11/09/2022 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Should I Take That Part-Time Job?

Wood blocks with letters spelling time, one block with part on one side and full on the other

Finally! After months of searching, you’ve been offered a job. The only problem? The position is part time. Should you take it?

Like so many situations in personal and professional lives, the answer is: it depends. Sometimes a part-time or mid-year position is absolutely the right call to advance your career. At other times, it might be worthwhile to keep waiting it out. If you’re in a part-time pickle, here are some questions to ask yourself.

1.  Is it “good-fit” work?

Remove the “part-time” or “mid-year” portion of the equation and ask yourself: If this were a full-time job, how would I feel about it? If the work you will be doing is in your wheelhouse, and you already know you’ll love being in the classroom and engaging with this subject matter, that’s significant.

If, however, this isn’t exactly the type of work you want to do (maybe it’s a chemistry job, but your real passion is for physics, or it’s a general elementary school job, when you’d rather focus on art), then don’t let desperation be the decision-maker.

2.  What's the school like?

If this position is at your dream school, then it might be worth getting the proverbial foot in the door. Give yourself the opportunity to form relationships that might help you leverage part-time or mid-year work into a full-time position, or explore other possibilities that might arise once you’re an internal candidate.

If you’re telling yourself you’ll “suck it up” at a school that’s less than what you want for a few months, then accepting the position might not be the best bet.

3.  What are your long-term options?

For some, it is easy to parlay a part-time or mid-year position into years of full-time employment. When you’re being hired for this type of work, it’s okay to ask the hiring contact what, if any, opportunities there are to become a full-time employee. If the school might consider extending your hours or contract in a few months (and you like the work and the school), then part-time could be a great option.

4.  Where are you in the recruitment season?

Independent schools operate on a fairly predictable hiring timeline, listing the majority of positions in the early winter and completing hiring by the spring. If it’s early fall and you’re out of luck and in need of a position for the current school year, you might want to accept this position while you search for the following year. If it’s early January, though, you might want to consider what other options you have and distill whether you want to accept the job because you want it, or because you’re nervous about what other opportunities may or may not arise.

5.  Does it offer benefits?

While you might prefer to work more hours, there can still be perks to part-time. Ask the school if you’ll be included on benefits like healthcare, dental insurance, and time off. If so, the position might become more attractive.

6.  Will this job fill any gaps in your resume?

Throughout the job search process, it’s important to reflect on reasons why you might not be getting more interviews or offers. Listen to feedback from schools: do you need more experience, either in terms of time or in a particular area? Do you need to hone your craft? Consider what you wish was on your resume, and ask yourself: will this position help me fill that gap?

If so, the part-time or mid-year nature of the work won’t matter so much in the long run if it can help you land your next full-time job. Treat the position as an opportunity to develop as an educator — and make yourself a more attractive candidate the next time around.

Still on the fence? Talk to your Placement Team.

No job search comes without some tough decision making. That's why, as a Carney Sandoe candidate, you partner with your own Placement Team who can help you talk through your options and serves as a sounding board when important decisions arise. Your Team is just a phone call or an email away, and we encourage you to use us as a resource and advocate.

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