What Are the Chief Benefits of Working Part Time Versus Full Time?

With employers increasingly hiring more part-time workers and less full-time staffers, many in the workforce are considering the viability of part-time employment. Beyond the obvious income ramifications, there are hosts of advantages and disadvantages to consider, when determining if the part-time employment model works for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Working part time is ideal for family-oriented individuals – especially those who value the opportunity to pick up their young children from school.
  • Part-time workers enjoy increased free time, in which to pursue extracurricular activities.
  • Not only can part-timers save on gas and car maintenance costs, but they may also shave dollars from their monthly auto insurance premiums.

More Free Time to Pursue Other Projects and Activities

Arguably the biggest advantage of working part-time, is the increased free time, in which to pursue extracurricular activities. For those lacking the requisite academic credentials for their dream job, a part-time position may serve as a stepping stone that affords them the flexibility to obtain the certification needed to snag roles in their desired profession. Others may use part-time jobs to climb the ladder within an existing field. For example, an individual with a social work degree can obtain part-time entry-level work, that lets them simultaneously earn the graduate degree needed land a more lucrative mental health job.

Part-time jobs also appeal to those nurturing special projects, such as writing, civic outreach, and artistic endeavors. Such pursuits offer immense personal fulfillment, even if they don’t bring in large paychecks.

Opening Doors to New Job Opportunities

When there are no full-time positions available within a given company, workers may accept part-time employment to posture themselves as the obvious candidate, when a coveted full-time slot becomes available. A part-time job can also help individuals gain experience and training in fields unfamiliar to them. After all, an employer who may be reluctant to hire an inexperienced person on a full-time basis, may be inclined to hire an eager candidate on a part-time basis, who expresses an enthusiastic desire to learn the trade.

Opportunity to Earn More Money

Although this may sound counter-intuitive, working part-time can sometimes enable an individual to make more money – especially if he or she is capable of balancing more than one job. For example, a person who pairs a 30 hour-per-week gig with another 20 hour-per-week gig may pull in a greater combined income, than a single full-time position would provide. Furthermore, given that many full-time salaried positions demand 50- to 60-hour work weeks, this individual may still end up working fewer total hours.

Reduced Stress Levels and Improved Health

Studies show that full-time workers tend to feel worn out, due to insufficient time needed to exercise, enjoy the sunny outdoors, and generally commit to a healthy lifestyle. Contrarily, part-time workers hit the gym more often and get a better night’s sleep. Part-time employment also allows for more efficient management of daily tasks like grocery shopping, doing the laundry, and completing other household chores, ultimately resulting in more order at home.

Paradoxically, part-time workers often experience decreased financial stress, because they conform their spending to align with their income. This behavior is antithetical to the phenomenon known as lifestyle inflation, where one’s expenses actually expand with increased income. In other words: those capable of adjusting to a slightly lower standard of living, often discover that working fewer hours is favorable to the demands of working full time.

The Importance of Family

Working part time is ideal for family-oriented individuals – especially those who value the opportunity to pick up their children from school. Furthermore, part-timers may save on daycare expenses, which may exceed the extra money earned by working full-time.

Although a certain income level is necessary to providing for one’s family, those who earn just enough to pay for essential living expenses, while sacrificing luxury goods, may find short-term work to be an unacceptable trade-off.

Saving Money on Transportation Costs

One possible situational advantage to part-time work lies in the area of transportation costs. Case in point: an individual who finds part-time work near his or her home may save more on transportation expenses, than those who commute an hour or more daily, to a full-time job. Not only can part-timers save on gas and car maintenance costs, but they may also shave dollars from their monthly auto insurance premiums, which are often mileage dependent.