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Negotiating part-time work at the interview stage

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I recently moved because my husband got a job he couldn't turn down  I had a part time job that I loved but now I am looking for work.  Our daughter just turned 2. 

I wanted to know whether anyone has experience convincing an employer to hire them part time when the position was advertised as full time.  Everything I see on the internet is for people who want to transition from full time to part time but stay with the same company.  They talk about negotiating by pointing out how indispensable you have been for however many years.  Since I can't make that argument I was going to propose it as a temporary idea - like let's try this for 3 months and see if you like it.  Also, when should I propose it?  Only after I get an offer, right? 

post #2 of 7

I just got another call back from a company I interviewed with last year (they actually have an opening now). When I sent them my initial information with my resume, I was completely up front about only wanting to work part time. They would prefer someone full time, but are interested in hiring me anyway despite my need for a 3 day work week (I have a two year old as well). At my old job, when I returned from maternity leave, they refused to let me work less than 4 full days a week, despite my long term good status with the company and the fact that they did not want to quit. Four days is much better than 5, but was still overwhelming for me with a new baby. I don't think they ever hired anyone just to work 4 days a week, but allowed several working parents that were already employees more flexible hours with a pay cut (not paying you for the hours you aren't there) after they had children. So, I guess what I'm saying is that it can happen both ways. A lot really depends on the companies needs. If they need someone to be able to be in the office all day, every single day, they aren't going to be as flexible.

 

You need to consider if you will take the job even if it's full time. I was not going to consider working 40+ hours a week, so it would be a waste of everyone's time for me to mislead a potential employer into thinking I was going to work full-time. However, I'm sure a lot of people tossed out my resume purely because of my desire to work part time. If you need and want the job, regardless of the full-time/part-time hours, I would not discuss it until the subject of working hours was breached in an interview. At that time, I would inquire about the typical hours, if people were typically in the workplace all day or working at home or on the road, if they offered flexible hours, etc. It's definitely a touchy subject for some, so you do have to be careful about how and when to approach the subject. Sorry, if that's not 100% clear. Hopefully, you'll get some more feedback.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I was too afraid to write in my cover letter that I am not willing to accept full time.  I feel like I am already picky enough with the jobs I am applying to that I will not get any responses if I have another caveat in there. 

I was thinking of asking for a job share situation if they like the other candidates they have...assuming I get an offer.

post #4 of 7

From the employer's perspective, you are wasting their time interviewing/applying for a job when you don't want to work on the terms advertised. It is very, very annoying to offer someone a job and then have them say they don't want it or only if X,Y,Z.

 

 If you know you only want to work time, be upfront about it. You might be suprised by the reaction. Part time employees are much cheaper.

post #5 of 7

I agree with Judi. Definitely don't waste time of the employer, be clear up front. Yes, many will just trash your resume, but that's because they really want someone full time. But, it would probably make the most of YOUR time if you looked carefully for positions advertised as part-time (I know, there aren't many!). Or, I heard something on the radio the other day about a mommy re-entry program. The lady was suggesting that you offer to VOLUNTEER and work for free for a trial period at a place you would work, with the hope of picking up pay in the future. Think internship, but for re-entry. I know, sounds brutal, and I'm not sure I'd do it, but something to think about. Maybe try to look up that program -- it was a trial program at some consulting company, and was reported on NPR.

 

This is my problem as well -- I really just want part-time, but I have a high degree, so am having a hard time finding the right situation.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I agree that the volunteer into a position can be very successful.  I did that while I was pregnant with our daughter and that organization then found a part time position for me after my maternity leave.  It was ideal under those circumstances but I am not convinced I should put my daughter in day care in order to volunteer in the hopes that I will get a job in the future.

I also have an advanced degree and feel that people on the mommy track may not be taken seriously.  Part time positions seem very limited. 

If anyone has been successful in getting a part time position - by whatever means, I would love to hear from you.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

From the employer's perspective, you are wasting their time interviewing/applying for a job when you don't want to work on the terms advertised. It is very, very annoying to offer someone a job and then have them say they don't want it or only if X,Y,Z.

 

 If you know you only want to work time, be upfront about it. You might be suprised by the reaction. Part time employees are much cheaper.



As someone who hires at a small non-profit it is a huge time drain when I discover an applicant only wants to job under certain circumstances. I actually list hours and salary range when hiring, yet too many times get folks who say well I want xyz $$ or hours despite the fact it's very clear that neither the salary or hours are negotiable. I would suggest that in the cover letter you be upfront that you are not an exact match due to only wanting part time work but mention what you can bring. That way no one's time is wasted and potential employers at least know when they call you what they are looking at.

 

Shay

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