Working Part-Time Isn’t Always A Compulsion. Sometimes, It’s A Choice.


Everybody is different. We all have unique lifestyles and philosophies, and most of them are accepted as personal choices. Why then, when it comes to our professional life, do so many of us regard working full-time as the default standard? Isn’t the number of hours one wants to devote to work a personal choice too, and an extremely crucial one at that?

If like me, you are one of the people who want/do work part-time, you have probably felt that you are lazy, weak, demotivated, etc. Whether these feelings are because of society or your inner critic, know that they aren’t true. You have nothing to be ashamed of.  And no, you don’t have to be differently abled or expecting to be “allowed” to avail of this choice.

Unfortunately, we live in times where maximum busyness and productivity have become a glorified way of life. Anything lesser is an abomination, a sign that you aren’t hustling, that you are wasting your life. Honestly, working longer hours doesn’t make anyone better than those who put in lesser hours, and vice versa.

What’s important is doing what makes you feel sane, happy and fulfilled, whatever that might be. So, if more free time is what satisfies you and/or staves off depression, burnout, stress, etc, working part-time is what you should do. Conversely, if you are happiest in a full-time gig, that’s awesome too. We must live our own truth, and respect each other’s choices. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

PS This isn’t a “millennial problem”, nor is it something unrealistic. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what Mohit Satyanand has to say. Let’s put our health and happiness above what society deems normal or acceptable. That’s the least we can do for ourselves, right?

7 thoughts on “Working Part-Time Isn’t Always A Compulsion. Sometimes, It’s A Choice.”

  1. Ah, norms and values versus unwritten rules made by society. I think most people who disapprove of “abnormal” behaviour are just jealous: because they wouldn’t dare to be like that themselves. Or maybe because they weren’t the ones who thought of doing things differently. Whatever it is, you only get one life so you better live it the way you want :)

    1. Exactly! And ‘if you can’t join them, judge them’ is probably their philosophy :/ But yes, in the end, one should live life the way they see fit.

  2. While I would totally agree that social standards should never dictate your chosen work, it does go much deeper than a simple personal preference of part time vs full time. Personal satisfaction, fulfillment, free time for other interests are all very valid aspects of work however, one should also forward plan.
    All other things being equal, the future will be one day become the present. Does part time work compliment that expectation. Many full time jobs will incorporate benefits (sick time, pension plan, opportunities for change, progressive salary). Does your part time work? In the future, your health could be a concern…….. will you be able to get appropriate treatment? If you need to take some time off work for personal reasons…. will your part-time work accommodate it by maintaining your income? Given ongoing cost of living changes ….. will your part-time job keep pace and, if it does not, what other part-time opportunities could there be?
    Finally, following the traditional path of full time employment gives you an opportunity to establish yourself with a given employer such that other opportunities may well become available.
    I think your concept of work is very good. I have worked part-time, and also on a simple barter system (I log the hours and claim company product). That choice of work can be remarkable but you must think long term and have some concept of your life (e.g.) over 40 yrs old when age is a factor in hiring new staff.
    Please think it through very carefully. Enjoy your freedom, but you are going to get older and your financial needs are going to change. Plan accordingly.

    1. Colin, you present some very valid points. However, what I am trying to say is that first off, we should permit ourselves to be who we are – and then plan accordingly. And of course, we should respect and support each other. Only if we do this will our employers make reforms that benefit us. At the very least, we should try out different kinds of work—be it full-time, part-time or freelance—without feeling guilty or inadequate. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

      PS Glad to know you approve! So what did your part-time job involve?

      1. I had a part-time paid job as a teenager delivering groceries on a bicycle. I later had one working behind a bar in a hotel. I also painted the interior of a synagogue over a few evenings and weekends, and I worked part time in a local bicycle store.
        I also did part time volunteer jobs running a church youth group; worked in Toronto East General Hospital’s Crisis Intervention Unit; coached a long distance running group; coached and led a cycling group. They were all fun and an education, but I could not live off any of them! :)

  3. If you feel happiest working part-time, you should go for it. If you prefer full-time, that’s good too. I don’t think one pattern is perfect for everyone.

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