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5 Steps for Finding the Perfect Part-Time Gig

Lindsay Olson

Whether you need a second job for extra income or you're unemployed and open to working part-time to bring in cash flow, part-time work is available if you know where to look for it. And before you assume that your only options are outside your field, you should know that most part-time jobs aren't advertised. What you see on job boards isn't all that you could get.

Why Work Part Time

There are different reasons for needing or wanting to work part-time. Maybe you're interested in working as a contractor to ramp up a new freelance business. Or maybe you want to spend more time with your kids. Maybe you feel like you've exhausted all the full-time opportunities in this market, or perhaps you just want some extra cash. (According to, 8.3 million Americans take part-time jobs because they can't find full-time roles.)

Whatever the reason, a part-time role (temporary or otherwise) will do the trick. Take these 5 steps to land part-time work:

1. Figure out your schedule. Because part-time roles vary in the number of hours worked, you'll need to begin by determining how many hours you can work a week, and what hours you are available. Part of determining your availability is looking at the amount of money you want to bring in. Do a rough estimate of what you think you could make hourly, and decide how many hours you would have to work to bring that amount home. Take your availability schedule with you when starting the job search.

2. Start with the job boards. You might be surprised to find a variety of part-time opportunities on job boards, especially in nursing and sales. Not all companies list part-time jobs on these boards, but they are the places to start. Sometimes a company may list a full-time role that could be a part-time position for the right person, so don't disregard full-time positions that look good.

3. Do a little handshaking. Because so many companies don't publicly announce part-time positions, it's important to network with people who work at different companies. Sometimes positions are created based on a company's needs and an individual's skill set, so you might find yourself in a unique position to pitch a company on a part-time role if you network with the right people (Think: part-time social media manager). Spend some time on LinkedIn to reconnect with your contacts. Put your feelers out for any opportunities that may fit.

4. Look in the right places. Part-time jobs aren't just found in retail and restaurants. Customer service roles, for example, may be offered as telecommute positions that allow you to customize your schedule.

Government agencies and schools are another good place to look for part-time jobs. Unfortunately, many federally funded entities have had their budgets cut and are looking for ways to reduce expenses. While they still need staff, these entities work to reduce their full-time positions so they don't have to pay benefits, which means there may be part-time opportunities. Since not everyone can afford to take a part-time job, you may have a little less competition than you would with a full-time role.

5. Ask around. You never know: Your next family reunion might be your ticket to part-time work. Bring up the fact that you're looking for work, and see where the conversation takes you. Don't be aggressive; simply mention it during an appropriate conversation. If a friend or family member works for a company you'd be interested in joining, ask her to keep an eye out for any opportunity for which you might be a good fit.

Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and, a niche job board for public relations, communications, and social media jobs. She blogs at, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.

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