It seems like all your friends are buying flashy cars, strutting around in new duds, and putting down 10 percent on beachfront condos. So why are you still living in a one-bedroom apartment, living on chicken soup, and watching Gomer Pyle reruns? Maybe you’ve even considered taking out a small loan just to go on a date. A few extra hundred dollars a month would really hit the spot, but your boss keeps giving you the brush off. It might be time to get a part-time job–but can you handle it? Ask yourself these four questions.
1. How much time do I have to work?
Does your present job already occupy most of your waking hours? Are you overburdened with responsibilities there? Do you often take work home? If so, there’s a chance that a part-time job may not be in your best interest. You might start slacking on your primary job, lose it, and get stuck with just a low-paying part-time job. Assess every hour of your day before filling out any job applications.
2. What kind of work can I do with minimum effort?
This is a part-time job, so obviously it’s not going to be long-term deal. This will merely be something to get you through the lean times. You should work a part-time job for no more than a year, so why not make it fun and easy? If you’re like most people, your best bet in the part-time job market is food or retail. If you go into food, try looking into coffee houses or small diners. The pay will be low, but you can build relationships with the regulars and make a small mint in tips. By the way, you’ll want to avoid fast food restaurants at all costs. If you go into retail, look into music shops, hipster clothing stores, or any store that you usually frequent. The idea is to work somewhere you actually enjoy being.
3. Where should I look for a part-time job?
A stupid question, right? You look for a part-time job in the same place where you found your full-time job or so you might think. Looking for part-time jobs is a little trickier, depending on what you want to do. You’ll have to take a more inventive approach to finding these jobs. If you want to stay on a certain career track, try looking for gigs that involve the skills you already have. If you’re looking for mindless grunt work, inquire at some of the local retail spots. Not only will you have a great time there, but think of the employee discounts! Remember: Part-time jobs are almost always paid on an hourly basis. If you’re only taking home a few hundred bucks a week, perks and discounts are important.
4. Are there certain days I cannot work?
You have to remember that most will want you to work nights and weekends. That’s just how it goes. They know you’re not looking to make a career out of this part-time job, so they give you the hours that their full-time employees don’t want. Can you handle working your regular job during the day and a second job at night and on weekends? Can you do it without whining? If not, you probably won’t be able to handle a part-time job.
Finally, if you have enough down time in your day, why not use those extra hours to look for a new job that pays better and has sweeter perks? If you can make the same amount of bread at one job as opposed to two, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which path to take. Of course, if you plan to go the part-time job route, make sure the position will not overwhelm you with responsibilities. And try to enjoy your time there.