Is part-time the new full time in this economy?

by Jesse Herriott

So, whenyou are searching for employment and can’t find full-time work, you may have to be a bit more creative; you may find that the payoff suits you better.

Typically, when you tune into conversations about having multiple streams of income, you’d expect the average young adult or middle-aged American to be exempt from the conversation. Yet, due to recent economic trends and incremental job growth, many people that were exempt, are now a relevant part of the subject matter. In a 2011 New York Times article, Hannah Seligson suggested that instead of shooting for the typical 9-to-5, there are a growing number of Americans that are finding a way to live from part-time employment. To make this happen, they are either downsizing, having both spouses work part-time jobs or having a single person managing multiple “very” part-time jobs.

Of course there are some serious pros associated with part-time income, the first of them being that you do indeed have a job in the first place; in addition, if you have children, you can save money spent on daycare because you do have availability in your schedule. You can also save money on gas and if you have a spouse, you can both create the full-time equivalent that you need by both of you working part-time. The serious downside to working part-time is the very obvious point of having less money, and you may have to downsize your living arrangements. Although it can be a bit uncomfortable, it is workable; especially if that is the only income you have to work with.

According to recent CNN Money polls, total spending over the Black-Friday holidays hit a record 59.1 billion, which is 13% higher than the numbers from last year, and the total number of shoppers in stores was up 9% from last year. In light of many Americans still questioning the ability to find full-time work in their area of expertise, one of the fundamental ideas that has to be examined is whether or not we have a problem with spending money that we have not earned yet; or what’s worse, spending money that should be applied to more important things.

Typically, when times are difficult, you would expect a decrease in spending; or perhaps those numbers are only reflective of those who have the means to spend. In any case, learning what is essential and what is not is the key to balancing any budget, especially when those items will still be in the stores in the long run, despite the urgency the advertisements suggest exist.

Depending on your level of education, training and experience, your options for employment may vary. However, you still have options; juggling multiple part-time jobs may afford you the breathing room that you need to finally enjoy your life. And if part-time work is all that you have available, it would be wise to take advantage of it, rather than its opposite. This economy has forced many of us to take a second look at how we spend our time, what we value as important, and how we spend our money. So, when you are searching for employment and can’t find full-time work, you may have to be a bit more creative; you may find that the payoff suits you better.


Jesse Herriott is a writer and adjunct professor in Atlanta, GA. Jesse is also completing a PhD in Psychology from NorthCentral University, and is a contributing columnist on


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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