When you first graduate from college, you will be competing with a lot of people for an entry-level position. If you are looking for a new job after a layoff you may be in a similar position, where you are looking for a position, and you need any work that you can find.
Some employers are not offering full-time work or even a guaranteed number of hours. This is happening in all types of work at several different companies. Some companies may be reluctant to take on full-time employees, because they are unsure of how fast the economy is growing, and they do not want to hire someone for more hours than they need, plus they can save on benefits. This means that you will not make as much as you expected with your first job. It may be difficult but there are strategies you can use to help you live off of a part-time job.
Determine If the Job Is Right for You
If you find yourself in a position where you are offered a part-time position, you will need to consider your options carefully. It is difficult to fully commit to a part-time position, while you are struggling to get by and really need full-time work.
First, consider how much the part-time position will pay you. Often this is higher than you would make at a full-time job outside of your skill set. You may be able to make twice as much as you would at a job at a minimum wage job. You may be able to make ends meet by working the higher paying job and supplementing with another part-time job that pays less money.
It is also important to consider the experience that the job is providing you. For example, if you have just graduated from college and did not complete any internships, you may not have very much work experience in your job field.
If this is the case, working a part-time job in your field may give you an edge over other candidates with no experience. It also can demonstrate that you are a reliable worker and give you contacts within your field. You may be able to find freelancing work you can do while you are working at your part-time job.
Start With a Plan for Your Finances
The trick to taking on a part-time job is to find a way to manage your finances while you are working part-time. A part-time worker may not qualify for benefits such as health insurance and retirement. You will need to make plans so that you can afford to have health care and make regular contributions to your retirement accounts. In fact, you may want to treat your finances the same way you would if you were self-employed or working as a freelancer.
Create a Tight Budget
You will also need to create a budget and determine if you can afford to live on the income from just the one job. Your budget will help you prioritize the most important expenses and should help you find ways to save money. You may need to get creative when looking for ways to save, like moving back in with your parents to save on rent or you may want to consider a roommate. You may need to cut back on eating out and other unnecessary expenses.
Consider Working Two Jobs
You may need to take on additional work to make ends meet. If you are married, you may be able to get by with just a part-time job for a few months, but if you are living on your own or if you are the only income provider, you will need to find additional ways to make money.
You may want to consider jobs that will net you more per hour than typical minimum wage jobs. Hours in the evenings or at nights can also leave the days free to look for work around your other job. Be creative as you consider other jobs to take.
Keep Looking for a New Job
It can be physically draining to work two jobs, even if they are both part-time hours. While you are working, you need to keep an eye out for a full-time job in your field. You should look for a full-time position in your current company because you may have an advantage in getting an interview and landing your job.
Make sure that you are doing your very best work since you are building references and contacts with this job. It is easy to not take a part-time job, as seriously as you possibly could, but when you are struggling to find full-time work you do not want to make this mistake.
Once you have a schedule figured out and you get used to working two jobs it is often easier for you to begin looking for a job again in earnest. It is important that you do not settle into a financial rut of part-time work because you will need a full-time job to do the things you need to financially. Make sure you are still working your contacts and looking for a solid full-time job.