Should I Work Full Time Or Part Time?

One of the big lifestyle choices you have to make when you are searching for a job is whether you want to work full-time or part-time. For some people, this is an easy question to answer, and in general, our society assumes that pretty much everybody is going to want to work full-time. But there really are a lot of factors to consider, and even within full-time or part-time constraints, there are options. What are the advantages and drawbacks of each?

Full-time workers by default work 9-5, roughly 40 hours a week. But some full-time workers may work fewer hours. Most employers start defining ““full-time” around 32 hours a week, and anything below that as part-time.

Benefits of Working Full-Time

Pay.
You may make more money per hour (or the equivalent as a salaried worker). And since you are working more hours, obviously you will make more money overall regardless.

Benefits package.
Full-time employees are generally given a benefits package. This may include health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, and vision insurance. There also may be a retirement plan and paid time off for vacation. You also may receive additional benefits and perks.

More chances for advancement.
Generally speaking, full-time employees are seen as more committed, and generally they are. Promotions and pay raises are far more likely to be offered to workers who are available full-time, or even overtime (without being paid for overtime).

Drawbacks of Working Full-Time

No flexibility in scheduling.
It’s pretty hard to rearrange your work hours when you are already working all the hours you possibly can be given.

Stress.
Since you are working pretty much all the time, your life is bound to be pretty stressful unless you really, really love your job.
No time for life outside of work.
As a full-time employee, you will have less or no time for yourself, your family, your education, and your personal projects.

Benefits of Working Part-Time

  • Flexible scheduling. You may or may not be able to negotiate when you show up to work, but most flexible jobs are part time in nature.
  • Less stress. You may find yourself more able to enjoy work if you are not there all the time.
  • Time for yourself. Most of the benefits of working part time are a bit intangible, but they are arguably some of the most important in your life. You have time for your family, your relationships, your projects, and whatever you value the most, if it isn’t work.

Drawbacks of Part-Time Work

  • Less pay. Obviously you are likely to pull in less money if you are working 25 hours a week instead of 40.
  • Less likely to get promoted. You are probably taking on less responsibility, which will reflect in your opportunities.
  • No benefits. Some employers do offer benefits packages to part time employees, but this is not the case for the majority.

Should you work full-time or part-time? You have to ask yourself what you value the most. Is it more important to you to have time to relax and enjoy the finer things in life, or to seek advancement in a career? Do you value security more, or do you value your time more? Are you more committed to your company, or more committed to your family or your personal endeavors? Once you figure out what matters to you, you can decide whether the benefits of full time work outweigh the advantages of part time work or not.strong

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