One of the questions that I am most asked in my career consulting work is “Where do I find part-time work?” As a mum who has worked part-time since my five year old son was one, I understand, and now advocate for part-time/flexible work for parents, or for anyone else wanting a life that’s not about 38+ hours at a workplace. Knowing that you love School Hours for connecting flexibility seekers with flexible employers, I thought I might share with you some other ideas for accessing part-time or flexible employment:
Direct approach companies who have a need for someone like you. This can be very effective, in fact I know a career mum who has only ever got her part-time positions in this way (she always carries a copy of her resume in her car!). Consider small business because they sometimes need additional people/skills but are unable to justify a full-time workload/wage. Interestingly organisations’ drive for business flexibility may just be creating the ideal conditions for the flexible labour market.
Use your network, and your network’s network, to get the word out about what you’re after, or at least chat to people. You never know who they know or where it might lead. One of my clients, a return to work accountant, was able to secure a great role when I connected her with another accountant mum after a schoolyard chat.
Get comfortable with social media because people do get jobs through these mediums. Another mum in my network posted on Facebook that she was looking for a part-time role which led to contact from a former colleague and a subsequent job. LinkedIn is even more purpose-built for job search and networking and should definitely feature in a great job search strategy.
Apply for jobs that are not advertised as flexible because there are far more of these and there may be an opportunity to negotiate flexibility once an employer sees the value you will bring their business. It is a good idea to know the benefits of part-time workers including higher levels of productivity, lower cost, an opportunity to create a more diverse workforce with different perspectives and more reflective of clients/community, etc
Research flexible employers to identify those that may be more likely to offer part-time. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) website, for example, showcases Employers of Choice for Gender Diversity and the topic has been getting significant airplay of late. I recently heard about a law firm structuring their competitive advantage on flexibility – breaking the link between time at work and commitment and instead assuming that long hours may be indicators of other issues such as time management or poor work life balance!
While the tide seems to be turning on the acceptance and prevalence of part-time work, there is still an apparent lack of opportunities that could well be bridged with these strategies. Good luck!
PS: My next Career Support Workshop especially for Mums is starting on Tuesday November 10 2015. Download the PDF here for full details. We’d love to have you along 🙂
Donna’s business, Career Vitality, supports women considering returning to work through CareerSmart Mums, a workshop currently running quarterly in North West Brisbane.
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