Part-time goes professional

Thursday, November 13th 2008, 4:00 pm
By: News 9

By Ed Murray, NEWS 9

With so many layoffs taking place across the country, full time work can be hard to find.

More than six million people are forced to take part-time jobs, and now more than 19 million Americans are opting to getting jobs that only require 20 or 30.

When Jessica Smith decided she wanted to spend more time with her son, she set out to find a part time job.

"I have eight years professional experience in business development, marketing and recruitment," Smith said. "I was looking for something flexible and family-friendly."

Looking for work?

Smith now works only 20 to 25 hours a week as an executive at a new social shopping network.

A growing number of agencies specialize in part time professional positions.

"We're finding part-time works almost across all industries from a small home-based business to a large corporation," Jill Ater of 10 til 2 said.

Part-time is not just retail and fast food anymore.

"In a tough economy, some companies are more open to hire part-timers because they don't want to hire that full-time person but they have that work in front of them that needs to be done," said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

Only 32 percent of part-time workers in the private sector have access to retirement benefits. The number drops to 24 percent for the health benefits.

"The biggest thing is that you're not always there to answer the phone when somebody calls," Ater said.

Smith communicates to her coworkers about her schedule.

"Working part-time from home, I am able to pursue what I am passionate about," Smith said.