Part-time work is common nowadays, with 6.1 million part-time workers in America to be exact. Of the 20 percent of workers who are part-time, about one in every four of them claims to be working involuntarily. In other words, 25 percent of the part-time workforce is facing some sort of economic situation that requires more work.
The idea of accepting part-time job offers deters many people. Let’s say you fought hard for a call, nailed an interview, missed a family reunion to get the chance to speak with the CEO of a cool new startup, and then you realize they are only offering part-time, temporary or seasonal positions.
Here is some advice: take it.
Despite the fact that it is not full-time, the position may potentially provide many opportunities. What can a non-full-time worker do to make the most of any opportunity?
1. Build your own brand.
Start with some self-reflection. Make a list of words that describe your personality and how your personality affects others.
Once you come up with some emotional qualifiers, find your descriptive ones. They will probably be skills you possess or merely your field. Then, identify what you do or what you want to do in as much detail as you can.
Once you have these three lists of words, combine them in a way that captures who you are or who you want to be in a short phrase.
Armed with your new mantra, you can now build a strong online presence. We are in a golden age of social media, so use it for more than funny cat videos and political memes. Put yourself out there in a way that is both sincere and professional. Your social media outlets should be an extension of your identity.
While you maintain your online presence in a way that is consistent with your personal brand mantra, you should be consuming information about your industry on a regular basis. Find an easy-to-use RSS feed and connect with all the topics, brands and developments that interest you. Keeping abreast of your field will benefit you in many ways, such as networking.
2. Expand your skill set.
Since you are only working part-time hours, you might as well take advantage of your free time and find some new skills you want to learn. This is the best opportunity to build your resume and become undeniable in the job market.
The most important step here is the way you start: be confident and think positively. Cultivate a genuine sense of confidence and embrace a strong sense of self-worth. Remain humble and you can learn so much as you embark on your journey of expanding your skill set.
While maintaining a “can do” attitude and curious nature, focus your energy on learning practical skills. This could include taking online tutorials for Microsoft Office products, pursuing certification programs and reading informative blogs that address your interests.
Finally, with all that time on your hands, you need to be shaking some. Reach out to people you want to meet and ask them to be a mentor. Shadow someone who works in the position or field you want to be in. Join organizations related to your career goals.
3. Expand your role into full-time work.
Use your current role to its utmost potential. At the very least, you are working among a diverse set of people, from entry-level to middle management and beyond. As I said before, shake some hands. Meet people. Identify who you respect and ask questions to establish a relationship.
Use your daily work routine as another exercise of self-reflection. Look at the tasks you do daily, and identify which ones excite you the most and which ones you could take on that may interest you.
Once you compile this list, convene with management to figure out how you can take on more responsibility in your current role. In short, design your dream job within your current company and work your way toward making it a reality. Ask for feedback on a consistent basis to illustrate you are open to constructive criticism and able to adapt to changing expectations.
4. Network with people.
You can’t just hand out business cards and add people on LinkedIn in hopes of advancing your career. That’s far too simplistic and disingenuous.
While you are connecting with mentors and meeting with management to discuss your goals, you should also be consistently organizing your contacts. There are several tools available that you can import contacts into and track your connections with.
The second step is the most important. Maintain contact. Any time you update your online presence with something you wrote or a link you share, reach out to people you know who may find it interesting. You’re putting your face and voice out there, reminding the world you still exist. It’s very easy to fall through the cracks unless you are regularly present.
To meet more people, attend relevant events, whether it is a guest speaker, a webinar or a lecture. You could even take it a step further and host an informal get-together with co-workers and encourage them to bring people they know.
The worst thing you can do while networking is exude desperation. Sure, you are looking for something beneficial, but remember that good relationships are founded on an exchange of values. By being generous and sincere, you can give so much and receive more in return.
How do you plan on taking advantage of your employment opportunities?