Do I take the part time job?
August 20, 2018 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Is it better to work 15 hours a week or keep looking?

It's true, I asked an acquaintance to put in a good word for me. So in a sense I almost feel obligated to accept. I've only been out of work about 3 weeks (although they sent me the writing on the wall a couple months ago). I have enough savings to live for 3-4 months if I'm careful, and my unemployment came through Friday (they subtract that from any work I get, of course). It's a weird state formula, but it's basically 2/3 of my prior income -- plenty to live on. Did I mention I'm frugal?

The job: A 15 hour a week city desk job with no benefits and no chance of going full-time (but I'd be in the City system). Some outdoor, which I like. Sounds like the manager is not heavy on over-supervising (he is over two facilities anyway).
posted by intrepid_simpleton to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Unless it will mess with your unemployment I would take the 15 hours a week AND keep looking.
posted by lyssabee at 12:14 PM on August 20, 2018 [27 favorites]

Consider that it could also put your acquaintance in a bad spot if they hire and train you only to have you bail when you get a full-time spot. Maybe you can ask them if it would be a problem?
posted by quince at 12:44 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another plus to this is that it will add variety to your week. I'd be concerned about how long they expect you to stay, since you should keep looking and might find something a week after you start. I'd ask your new new job to allow you to give the old new job 2 weeks notice in any case.
posted by soelo at 12:46 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

I agree with Quince about checking with your friend just as a nice gesture. But I feel like it's hiring manager beware with part-time jobs and people past a certain career stage. They should already know you're going to up and leave. Just do a great job while you're there--organize the supply closet or the database or what have you.
posted by 8603 at 12:58 PM on August 20, 2018

Being employed generally makes you more employable - don't be deceptive but there's no reason to point out that the work is part time on your resume. Unless it's completely outside of your field, it will probably help you find the next job.
posted by Candleman at 1:01 PM on August 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

Another factor to consider: being 100% unemployed can really mess with your mental state. Unless it will really screw with your unemployment benefits or cost you more in transportation to and from than you would take home, I would take the job.
posted by vignettist at 1:06 PM on August 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

So far I've found plenty to keep me busy (learning and navigating the Unemployment website is a task in itself!) At least in this state, I can make 25% of my weekly benefit then they start subtracting dollar for dollar. I guess my main concern is still having asked someone to put in a good word.
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 1:12 PM on August 20, 2018

This job puts you in the "City system" as in an employee of a city government? That is golden! You can try to wrangle yourself into a position where you can be an inside bidder when part or full-time positions are listed by HR. Maybe doing something that would be more interesting and for which you could be even better qualified. Many larger employers post positions only for current employees for several weeks before opening them to outsiders. You will probably have to make it through a probationary period before being allowed to bid, but this is the sort of insider information your friend would be able to help with.

Even if you have a temporary reduction in your unemployment benefits, if working for this employer is something you'd consider, it would probably be worth it. Often government jobs have middle of the road salaries, but outstanding benefits and pensions rarely matched by private employers.

Again, a golden opportunity I would consider strategically.
posted by citygirl at 3:30 PM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I worked for the county for years. A more dysfunctional group of people you would only find on a TV sitcom. But I digress....
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 3:53 PM on August 20, 2018

Is it better to work 15 hours a week or keep looking? Lots of good points above, but the decision comes down to you and your particular situation. You already know this position isn't going full-time, and you don't sound that jazzed about continuing with this sort of employer anyway.

If the concern is that you'll offend the helpful acquaintance, say you're so sorry you forgot to stress that you were looking for full-time work, exclusively, when the two of you spoke about your job search. If they put in that good word from hearing second-hand about your job loss, then they made an assumption; they're certainly still great for trying to assist, and you're certainly still thankful for that.

If you happen to feel more detail is necessary, you can make a conversational hand-wave toward part-time employment messing with your health insurance (a murky, off-putting topic). I wouldn't delve into your unemployment benefits, your frugality, or your finances in general.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:34 AM on August 21, 2018

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