4 Tips To Land The Best Part-Time Jobs
Written By: Ruth Wong
Getting a part-time job that isn’t the best fit is not uncommon. After all, many people who take up part-time jobs may not take it as seriously as they would a full-time position and unknowingly set themselves up for disappointment.
Although your part-time job is temporary, there's no reason why you shouldn't make the most of it. Here are 4 things to keep in mind so that you can secure the part-time jobs that are right for you.
1. Be Clear Of Your Goals
Know what you want to achieve
What do you want to get out of the job? Is it the money, the experience, a bit of both, or something else? Make sure the assignment matches your goals.
If money is what you're after, knowing the market rate for the role you're applying for will prevent you from being short changed. If you have relevant experience and skills, make sure that is fairly reflected in what they pay you. Also check out your employment rights as a part-time employee here and here.
Remember, even if you are doing it for the moolah, there are still other factors you should consider before jumping in. On a cautionary note, if the pay sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t get scammed!
2. Know What You Are Getting Into
Find out the full job scope and learn as many details as you can about the job. Before your interview, prepare a list of questions to ask your interviewer. You should also consider the following factors in your job search:
- Working environment
- Working hours (including night and weekend shifts) and your availability
- Distance from home
- Colleagues and supervisors you will be working with
- Required skills and/or experience
Once you have the information you need, think about what you like or don’t like doing, and your strengths and weaknesses. Most people end up in jobs they hate because they forget to consider their preferences or think that these won’t matter. Of course, if the part-time job is a short stint, you may overlook some of the above factors, but if you are going to be in it for months, it pays to be more ‘picky’.
Ask yourself: do you mind waking up every morning before daybreak (ladies, you may need to factor in time for makeup), five days a week, and travel for over an hour to get to your workplace? Not forgetting the longer the distance, the higher the transport cost.
3. Think Longer-Term
You are going to spend weeks or even months at your part-time job, so you might as well make the best out of it. Look for part-time gigs that will offer a good learning experience and the chance to develop marketable skills. This is a great way to build your resume and work experience helps to get you ahead of the pack.
Taking up a part-time job can also be a great way to try out a role that you have interest in. You may find out that it wasn’t what you imagined, or you might discover a real innate talent for it.
Sometimes, when there is no full-time position available, part-time work can be a great way to “get your foot in the door”. Ryan Seacrest, best known as the host of “American Idol”, had an interest in becoming a radio disc jockey since young. At 16, he became an intern at an Atlanta radio station and when the regular DJ called in sick, he got the chance to go on air. Later, he was offered the weekend overnight shift and he stayed with the station while attending the University of Georgia.
Similarly, your part-time job could become your lucky break. The fact is, most employers are happy to offer capable part-time employees permanent employment (now or in the future). After all, they had put in time and effort to train you.
4. Look Beyond The Big Boys
Smaller companies can offer a myriad of unique experiences
Don't just stick to big corporations or established organisations, says Chan Ngee Key, Chief Career Strategist, Springboard Talent and co-founder, ForteCentral. Keep an open mind and consider small and medium-sized companies too, he advises.
Perhaps less 'glamorous' than some large organisations, smaller companies, because of their limited resources, allow you the chance to wear multiple hats and get exposure to different functions outside your main scope of work. Close-knit teams are also common in smaller companies where there is less hierarchy. You might even end up working alongside the big boss.
“So while the compensation may sometimes be lower than established organisations, the breadth of experience can be invaluable to your future career,” says Chan.
Who you work for matters as much as where you work. Where possible, work for someone you respect and whom you know you can learn from.
So don’t take your part-time gig lightly. It can turn out to be the bridge to your dream career.
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