Anecdotal evidence suggests that part time workers value their flexibility and as a result are often intensely loyal to their employers, working hard to deliver results. So it’s strange that people in part time jobs are typically seen as less ambitious, less driven and less committed than their full time counterparts.
The stigma around part time work means that people don’t always want to talk about it, especially those in senior positions. A study conducted by Timewise Jobs last year showed that a third of part time workers earning £40,000-200,000 FTE refused to call themselves part time. The figure rose to two thirds for those earning more than £75,000 FTE.
But how can others progress their careers part time when successful senior part timers are effectively invisible? Timewise Jobs wants to change perceptions around part time work and finding ‘out and proud’ role models is a key part of what we do. That’s why we teamed up with Ernst & Young last year to compile our very first Power Part Time Top 50.
“Role models blaze trails for others and help make the exception become the norm,” says Karen Mattison (above), Timewise Jobs founder. “When it comes to having a career on a part time basis, the concept of ‘lifting while you climb’ has never been more important. You might not think of yourself as a working hero, or as inspirational, but if you are working in a senior level part time job, you truly are.
“Thousands of people in the UK who work part time can’t see a clear path for them to progress through, and fear getting ‘stuck’ in one job for life. Simply by talking openly about the hours you work, and why you choose to work part time, you can help ‘break’ the perception that ‘part time’ is only for low skilled, low paid jobs.”
If you work part time and have reached a senior level without anyone showing you the ropes, you’re probably one of the trailblazers Karen talks about. Or it may be that you’ve had one or more great role models but they’ve been so much part of the fabric of your life that until now, you haven’t really thought about it: your mum, for example, or possibly a friend.
Over the next few months here on the Timewise Jobs blog, we’ll be profiling members of our Power Part Time Top 50 – asking how they got to where they are, what a typical working week looks like, and what advice they have to offer. We hope their stories will inspire and support you in building a meaningful career part time. Watch this space!
Do you have a role model or mentor who’s made a massive difference to your career? Someone who’s shown you that it is possible to succeed at work and have a balanced home life? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Please share your story on our Facebook Page, join the conversation on Twitter or become part of our UK Power Part Time LinkedIn group.