Take a part-time job or wait for a full time job?
September 24, 2007 6:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm a speech pathologist looking for a full-time job but have been offered a part-time job with a minimum 6-month commitment. Should I take the job or continue searching for a full-time job?

I just moved to Chicago and have been looking for a full-time job as a speech-pathologist in a hospital. (I was working in the school setting last year, but prefer the medical setting.) In the past few months of searching, nothing has really opened up.

I was offered a part-time position in a medical setting which the employers want me to commit to for at least 6 months. They're taking patients off their waiting list to give to me, so if I leave after a short while, these patients won't have anyone to see them. The hours are from 2-7pm three days a week and 8-1 pm once a week.

With the hours being so loopy, it'll be hard to find another part-time position that's flexible enough to make me work full-time. If I take this part time job, I won't be able to quit if a full-time opportunity comes up elsewhere. But if I don't take it, there might not be another position for a long time. Financially, I can afford to work part-time until March of next year, but it's not ideal. If I take the part-time position, it may or may not lead to a full-time position. I think it's 50/50.

Should I take this part-time position or should I keep on looking and hope that a full-time position opens up?
posted by poq to Work & Money (6 answers total)
IANASP, but it seems to me that you can continue to seek full-time work while honing your skills in the part-time position.

You will be doing exactly what you are trained to do and perfecting your expertise. Though I am a different kind of scientist, I would imagine that this experience will improve your CV/resume and give you added credibility.

What are the terms of your contract? Now that I am in business, I am familiar with the me-first attitude that is universally accepted. Would breaking the terms of your employment mean certain death in your industry? I'm sure the speech pathologist mefites will better be able to answer this, but in my experience it is easier to get a job when one has a job.

Another thing, and I am certain you already know this, but do your best and keep your ears open - you never know what doors this part-time position will open. At worst, you will meet new people in and of your field and it could only help you.

I wish you the best.
posted by frumious bandersnatch at 6:28 PM on September 24, 2007

I know how agonizing these decisions can be, but my sense is that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, as the saying goes. You're fresh in town, you have a way to make money until you find your permanent gig, and this job allows you plenty of opportunity to do morning interviews (and one afternoon per week) once you start getting closer to the close of your committment.
posted by rhizome at 7:05 PM on September 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

You could always take the part-time job and do per diem work in the meantime. It's always been my understanding that per diem work is pretty flexible. The schedule would bite, but it would be workable for six months.
posted by christinetheslp at 7:06 PM on September 24, 2007

I am not an SLP, but I work with them frequently. In my neck of the woods there is a real scarcity of competent SLPs. If Chicago is like here, then once you got in the door at the med job and did a great job, people wouldn't stop knocking on your door with other work/contracts.

Here there is also a shortage of private SLPs. If you were here you could take the medical job and because the hours are regular, pick up private contracts to fill the slots around it.

It seems to me that taking the med job would likely put your name out there in the field in the setting in which you would ideally want to work, and that this should be the first priority. But picking up private contracts on the side would allow you to put some more irons in the fire in case you need them, and would pick up the pay gap of the part time job.
posted by kch at 7:52 PM on September 24, 2007

One of the best resources for finding SLP openings has been Indeed.com. In our area (Milwaukee), they usually turn up several medical SLP positions a week(plus it does all the work for you).
posted by drezdn at 7:09 AM on September 25, 2007

Response by poster: I decided to take the part-time job. It's been great and I'm glad I did it. Thanks!
posted by poq at 10:47 AM on October 16, 2007

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