View Full Version : What do you people who work part time do?

4-21-11, 12:01am
What do you people who work part time or less than full time do for work? What is your profession in other words?

Now I believe that if you are in a position to bargain many jobs can be made less than full time. HOWEVER, some more readily lend themselves to this than others I think. What are they?

Yea, I've liked it when I've worked less than full time. It's too much to EXPECT, but it's not too much to ask :)

4-21-11, 6:13am
I work part-time from home as an online college instructor. Sometimes this means 5 hours a week, sometimes it means 20. It just depends on the workload.

I purposely pursued part-time work so that I could spend more time caring for my home and family. So when I am not working, that is what I am doing.

4-21-11, 7:22am
on call with the school system working with the special ed kids. We go into the community and do all sorts of jobs as a prep for them leaving school. I love it but it wouldn't pay the bills.
Some of my friends work in stores that are their hobbies, like quilt and pottery.

when my kids were young I worked many years part time as a nurse. It helps to work in a profession that is open 24/7 with three shifts, and at that time was almost all female. They would not have had coverage in the hospital if not for the part timers. Many of my nurse friends like me had years of part time work in hospitals, doctors offices and schools. Many teachers also tutor, work as subs, work in early education centers for example. You have to not need benefits and not need as much money to do so.

Float On
4-21-11, 7:32am
20 hours a week working for our church (4 five hour days). 10-20 hours a week working from home taking care of my husband's business (bookkeeping, sales, marketing, product photography, packing orders). I don't intend to look for full time work until after the kids are off to college.

4-21-11, 8:13am
I am a half-time pastor of a small church, although sometimes (like this week) that means full time or more, and other weeks I have a lot of elbow room. On the side, as time permits (and sometimes even when time doesn't permit) I write articles, stories and novels. I have sold a few articles and one story, so far, but I mostly write because I enjoy writing. I have never made a lot of money, but our frugal living practices have led to a comfortable and content lifestyle.

4-21-11, 10:27am
Executive assistant. Started as full-time but negotiated for p/t a while back.

4-21-11, 12:16pm
I am a translator. Sometimes my work is full-time plus overtime, like now, but other times of the year, I have short days or days off between assignments, so it's more like a part-time job. It can be difficult to plan if a large, lucrative job comes around - I had actually intended to take time off right about now, but I received "an offer I couldn't refuse" LOL.

4-21-11, 1:24pm
Half time as a non-profit fundraiser at a decent rate of pay, and am interviewing for another half time position tomorrow - an ED position. I am LOVING having all this time!!! I've spent it helping teens move out, reorganizing my home for the post-children years, helping out my elder parents, sleeping (after at least 10 years of undiagnosed sleep apnea which left me chronically exhausted), getting the garden in shape, starting a new garden, and generally being a much better spouse to my darling husband.

If I get an offer of another half time position - it's a work at home one - I'll try to balance the two jobs, as the income is much needed to continue the debt pay-down and retirement funding. However... I would then give up that entire list of things, above, that I really really like. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it...

4-21-11, 2:36pm
I am a reference librarian at a community college. I work 18-25 hours per week, plus I get about a month off for winter holidays, a week for spring break, and a couple of weeks between spring and summer semesters. I enjoy working in an academic environment. The only part I dislike is that I must buy my own health insurance.

I went to part-time when dd was born (almost 12 years ago), but now have become involved in so many other activities (gardening, writing, homeschooling, yoga, volunteering) that it would be painful to go back to full time. I'll be eligible for my full pension in 7 years, and will probably remain here part-time until then - and very likely afterwards as well.

I often wonder how full-time workers have time to even take care of themselves! I do not think I could manage cooking, getting exercise, maintaining my home and garden, caring for my dd, caring for our animals, and being active in our community while working 40 hours per week plus commute time. Geez, it makes me tired just thinking about it! When is there time for fun?

4-21-11, 5:26pm
I often wonder how full-time workers have time to even take care of themselves!
I so agree with this and at only 34 hours, I still have a hard time keeping up with housework, gardening, pets, grocery shopping and cooking. There really isn't much "me" time between work and home responsibilities.

4-21-11, 6:50pm
The 40+ hour work week is dependent upon the age-old sexist & classicist role of "the wife". And it is SO out of date!!!

