The grass often appears greener on the other side. If you’re a part-time employee, you’ve probably envied over full-time employees’ vacations and benefits. If you work full-time, you’ve probably idealised part-time employees’ flexible work hours. If you’re just coming out of high school or university, you may be wondering about what type of employment structure would suit you the best.
As with any topic that will influence your life, the more you know, the better. In this article, we discuss the benefits and disadvantages of working part-time and full time.
What are the advantages of part-time employment?
For many people, the idea of working part-time is very alluring as it allows you to have flexible, shorter working hours, which will allow you to spend more time with your family, follow a passion, or study part-time. Part-time work is also great for older people looking to cut back on their working hours as they head for retirement.
A general observation will show that part-time work is usually filled by young people (students, new moms etc.) or older people (those looking to retire). But this is not always the case as part-time work can be advantageous to a broad spectrum of people.
In the UK, a part-time job would be one defined by a permanent position in which you are required to work between 1 and 35 hours a week, and your wages are usually calculated hourly and paid weekly.
Part-time jobs are often quite flexible, and you’ll be allowed to choose your shifts, allowing you to have a flexible schedule when it comes to things outside of work. A part-time job gives you the opportunity to gain experience, and a steady wage, while still having time for outside interests and responsibilities. A part-time job can be held in conjunction with studying, starting a business of your own, or another part-time job.
What are the disadvantages of part-time employment?
Because of the nature of part-time jobs, these positions are often not held for a long time. Many people see part-time jobs as passing opportunities that may be convenient for a while, but they are often a stepping stone onto bigger and better things.
One of the main reasons why people may not hold a part-time job for a lengthy period is the fact that most times, you do not receive any benefits. This means no insurance, no vacations, no maternity pay. In most cases, if you do not work, you won’t get paid. And while this may work for you for a while, most people look for something a little steadier after a certain point.
The other major disadvantage to part-time work is that you will earn less than if you were a full-time employee. If one part-time job is your only form of income, you may find yourself struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month.
Part-time employees are often expected to get the same amount of work done as full-time employees, but in less time, and this can lead to high levels of stress. In certain companies, part-time employees may not be treated with the same level of respect as full-time employees, both by their colleagues and their superiors. However, these notions are slowly fading, and employers are starting to wake up to the potential benefits that part-time employees can bring into the workspace.
What are the advantages of full-time employment?
There are many people that dream of having a stable, full-time job. Signing a contract to a full-time job means job security, a stable income which can be relied upon, and many benefits such as paid parental leave, paid vacation time, pension etc. So even though you may be dedicating a large portion of your time to your full-time job, these benefits ensure that you will still get paid when you are sick, pregnant, entitled to a holiday etc.
If you have a family or just a large number of monthly expenses, a full-time job is often the only way to cover these expenses and still have a bit left over for luxuries and savings. Depending on which company you land a full-time job at, there could be potential to climb up the corporate ladder, experience growth, and enjoy yearly salary increases.
As long as you stick to the terms and conditions laid out in your contract, it is very difficult to be fired from a full-time job, and if you were to be given notice, you’d still most likely receive a handsome payout.
Having a steady monthly salary allows you to budget and plan your finances more effectively, letting you save towards holidays and big-ticket items.
What are the disadvantages of full-time employment?
On the other side of the coin, once you sign a full-time employment contract, you are responsible for showing up to work for at least 35 hours a week (according to UK standards). This can be exceptionally challenging for some people, especially if the job is not within your interests or passion.
Working in one full-time position can sometimes result in career stagnation if there is no room for growth. It can be difficult for you to realise your full potential if you are doing the same day, day in and day out. Full-time jobs can very quickly become mundane. At the ended of the day, you are there to get a job done.
Even if you very quickly realise that full-time work is not for you, you will still need to give your employer at least a month’s notice. It is also worth sticking out with your job for at least a year for you to experience the benefits and for it to add value to your C.V when looking for future jobs.
Whatever type of employment you end up seeking, whether it be full-time or part-time, ensure that it is the right choice for you and suits your individual lifestyle. What works for one person may not necessarily work for someone else. You really need to take all of your needs into account when deciding which types of jobs to pursue.