How to Find a Part-Time Job After Lockdown
Part-Time work opportunities are hard to find and even harder to secure. I look back to the recession in 2007-2008 as being one of the most significant moments to hit the part-time job market. Overnight part-time workers and their roles were cut from the economy. Business’ was fighting for its life and part-time workers took the brunt of things.
Since that point, part-time opportunities have come back to the market in small numbers. Those part-time jobs that are available tended to have anti-social hours, limited flexibility, and low pay. In short, organizations no longer see part-time workers as a nice add-on.
They want to see a significant commercial return of investment off the back of them.
So, how do you find and secure a part-time job when the economy faces record job losses and may enter a recession? Well firstly define your expectations and move forward accordingly.
Broadly speaking you have a choice of looking at either low skilled, easier to obtain part-time work– think retail or hospitality work. Or, roles that are more intellectually challenging and considered career opportunities – think part-time office manager.
Nothing is wrong with either choice. This is your part-time job, therefore decide what you want? It probably comes down to where you are in your career and what else is going on in your life. If you are a student your priority is easy money while you focus on your studies.
If you are a Mum returning to work you may have a raft of skills from your earlier career that you want to keep building on. So, the job itself (and childcare!) are your priorities.
Your expectations and what you prioritize as important to you define how/where you search for part-time work.
Firstly, though let’s highlight a couple of key things every part-time candidate should detail in their applications. If you are not communicating these details you are not presenting your application in the strongest light.
What to Communicate in Your Application?
Why do you want a part-time job? Are you a student, a Mum returning to work, maybe you are juggling other part-time jobs?
Whatever your situation you need to scream it out loud and proud so a recruiter understands your agenda. Some applications I receive and read leave me clueless as to why this person applied for part-time work.
Guess what happens to that application when I already have several applicants telling me why part-time work is needed? Yep – at best it goes to the bottom of the pile.
If you don’t have a clear reason for part-time work then even bigger alarm bells will go off with a potential employer. They will start to question if this is just a stop-gap until something more suitable comes along for you.
What hours can you work and over what period of time? This is vital! You’d be amazed at how little flexibility an employer tends to have. They do not want to try squeezing a square peg into a round hole. They just know they have X number of hours of work that needs to be done at a given time…does your application match this? If you don’t provide the details of what you can do and how flexible you are then you could miss out.
Finally, do not underestimate the importance of a good CV. Part-time jobs need more than a part-time application! You need a good CV. Part-time work is highly sought after, therefore do not be slapdash in your approach. It is an employer’s market right now and you need to sell yourself every step of your application. That begins with a good CV.
Part-Time Work After the Lockdown
You may be surprised to read this, but I think trying to find part-time work post lockdown could be a golden opportunity. Yes – reread that last sentence if you like.
This is my thinking though…many of the service, hospitality, and tourist sectors in the economy will have let part-time workers go over the last 4 months. As companies move out of lockdown, they will need staff. In many of these cases, we are talking about the low-skilled roles that tend to be customer-facing.
Now – granted plenty of business’ will have collapsed due to COVID-19, and others will be on their knees with a lack of working capital. So, it is not going to be a part-time job frenzy where you take your pick. But, be positive, accept today is a good day to find a part-time job and then make it happen in these unusual times.
If you are a student make contact with your career advisor and see if any local employers have said they need part-time staff. Hit the high street and drop your CV with every establishment that is open. Use social media channels such as Facebook and community job boards like Friday Ad which allow the posting of free adverts online.
It will be hard work; many businesses are still closed. But as the furlough scheme starts to reduce then so organizations are going to have to get back to work.
Remote Part-Time Work
I heard a terrible description recently about the new class system that will be created in society; those that can work from home and those that can’t. It sounds terrible and I don’t agree with it, but certainly, the majority of part-time work requiring low skillsets are going to involve going to a place of work rather than logging-in from home.
To put things crudely you are of no use working from home if your job is flipping burgers or pulling pints.
There are of course many exceptions to this statement and yes thanks to digital work practices some part-time work will be home-based. But this blog is not looking to debate where remote working comes into play. I am simply going to say it could be an option for some, but on what scale I don’t know.
My bigger point is that lockdown is easing. So, if you need a part-time job more options will start appearing. You just need to make sure you are at the front of the queue.
Mums Returning to Work
You may be a Mum returning to work, a high achiever in the autumn of your career or you could be seeking part-time work for other reasons. But granted some candidates want a part-time role that they can see as being a continuation of their career rather than a stopgap.
The complaint I frequently hear from these candidates is that many of the part-time roles on offer do not offer the intellectual, spiritual, or financial rewards they want.
Sound familiar? Well, I said it above and I’ll say it again…. I think trying to find part-time work post lockdown could be a golden opportunity.
Yes, yes – it won’t be easy but let me explain. The current economic downturn has seen many businesses lose 90%-100% of their turnover. It is not a normal recession where turnover drops by 20% and they struggle by. Corporations have eaten into their savings and the future is looking highly ambiguous.
In many cases, workers who are full time are being eased back part-time. The customers and the cash flow mean it has to be that way. The result is full-time workers are either going to be grateful for that, or they are going to look for other fulltime roles so they can pay the bills.
Again, we are not talking about a seismic change for part-time candidates. I am not suggesting the downfall of full-time work…but I am talking about there potentially being more opportunities out there over the next six months that there has been previously.
Therefore, now is the moment to start rolling your sleeves up and get busy with things. Post your CV to job boards for recruiters to find it. Look at some specialist part-time job boards. Join some online network meetings (they are all the rage now) and become active on LinkedIn again. Talk to recruitment agencies maybe send your CV through on spec to some businesses if you fancy working for them. Start applying for roles!
I know some of you will be saying now isn’t the right time because the kids have just broken up from school or you are going on holiday in August. That is fine, this is going to be a slow evolution that will start rollout across the rest of the year.
There you have it…set your expectations, tailor your application to explain why you want part-time work, and what flexibility you have and then GO FOR IT.
Economies across the globe are in turmoil. Companies are starting to emerge from lockdown and need to figure out how to service their clients and customers – but they have no idea what the future holds.
Part-time workers are suddenly an attractive option for many businesses. Therefore, don’t make excuses just seize the moment!
About The Author
Simon Royston is the founder and Managing Director of The Recruitment Lab (A recruitment agency with offices in Aldershot and Brighton that offers employment services across Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and beyond). Simon lives in Guildford and has worked in Recruitment for over a decade. He has a degree and a masters in psychology as well as a diploma in Human Resource Management. If you would like to know more about anything written in this blog or would simply like to express your own thoughts and opinions do not hesitate to contact Simon through The Recruitment Lab website.