Part time jobs: the world of difference between 3 and 4 days

25 Oct 2016

Open up your opportunitiesAre you one of the many candidates whose ideal part time job is 3 days a week? Think about this: if you can stretch to 4 days a week, a whole new world of opportunity opens up, because you can try applying for full time jobs where the employer is open to flexible working, and ask to work 4 days once you’ve met them and they like you.

You might think it’s unfair that employers rarely offer part time jobs for 3 days a week, but there’s a big difference between negotiating a full time role down to 3 days rather than 4. You’d be asking the employer to fundamentally look at how the job is designed, and to consider the impact on teams, customers, desk-space and who will take on the rest of the workload.

The reality is that only small businesses tend to need people for 3 days a week. And that’s why you rarely see jobs advertised with this option. So you might have to wait a long time for your dream part time job to crop up OR you might have to compromise by going for a more junior role. That is something to think about carefully.

But redesigning a full-time job down to 4 days, or allowing home-working some of the time, are much easier adjustments for an employer to make. If an interviewer chooses you as the preferred candidate, they’re likely to listen seriously to your request and try to accommodate it.

Don’t believe us? Survey data from Hire Me My Way suggests that amongst people who apply for full-time jobs and ask for flexibility, around 30% have a positive experience. While there’s no guarantee the employer will consider your request, and you should be prepared for disappointment, the approach will sometimes pay off.  

Employer attitudes to ‘flexible hiring’ are getting better all the time. Timewise is working with businesses, getting them to open up to considering flexible working requests at the point of hire. On Timewise Jobs you’ll find many roles advertised where the employer is open to a conversation about flexible working options. And our Hire Me My Way campaign is backed by a growing number of employers who are open to flexible working from day one of a new hire.   

Further help if you want to consider alternatives to 3 days a week

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