Tips & traps of working part-time

If you've ever daydreamed about working less hours, returning to a shorter week after having a baby or reducing your work days before retirement, there's a lot to consider before making the move to a changed lifestyle.

 Australia has one of the highest rates of part-time, temporary or self-employed workers in the world (over 35%)1, who earn more per hour than their full-time colleagues. Traditional part-timer workers include women (over 43%), people caring for elderly relatives, pre-retirees and those pursuing their studies.

But perhaps you don’t fit this mould? Maybe you’re a young father wanting to spend more time with your family, an executive who wants a more balanced lifestyle, or you’re moving towards the next stage of your life and you just want to work fewer hours.

Changing the way you work is a big decision, so before you get excited about working a shorter week, you need to think about whether it’s the right decision for you. Here are some tips to consider, as well as some potential traps to avoid.

What are the benefits of working part-time?

  1. Enjoy your new lifestyle. You’ll have more time, so don’t waste it! Set up a meeting with the family every week so they can get involved with your plans and help you with the household chores. Get physical! With less time spent on travelling and working, you’ll have more time to devote to getting fit. Get those joggers on and start walking!
  2. Be your own social network. Take time out to spend with your family, catch up with friends for coffee or take the children to the park.
  3. Invest time in yourself and others. Take up yoga, join a library, volunteer for community work or visit an ailing relative.
  4. Boost your retirement funds. If you’re planning to retire soon, you’ll still be earning an income, so you won’t need to draw down on your super.

What else do I need to consider?

  1. Be realistic about your finances and whether you can afford to earn less income. Work out your budget and calculate whether your new income will stack up against your ongoing expenses, as well as those unexpected purchases, such as a new fridge.
  2. Even though you’ll be working less days, don’t fall into the trap of working longer hours. If you are moving from five days a week to three, you need to make sure your workload fits into your new time frame.
  3. Research2 tells us that part-time workers can be sidelined for promotions or training opportunities because they are seen as being less committed than their full-time colleagues. 
  4. Earning less now might have impact on your future super funds. You need to consider whether working fewer hours will allow you to still enjoy the lifestyle you want to have in your retirement.

What’s next?

If you’ve worked out all your finances and you feel you’re ready to move to a shorter working week, then you’re living the dream! Now you’ll have time to plan and do what you really want with your life.

But if you need help to work out whether you can afford to reduce your working hours or income, or if you would like advice about how this could affect your future, we are happy to help. Call us on 131 267 or find a financial adviser.

It’s never too late to start owning your tomorrow.

1 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-12/australia-casual-workforce-masking-unemployment-figures/4749900

2 http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/parttime-work-hoax-five-days-squeezed-into-three/story-e6frfm9r-1226827452571

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.