Part Time Vs. Full Time Hours

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When searching for a job, one important factor people consider is the number of hours offered. Students might prefer the flexibility of a part-time schedule, while people with more financial obligations usually prefer working more hours to bring in more money. Others combine full- and part-time jobs to make ends meet. Examining your lifestyle during the application process helps to focus your search so you can make the best choices.

Facts

  • Forty hours is the typical number of hours people have to work to be considered a full-time employee, although working slightly fewer hours happens. Salaried workers generally work more hours, especially when trying to meet a deadline. Full-time permanent employees are often eligible for benefits such as health care, paid holidays off and paid vacations.
    Depending on the organization, part-time hours can be any number of hours under 40. A common range would be 20 to 30 hours. Some part-time employees are regular part time, while others might be contingent, such as adjunct instructors. Part-time workers usually are not eligible for any employee benefits.

Considerations

  • Full-time employees are more valued by their organizations. They participate fully in organization meetings, are involved in the decision-making process and are allowed greater access to equipment and materials needed to do their job. Part-time workers are often excluded from meetings, are told about decisions and must seek the assistance and permission of a full-time worker to enter buildings, access mail rooms or computers, or obtain paper and supplies.

Benefits

  • People who prefer stability are better served by obtaining a full-time job because this usually means having a consistent work schedule, pay and benefits. In addition, it is common for benefits to increase with years of service, which often means better pay, vacation and promotion opportunities.
    Part-time employment allows people to test the waters of their particular profession, allowing them to gain valuable work experience before committing. Many people like the flexibility of part-time work because they can better manage their schedules when they get mornings or evenings off.

Significance

  • While landing a full-time permanent job is ideal, many people find that securing a full-time job when it is needed is not always possible. This is when it becomes necessary to seriously consider working several part-time jobs. You might work one job in the mornings and the other in the afternoon or evenings. Other times, people might temporarily accept part-time work to catch up on bills or to make major purchases.

Misconceptions

  • Because many organizations are in flux and have people moving on or up, part-time jobs are not always a dead end. Occasionally, people who prove themselves at their part-time job are promoted to full time when an opening becomes available. In addition, part-time workers make valuable contacts and receive on-the-job training that provides them with skills they can later put on their resumes when they apply for full-time positions.

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