Part-time work: can I make it work?
December 7, 2010 9:17 AM Subscribe
I daydream about quitting my job and spending a few months working part-time while I figure out my next career move. Feasible or foolish?
posted by Metroid Baby to Work & Money (22 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I've been working in the same field for four years, and at my most recent job for a little over one year. I kind of fell into this line of work, and I never planned on doing it forever. I'd like to change careers in the next year or two, but I don't really know how, or to what, and don't have many transferable skills. (This will probably be the subject of a future question.)
While I'm not quite burnt out at my current job, I seem to be heading in that direction. I'm itching for a break. However, I don't want to quit without anything lined up, because I need money and something to do with my day, and I doubt I'm senior enough to be granted any sort of leave. Finding a different awesome job seems like too tall of an order, and finding a similar job at a different company seems like it would just be more of the same.
My dream is to take a chunk of time off, between three and six months, and find a part-time job somewhere that I really enjoy, and spend the rest of my time working on personal projects and developing new skills that I could transfer to a new career. Kind of a semi-sabbatical. The part-time job would be mostly to experience something new, get me out of the house, and keep a little bit of external structure, but I'd need the money, too.
The kicker is that I don't have very much saved. If I lost my job tomorrow, I could squeak by for a couple months, but I don't have nearly enough to feel comfortable quitting. And I don't know of any part-time jobs that I'm qualified for that pay more than a pittance. I don't know how many part-time jobs exist, period, besides retail and service jobs. (Which I would consider, given the right work environment.) I have no debt and no unusual expenses, and I'd like to keep things that way.
My ideal part-time job would be three to four days a week with a consistent schedule (same hours each day), an informal and cheerful environment, moderately social (no hard selling, but I don't want to sit in a cubicle by myself all day), and easy to compartmentalize - I don't want to take work or work stress home with me. And I want to have a physical workplace to go to, rather than telecommuting or constantly traveling.
So, my questions:
1. How doable is this, generally speaking? Is this a total fantasyland plan?
2. Are there any part-time jobs that provide the environment I'm looking for, and that pay decently? I know I'll be making significantly less money no matter what, but I don't want to be making minimum wage.
3. How should I budget for this, so I don't have to worry about going broke? Should I expect to be living off my savings?
4. Is there anything else I should be taking into consideration? What else should I plan for, and what questions should I be asking myself?
Anecdotes are welcome if you've done something similar. And if this is a bad idea, please talk me down. Thanks!