6 Things To Consider Before Going Part-Time

photo credit: macadude22

Scores of individuals are starting their own business while they work; it’s not a bad idea given the health insurance, stock benefits, steady income, and retirement safety net you’re afforded. Yet when the ever growing demands on your life are no longer satiated by late nights and cocktails of Red Bull and fat burners, then switching to part-time employment may be an option for you. The reality is that employers are more willing to accommodate people’s work-life balance through modified and reduced work schedules; you can thank the new breed of Gen Yers for their restlessness – no seriously, you can. However, there are some important things to consider before giving part-time employment a try…

1.) What Will Your Job Expectations Be?

This is one of the most important things you need to take into account! If your request for part-time is approved and the expectations of your job remain the same, then you have increased the amount of work you’ll be doing. The reason is that now you have less time to accomplish the same amount of work, and that’s fine if you can handle the added constraint. If not, then meet with your boss and see what he/she expects if you were to work part-time. In some cases, it might be possible to leverage your responsibilities with coworkers who want to expand their areas of expertise. Another possibility is giving stakeholders and coworkers the ability to contact you during your non-work hours in case something comes up. Regardless, if you’re putting yourself in a situation that may be detrimental to your performance and success at work, don’t go part-time!

2.) What Will The Impact To Your Income Be?

If you choose to go part-time, you need to know if the reduced salary will be enough to sustain your current lifestyle. If not, then either make changes to your lifestyle or determine the financial point in the future that will require you to switch back to full-time employment. You will also need to determine if your employer places any stipulations on switching between part-time and full-time. In some cases, employers may place a limit on the number of times you can switch between full-time and part-time status.

3.) What Will The Impact To Your Vacation Be?

Actually, the better question to ask is “Will I get any vacation if I work part-time?” There is a pretty good chance that the answer will be a resounding “NO”. Yet even if the answer is yes, you should determine if there is any impact to your sabbatical or compensated time off because in some cases you may lose out. If that’s the case and you’re nearing an extended vacation, then enjoy your time off instead. That is unless you’re truly a glutton for punishment and want to start your business during your sabbatical instead.

4.) What Will The Impact To Your Benefits Be?

In some cases, you may still qualify for full health and life insurance if you meet a certain amount of hours. In other cases, you may have to contribute more towards your health and life insurance if you decide to go part-time. Also, be sure to find out if there will be any impact to your stock or retirement plan.

5.) What Will The Impact To Your Personal Life Be?

Are you prone to procrastinating? Do you suffer from severe adult ADD? Do you have issues with productivity outside the workplace? You need to be sure that having this extra time will not lead to fruitless activities like six hour web browsing sessions or cleaning out your entire house or garage – that is unless you’re making room for your new home office. Regardless, don’t turn part-time into playtime or “catching up on all the things you’ve been putting off over the years” time; you’re starting a business and you’re going to need all the momentum you can get. Also, be sure that your roommates and or family understands that this extra time is not for socializing or added responsibilities around the house. Heck, you might be better off not telling anyone about your part-time schedule and instead flee to the local library or coffee spot to work on your business. Whatever you do, do not find excuses to avoid working on your business!

6.) Is Your Business Ready To Make Money?

In other words, are you at the point where you can begin finding customers? If not, then you’re still okay, yet ideally you want to be close to the point where you’re ready to start getting customers and breaking even, possibly even supplementing your income with income from your business.

In Conclusion

Even if you decide that part-time employment isn’t right for you, you can always look into other alternatives like a modified/skewed work schedule or telecommuting as a way of accommodating your entrepreneurial endeavors. In the end, part-time employment is definitely a useful option that can help start and grow your business while you work, but knowing the impacts of making such a decision is vital to your career and personal success.

Have you had any experience with part-time or a modified work schedule that has helped you with your business? If so, feel free to discuss in the comments!

The Closet Entrepreneur

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  1. Whew! Thank you for writing up this article! This guidelines will certainly help me figure out my decision right now. I am planning to have a part time job and after reading this, I think I have to think again and to prioritize some things. A very hard decision for bringing out the best on my life and career! thank you…

  2. TOMAS

    @Lightning – I’m glad the advice was helpful! I was starting to wonder if anyone was even considering taking advantage of part-time opportunities these days? Good luck on your decision and let us know how things turn out!


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