Skip to main content

Full-time VS Part-time; which is right for you?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 18 Jan 2021

Part time vs Full time Hero Image

Life changes all the time and our level of responsibilities can increase or decrease over time. Sometimes you may have no choice but to re-think your work situation.  When life changes, you should work your professional life around your personal life, it helps you achieve a good work-life balance and you’re more likely to feel positive about your job. There are pros and cons to both forms of working hours, so you’ll probably have to take some time thinking about your options before you decide!

Advantages of part-time

More Time – One of the biggest advantages to part-time working is the extra free time you may have. Sometimes there are other things in life we would want to put first, but work ends up getting in the way. With part time working, you can potentially spend more time with family and friends, volunteering or simply having more time to yourself.

Less stress? – With more free time, comes less commitment and stress. (Depending on your other responsibilities) Less time spent in a workspace can help reduce the effects of burnout and can leave you feeling ready for the next day and not dreading it.

Pursue other projects – With part time work, you will have set hours for that job. You might work everyday but less hours or you might work full days but for less days a week. Either way, you will have more time to try other things if you wanted. You might want to work on a volunteering job and gain some new skills from that, or you might want to also work for another company working on a project you want to be a part of. The extra hours you have in the week are yours and it’s up to you how you use them!

Potential to create new job opportunities – Sometimes you may want to work for an amazing company but the only position they have available is part-time? As long as it’s still relevant to the career goals you want to achieve, then it can help you open doors that might not have been there otherwise. You can work for the company, demonstrate your skills and hopefully when a full-time position opens up, you will be considered.

Disadvantages of part-time

Less pay – Working part-time hours, if you don’t have another project or job ongoing will lead to you receiving less pay than if you were full time. This is a pretty obvious disadvantage, but you’ll have to weight out the positives and negatives to decide if it’s the right path for you or financially viable.

Usually less employee benefits – Another disadvantage that most people would have come to terms with is the lack of employee benefits when you work part-time hours. A lot of companies still add you to their employee benefit scheme regardless of contract hours, but it’s something to think about when applying for a role. Especially if you would benefit from some of their ‘added extras’.

Doing more with less time – With part-time work, you work less hours. Sometimes, probably only in the busier times of the year, you might end up with more work to do with less time to do it than other employees. Whereas this can be stressful, it probably won’t last for long. Or if you have concerns, it’s best to take it up with your manager. There are always ways around it, but it’s always best to be ready for whatever may be thrown at you.

Advantages of Full-time work

You have a fixed schedule and salary – With a full-time job, more often than not you know what to expect. The daily and weekly hours are usually always the same and your salary will be a fixed rate because of this. A benefit of everything being the same every week is the ability to plan around your job. You know what to expect and depending on your sector, you are likely to get the same 2 days off a week.

More annual leave and sick pay – Another advantage of full-time work is the fixed amount of annual leave you receive a year. You are likely to receive more paid holiday when you are working full-time hours. As well as holiday, when you’re ill, your employer is more likely to pay you sickness allowance. In part-time roles, sick pay is still available, but they often provide you with less.  

The potential to advance in your career – Some may argue that if you are a good engineer, you can advance in your career regardless of whether you are full-time or part-time staff. Where this is true, being in the workplace for longer hours and scheduled days of the week is a bit of an advantage. If you are working more, it’s easier to be noticed when you’re there all the time.

Disadvantages of full-time hours

Less time and flexibility – The typical working time for a full-time employee is 9-5, 5 days a week. This is significantly more time at work than part-time hours and some people can really start to feel the strain of it after a while. If you stick a commute onto that time as well, you have even less time at home. There often isn’t much leeway in your hours either. Unless you take annual leave, you have to plan your life around work and not the other way around.

Work can become repetitive – Some people enjoy waking up in the morning and having the same daily routine, it’s what they enjoy doing. However, for others, doing the same thing everyday can become boring and cause the feeling of burnout at work. Not everyone feels this is a negative thing but think about it before applying for your next role.

Some employers may not want you having another job – Some full-time employers don’t like it when you have another part-time role, whether that be in the evenings or on the weekend. (Not that you have to tell them anyway) But getting involved in other projects may be more difficult with full-time work.

Job seeking can be more difficult – Eventually, you might want to start looking for a new role. Job seeking can be difficult anyway but searching and working a full-time job can create more stress for you. It is completely doable and plenty of other professionals do it. But if you think you’re going to be looking for a new job soon, simply because you like change, why not look for something a little less time consuming?

As you can see there are both advantages and disadvantages to both part-time and full-time work, but it’s all about finding what is right for you at the time. Assess what else you have going on right now and go from there. If you chose part-time work now, there’s nothing stopping you from getting a full-time job in the future if it’s just not for you. The choices you make now won’t stand for the rest of your career, so take time to read through and go from there! Maybe now will be the time that you try something new?