4-21-11, 6:53pm
The 40+ hour work week is dependent upon the age-old sexist & classicist role of "the wife". And it is SO out of date!!!

My DH and I have mused about this often. Really to keep expenses down enough to run the home on one income one person's "job," if there are even two adults in the home, has to be running the day-to-day of the household.

This thread is making me drool, BTW. Time to get arrangin'.

4-21-11, 7:32pm
I work 4 days a week as an RN in the operating room. Since I also take call, my work hours can go up drastically if I get called in. I would like to go down to 3 days a week, but my boss won't let any of us go less than 4. She says it's because it makes scheduling too difficult (well, and it's also hard to find skilled & qualified nurses to do this job). I know I have job security - I just wish I didn't have so much!

4-21-11, 7:51pm
The 40+ hour work week is dependent upon the age-old sexist & classicist role of "the wife". And it is SO out of date!!!

Hear, hear!! I would so support a shorter work week, more vacation time etc.. I've actually reread the books "Take Back Your Time" and "Work To Live" recently (the former was affiliated with the simplicity movement by the way - to the extent that simplicity means anything). The "Take Back Your Time" dreams of social change (via more leisure) from a decade ago seem so obsolete in an economy that is not even functioning barely at all at this point (although if there's ONE THING all this high unemployment has proved it is that society can function with much less WORK!). It's truly sad to reflect how far what is even possible has fallen in a decade. But anyway I didn't mean to make this a political thread (if someone wants to start one they can go to public policy :)).

Really I did just want advice on if there are moves I can make that are likely to get me REAL work life balance (career moves or whatever). I'm in a position financially where it seems I should be able to achieve what I want out of life (but no I can't retire entirely yet) and yet it's so rare.

By the way even the time off in unemployment has given me such a better focus on my life, a whole bunch of things I was ignoring (too caught up in the grind) just popped out at me.

4-21-11, 7:59pm
I work in literacy. I match adults with literacy needs up with volunteer tutors. I also do some consulting in developing curriculum resource materials from time to time.

But I basically work 15 hours a week in literacy. I used to be a teacher, then a workshop leader, then a speaker, then a facilitator, etc.

Oh and I get July and August off, but don't get any money. Works for me.

4-22-11, 5:43am
I work 28 hours per week as a library assistant in a college and I'm on a temporary contract. Up until recently, I was working the same hours between the college library AND a separate school library. I also do sporadic freelance work as a translator.

In the last year, I've read so many books and articles about allowing life to slow down, reassessing values, changing perspective and being thrifty (none of them from the library I work in, btw! hehe)... they've made me reconsider the entire concept of work and how it intertwines with the rest of our lives, to the point where the idea of working 40 hours per week in the same place makes me feel a little sick. Why should I have to essentially dedicate my entire life to ONE thing when there are so many other things that interest me and that I value above the work that I do? I want balance.

4-22-11, 7:46am
I work 25 hours a week in a public library. My hours were cut back from 31 hrs and the cut back has hurt our bottom line so to speak as we still have a mortgage to pay. I supplement my earnings with genealogical research, finding things to bring to the local consignment store and selling books on amazon and of course by being as frugal as I can be!

4-22-11, 9:30am
i'm working 25-30 hours a week hostessing at a fabulous restaurant ... to pay the bills while i work another 50-60 hours a week getting my business off the ground. :)

4-27-11, 9:24am
Coffee shop. Other part-time jobs I've had have been daycare, nannying, payroll and bookkeeping for a small business, administrative assistant and freelance technical writing. Coffee shops are my favourite though. It doesn't really feel like work. Where else do you get paid to hang out with friends and neighbors, play cards and read books?

Sad Eyed Lady
4-27-11, 9:32am
After 20+ years working in legal and accounting work I took a year off. At the end of that year I knew I wanted to do something completely different and part-time, so I went to work for a small printing company a couple of miles from my home. I learned on the job, graphic design, and found I really enjoyed it. I work three days a week and after 5 years there I am preparing to leave later this summer. I will turn 60 (!) in October and my goal is not to be working at 60. So..............maybe still go in one day a week? (My employee has told me I am welcome to work whenever I want). Or, again something completely different? Volunteer? Nothing/do want I want each day? Maybe a mixture? I just know I NEVER want to go back to full time work again!

