What Should I Consider When Looking for a Part Time Job?

Jane Harmon

Since there are a number of different reasons why you might be looking for a part time job, the questions you should ask yourself vary. Are you a college student who needs a part time job to help support yourself while you earn a degree? A stay-at-home mom looking for a part time job as a reintroduction into the workforce? Someone with another fulltime job that needs a little more income to make ends meet? What you need to consider depends on your personal situation.

Some stay-at-home parents earn money doing freelance or other part-time work.
Some stay-at-home parents earn money doing freelance or other part-time work.

If you are a college student: Can you give enough time to a part time job without harming your grades? Is your transportation or local mass transit adequate to get you to an off campus job? Can you reliably report to your part time job? Remember, most business owners don't care if you have a test tomorrow - they just need someone who can do the job they are paying for.

Consider how a part-time job could enhance your resume.
Consider how a part-time job could enhance your resume.

If you are a stay-at-home mom preparing to rejoin the workforce after your youngest enters college: Is the part time job something that can transition to a full time job? Will this job be a resume-enhancer? If you are a single mom, be warned that part time jobs rarely offer benefits. If you need a health coverage plan, you will need to find full time employment.

Students may consider the impact a part time job might have on their academic work.
Students may consider the impact a part time job might have on their academic work.

If you are lucky enough not to need the income from a part time job, but are just looking for an interest outside the home, or a way to give something back to society, volunteering is a viable alternative to a part time job, and volunteers often transition to paying positions within the organization they volunteer for.

If you need a part time job for additional income simply because your fulltime job isn't paying all the bills, you have some serious questions to ask yourself. Are you in debt because of reckless spending? Consider a consolidation loan and debt counseling either in lieu of, or in addition to, finding a part time job.

If you have been a prudent spender and still can't make it on your salary, ask yourself whether your fulltime job is paying as much as it should? Are there other jobs in your field that pay better and might remove the necessity of your working another job? Consider asking for a raise at your fulltime job before looking for part time employment, but whatever you do, do not use your financial situation as an argument for a raise, especially if others in your pay grade are sending children to college on the salary you are having trouble living on.

If there is no alternative to taking a part time job in addition to working another job fulltime, make sure the pay is sufficient to make up for the additional costs to you. If you must drive 45 miles and pay for parking, the increased costs may eat up the pay you receive and you will be no better off - and significantly more tired - than you were before taking on a part time job. The ideal, of course, is to work a well-paid part time job as a try-out if you are considering leaving your current job. But be warned - your current employer will consider this disloyal and will not consider you for advancement if it becomes known you are looking elsewhere.

In all cases, consider the position of your potential employer. While asking yourself questions about how the part time job can benefit you, either financially or by enhancing your future employability, take a few moments to consider how employing you can benefit your employer. If you know the answer to this, you are much more likely to be selected than someone whose motives are purely financial.

It's important when taking on a second job part time to leave room for downtime so as not to become overwhelmed.
It's important when taking on a second job part time to leave room for downtime so as not to become overwhelmed.

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Discussion Comments


@Moldova - I think that the best part time jobs are at a school because you don’t have to work nights or weekends and you do have a lot of time off. You also get to work with kids and if you have children you might be able to keep an extra eye on them.

I think that in order to work as a teacher’s assistant you have to have a CDA license which is a forty hour course that many community colleges offer online.

Usually teacher’s assistants are used in preschool grades and up to kindergarten. Beginning in first grade most teachers work alone.


@Sneakers41 -I wanted to add that many of the curriculum providers also hire people to score exams from home. You do not have to have a teaching degree although it is a preference.

You basically tell them what subjects you are comfortable grading and the hours that you can work and they train you for the position if you are selected.

You do have to have a college degree but it does not have to be in education. I also have friends that do medical transcription. You do have to get some training and have to have the ability to type really fast but there are a lot of opportunities in that area as well. These are good part time jobs that offer a lot of work.


@SauteePan - I had a friend that did that. She only worked during regular business hours for an office supply company and she enjoyed the work. She worked part time when her kids were in school.

She averaged about $12 an hour and worked about twenty hours a week. There are lots of part time job listings in many of the work at home forums.

There you can really learn about some of the available part time jobs from home that you might be able to do. I also know someone that got into online tutoring for a company.

She was a teacher before staying at home with her son and she used her skills to tutor children afterschool online. Some of the companies require a teaching certificate while many just want someone with a college degree.


@Anon47833 - Working in retail is a lot of fun, but most retail outlets require you to work nights and weekends. It is really one of the few drawbacks of working in retail.

You could try talking to the store manager when you hand in your application, but they usually try to be fair to all of their employees and have everyone work at least one weekend day.

You could always find a good part time job at home. There are many companies that hire employees to work from home. I remember ten years ago when I first became a stay at home mom, there were very little opportunities for moms like me to work at home.

Now because of the internet there are tons of opportunities. It really depends what you want to do. There are many phone jobs that train and hire independent contractors to answer calls for their clients. Most of these companies pay you per call, but some pay you a flat hourly wage.

You do need a quiet environment because you have to maintain a certain level of professionalism just as you would in any call center. The great thing about these types of jobs is that you can pick the hours that you want to work, so if you can’t work at night or on the weekends you don’t have to. Having a part time job from home can be a blessing.


Just a quick question, part-time job in retail requires working in evenings and weekends. I am willing to work in retail for part-time basis only, but cannot work on evenings and weekends.

How can I ask the hiring manager to consider me for the job for the availability given? Is that asking too much? Please give me some tips. Thank you.

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