from Accenture suffered a collapse at work in 2009 and since then has made the decision only to work 3.5 days a week to achieve a better work-life balance, “Mike believes that working part time has made him better at his job.” And he’s not the only one who has found part-time to work better for him, Vicki O’Brien at British Airways has worked part-time for 10 years and has been promoted 3 times in that period.

Being honest

Karen Mattison, founder of Timewise jobs, believes that many employers are taking on more part-time employees and supporting existing employees in their choice to work part-time as the work-life balance plays an ever increasing part in the career landscape. She was quoted in The Guardian saying, “although there can be a stigma associated with flexible work, this is reducing as more and more people are honest about it.”

However, not every industry is embracing these changes. According to another article in The Telegraph, a spokesman for the British Medical Association said that “the NHS needs to adapt its workforce planning to reflect the changing working patterns in society.” With female doctors now outnumbering the male doctors, it has been suggested that the growing number of part-time doctors are partly to blame for the burden on the NHS.

While society and work places might be slowly changing their attitudes towards part-time employees, it’s still regarded as the most challenging type of work to secure. It’s easier to scale down your role from full to part time but much harder to gain employment in a part-time capacity. Whether you’ve chosen part-time to be with your family, for health reasons or to study, here are some great tips on how to make part-time work better for you.

Be financially prepared

Whether you’re about to drop to part-time or take up a new role, the important thing is to be prepared for the change of income. Contractors and freelancers should consider opening a separate bank account to receive income and manage expenses.

Will Thomas from Eccount Money believes an account can actually help your budget strategy by making it easier to view transactions and avoid the risk of debt by offering prepaid cards instead of credit cards and overdraft facilities, “an account is a basic bank account, which means it does not allow for overdrafts and can therefore turn out to be extremely helpful for anyone serious about sticking to their budgetary goals.”

Creating and sticking to a budget is the best way to manage your part-time income, which for many might be sporadic. Extra time off needed for school holidays, exams or medical appointments should also be considered when setting up a budget. It’s better to underestimate your earnings and come out on top, than overestimate and end up in debt.

Anticipate changes

The main reasons for people to go part-time is so they can either manage family commitments, health concerns or study. For all of these scenarios, there will be times when your work habits may need to change, for example school holidays, exam time or medical appointments and restrictions.

It’s always best to bring this up with your employer first up and find a suitable way to negotiate the times when you might need more time off. This will take the pressure off you feeling as if you have to continually negotiate your hours. Likewise contractors and freelancers should take any time-limiting factors into consideration when it comes to planning their schedule.

Know your rights

Head of HR at AAT, Olivia Hill advises, “the fact that you are working part-time doesn’t mean you should be treated less favorably than your colleagues. Your rights are the same and you should still receive the same benefits, such as bonuses, performance-related pay, car parking, childcare provision, health care etc”.

Be sure that your work place does not treat you differently or penalise you for working part-time. It might be an awkward transition at first, but slowly you and your boss and colleagues will get used to your new hours.


Whatever your reasons for working part-time are, remember there are many ways to supplement your income. The Guardian published a list of 50 ways to make money from home, with “more of us working fewer hours and with a resulting earnings gap to close, there’s arguably never been a better time to set up a business you can run in your spare time from home.” A variety of business ideas from babysitting to baking was listed, demonstrating how easy it is these days to earn extra income from home.

So while you might not be a part-time power-broker just yet, remember there is no reason that you can’t make working part-time, work for you.

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A lifestyle journalist from London, Kitty Hastings writes often about the struggle to make ends meet in today’s sluggish economy. She loves nothing more than sharing knowledge and tips to turn your skills into an income and how to manage the changing landscape of the modern workplace and finances.

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