4-28-11, 6:38am
For ten years I worked part-time in radio, and then - when everybody else in the biz was getting laid off, I somehow landed a full time job. It's been really strange. I miss the time I used to have for my own projects. When I was working part-time, I started drawing a comic strip and had sixty pages of it in the can. And then - got a job offer that was so crazy good, I couldn't say no. We moved to another city, hubby got a great job here too, and it just felt inevitable.

But with the increase in our income came temptation to spend and laziness about managing money. We'd gotten out of debt - now we're in it again, although digging out. But the full time thing has definitely been a mixed blessing.

A couple of years ago we were living on a third of what we make now, and also carrying the house in our former town that hasn't sold. It didn't feel like that much of a stretch. We basically never went out, and didn't really miss it. With our new jobs, we have all kinds of new obligations - appearances and events, things that require clothes. And we just know more people now, so we're getting invited to stuff and it's always out of town, so we're driving more and spending more on gas, etc. etc. We technically have more money, but it feels like less!

Time for some adjustments. In our previous pared-down sitch when we had one and a half jobs between us, we always thought we could save most of my paycheck if I ever got a full time job again. But it ain't happening!

5-15-11, 8:34am
I am a self-employed attorney, doing indigent criminal defense appeals and probation/parole revocations. The nature of the work has peaks and valleys, where sometimes I work a lot and sometimes not at all, but it averages out to about 15-20 hours per week.

In the time I'm not working, I take care of my husband (who has the "a" career game and is full time), my kids (my 2 and his 3 when they are here) and do the lion's share of the house management.

We do, technically, "need" my income, but only because we have some temporary debt and kid expenditures right now (braces, etc), and our budget is cushy. We could live without it if we had to.

5-15-11, 12:00pm
What do you part-time workers do for insurance? That's what I perceive as the biggest obstacle.

5-15-11, 2:43pm
^ I live in the UK so I am fortunate to have the NHS at my disposal. I still pay taxes even though I work part-time, so I am indeed contributing to the system!

Do part-time workers in the US have no access to employer-funded health insurance at all? Or does it depend on the employer and the number of hours worked? Sorry, this is going off on a bit of a tangent!

5-15-11, 7:26pm
Do part-time workers in the US have no access to employer-funded health insurance at all? Or does it depend on the employer and the number of hours worked? Sorry, this is going off on a bit of a tangent!

I think it depends on both the employer and the hours worked. So that an employer could decide to give anyone over 30 hours benefits for instance. It's not unheard of for part-time employees to get benefits, it certainly exists (and sometimes for less than 20 hours even). It's also not a given. It's like the rest of health care - catch as catch can.

5-15-11, 8:53pm
I am a massage therapist...have my home business and also work at a chiropractor's office...total 12-16 hrs of massages and another 3 hours of laundry, administrative stuff, and client paperwork. I also get healthcare with a national massage/yoga group. I am NEVER going back to work full time!

5-15-11, 9:48pm
I am working more than full time now (55+ hours/week) but have been part-time 5+ years (worked about 30 hours/week), supporting 3 children. I am a nurse, where it is relatively easy in US to get part-time work w/ some kind of health benefits. For me, as long as I worked 20 hours/week, I could participate in the group health plan, which has been pretty awesome over the years. (i.e. DD detached retina surgery- $22,500. I paid $50.00. DS asthma ER events-$100/event. I paid $50.)

Nursing can be unpleasantly demanding (as it is for me right now) but it is financially fair. That is, I get paid hourly. I get paid for the hours that I work. I get pretty good benefits.
I will go back to part-time as soon as I have the kid's college paid for. [See? Amazingly flexible! I can work myself into the grave if I want, or work just 1-2 days/week. My choice.]

5-17-11, 10:02pm
[See? Amazingly flexible! I can work myself into the grave if I want, or work just 1-2 days/week. My choice.]

Love that.

I stayed home today. I didn't feel well this morning physically, but also mentally. I was stressing over the plumbing issues . . . hadn't slept well in two nights. Anyway, I think I'd be a lot healthier if I were working part-time. Summers off as a teacher are wonderful, but by the end I am bored. I wonder if working part-time for more of the year would be a better arrangement.

In working toward starting our own business I hope to be able to accomplish this.