Advantages and Disadvantages of Having Multiple Part-Time Jobs
Mom and I work multiple part-time jobs instead of one full-time job, and the arrangement has worked out well. Not everyone would find the arrangement appealing, though. The biggest advantage is flexibility, and the biggest disadvantage is lack of benefits.
Advantages of working multiple part-time jobs are flexibility, ability to pursue multiple interests, and greater ease in finding work. It may not seem logical, but for many with multiple part-time jobs, flexibility is a benefit. Employers of part-time workers often offer flexible scheduling, facilitating employees’ work–life balance. If workers lose one of their jobs or face reduced hours, they can find a new job or ask for increased hours at their other job. For workers in different professions, a sudden lack of demand for one profession doesn’t mean they have to spend time and money learning a new trade to stay employable.
The idea of having more than one profession leads me to the next advantage: chance to pursue multiple interests. If you’re indecisive or have a great variety of interests or skills, choosing a single profession to spend 30+ years in is hard. By having two professions, I keep life interesting and use more of my skills.
The third advantage is greater ease in finding work. Because of the high cost of hiring a full-time employee, companies often split the work of one position between two part-time employees, causing greater demand for part-time workers. An administrative assistant with experience working at a bank and a school may appear more highly qualified to a hiring committee than one with experience in just one environment. Workers without four-year degrees may have greater ease in finding two part-time jobs than one full-time job they have the qualifications for.
Disadvantages of working two or more part-time jobs are lack of benefits and trouble managing time. Few employers offer health insurance and 401(k)s to part-time employees. Health care and saving for retirement eat up part-timers’ earnings.
People who lack skill in time management shouldn’t take on multiple part-time jobs because doing so requires that skill. Certain times of the year, such as December, are extra busy for most companies, and working at two companies doubles workers’ stress during those busy times. Parents may feel overwhelmed by trying to set aside time for each job, their families, and housework. If work schedules are inflexible, this disadvantage worsens.
I’ve listed three advantages and two disadvantages, but the lack of benefits is such a significant downside that my discussion remains balanced. Neither Mom nor I had intended to have two part-time jobs, but the arrangement works for us. It may work for you, too.
Photo: wizzer2801, Flickr Creative Commons
About Darla Word
I'm a writing tutor and editor from Michigan. My favorite subject to write about is writing because making better writers is my calling. I also enjoy reading, singing, swimming, and cardmaking.