Looking for a part-time job in a full-time world
November 14, 2007 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Can I apply for a full-time position then ask for a part-time job?

There is a decent number of full time jobs available in my technical field, but I'm only interested in a part-time position. Should I stop looking at full-time job postings or can I assume that some of these companies might be willing to hire me on a part-time basis? If so, at what time during the process should I mention that I don't want a full-time position? In my cover letter? Resume? Interview? Upon receiving an offer? Any advice on how to say it and not sound flaky?

More info: I'm a sysadmin. I chose to leave my last job almost a year ago in order to stay home for one year after my daughter was born. The year is almost up and I want rejoin the workforce AND continue to raise my child. I'm only looking locally.
posted by ellenaim to Work & Money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: State up front in your cover letter that you realize the position is full-time, but that you are interested in part-time, if there are any opportunities.

This lets the employer know what you are looking for without having to waste a great deal of time.

Telling them after they have responded to your application means they have already spent time on you and have now wasted it if they don't need anything part-time. And if they actually did have something part-time, they may not be interested in offering it to the person who wasted their time applying for a full-time job she couldn't take because she only wanted to work part-time.
posted by doomtop at 9:24 AM on November 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

I agree with what doomtop said.

When I was looking for a job, a staffing agency set me up with an interview at a company. When I arrived, I learned that something had been missed in the chain of communication, and the job was a short-term temporary assignment. I still did the interview, but I felt it was a big waste of my time, as I was looking for permanent work.

So I can imagine the reverse being true - a company feeling it's wasted its time on a person who's only interested in a part-time job when a full-time job is what's being offered.

Putting your interests up front would eliminate that whole dynamic.
posted by Lucinda at 9:38 AM on November 14, 2007

No later than the beginning of the interview, and ideally well before that.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:41 AM on November 14, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks. It's so obvious when you put it that way.
posted by ellenaim at 9:50 AM on November 14, 2007

In my part of the world we have a concept called "job share", where two people apply for a single full time job with the intent of sharing the work between them. It is quite common, particularly for public sector organizations, to see "job share applications will be accepted for this post". Perhaps you could find someone else in your circumstances, and apply together for full-time jobs on this basis.
posted by Jabberwocky at 3:01 PM on November 14, 2007

(Posting for those who may still be interested in the question...)

Currently jobhunting, I saw the golden job advertised as a full-time position. I sent an e-mail to the person responsible for the recruitment, saying that I found the ad thrilling and thought I was a good fit (don't send your CV at this stage), but would unfortunately only be available for up to 20 hours a week.

She answered enthusiastically that tell-you-what, another applicant just asked the exact same question, so go ahead and jobshares will be considered.

So trying never hurts, and neither does being upfront.
posted by meso at 2:03 PM on July 8, 2008

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