16 Common Myths/Misconceptions About Part-Time Work, Debunked

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

We all have our own thoughts and opinions about part-time jobs, but what’s right and what’s wrong? The reality is that when it comes to part-time work, there are several common myths and misconceptions that people choose to believe. What if you’re getting it all wrong and buying into ideas and concepts that simply aren’t true? Over the years, several of the myths and misconceptions have been busted.

It’s all really about how you perceive part-time work. As you’ll see, part-time work can have a bad reputation, if you aren’t fully aware of the perks. But, if you’re happily ensconced in a part-time job, you might know better. 

When it comes to busting myths, part-time workers have done a good job of putting to rest some of the ill-conceived myths and misconceptions about part-time jobs. Let’s take a look at each myth/misconception below. 

16 debunked myths and misconceptions about part-time work:

1. Part-time workers lack commitment.

It’s a general misconception that people who aren’t willing to commit to a job seek out part-time employment. While this may be the truth in certain situations, the part-time working landscape has evolved over the years, and now part-time jobs are taken seriously and require employees to be responsible and committed. 

2. Part-time positions are low-skilled, menial jobs.

It’s an absolute myth that a part-time job is only suitable for those with minimal skills. It’s also a misconception that the part-time work available is slog-work and unpleasant positions. Part-time work can be anything from delivery work to office admin positions. Skills are taught and required, and not all part-time posts are menial. 

3. You are lazy if you only want a part-time job. 

It’s not only lazy people that seek out a part-time job. Often highly motivated people seek out part-time work because they just cannot be at a job for the full day. Perhaps the person is a mom or someone who has to look after a person with special needs. Perhaps the employee is studying at the same time and needs time to do that each day. Often laziness doesn’t even come into the equation.

4. Part-time work is only temporary and can’t be done long term.

Many people mistakenly believe that part-time work is a short-term thing, when in reality, if you only have limited time to work and don’t wish to move into a full-time position, you can work part-time for the rest of your life. There is no limit on how long you can be in a part-time job.

5. Only students and young people should get part-time work.

It’s surprising to realize that many people think that only students and young people seek out part-time jobs. It’s not true. There are several types of people that find value in a part-time job, from the highly skilled professional and new mum to a person who wishes to focus on living life instead of working it away. Part-time jobs are not dedicated to one particular age group.

6. Part-time workers are less productive because of the fewer hours worked.

It’s a myth that part-time workers achieve less in their day. In actual fact, it is often seen that part-time workers understand they have a limited time to get things done and so plan better and focus harder. On the flip side, full-time workers often become complacent with the hours they have available to them and end up wasting many of them. 

7. Employees can’t build a career if they work part-time.

On the contrary, career-minded people and entrepreneurs can jump-start their careers if they find the right part-time job and put their all into making a success of their efforts. 

8. Part-time work is merely a stepping stone before full-time work.

It’s a common misconception that part-time work is a stepping stone and that a full-time job is the next natural step. Nowadays, part-time work is often just that: part-time. The people who enter these jobs often want to work part-time and have no real desire to enter into the full-time workforce. 

9. Only the employee benefits from part-time work.

It’s often the viewpoint that part-time work benefits the employee and puts the hiring company at a disposition. Over time it has been seen that this is not always true. In reality, most people walking into a part-time position are more driven and productive and also cost the company less in wages, which means that the company benefits exponentially from the arrangement too. 

10. Part-time workers are uneducated or lack responsibility.

It’s a commonly believed misconception that there’s no need for education or a sense of responsibility in a part-time job. This simply isn’t true. The hiring company must get value out of any employee, and therefore skills, education, and a sense of responsibility are strictly required. It would make no sense for a company to present job prospects that are detrimental to the business’s profitability. 

11. You will never earn a decent income if you work part-time.

Many people believe that part-time work means a low income and that there’s no way around it. When part-time workers are skilled, efficient, and effective, they are valued, well looked after, and often paid well. There is no reason to believe that you will make massively less than full-time workers. 

12. Part-time work is a euphemism for shift work (inconvenient work hours).

Here’s one that’s so far off the mark; it’s almost amusing. When you speak to someone about part-time work, do they automatically think that you will be working inconvenient shifts at odd hours of the day or night? Part-time work doesn’t imply shift work. The hours are usually set during usual business hours. Perhaps you will work the morning or the afternoon, or you might even only work certain days of the week. 

13. It’s hard to find or negotiate part-time work.

On the contrary, more and more people are being hired remotely and part-time. Some might even say that part-time and remote work is the way of the future in the business world. 

14. You never get to go on holiday if you work part-time. 

Part-time workers have similar rights as full-time workers. If you are employed by the company and not working on a freelance basis, provisions should be made for you to take holidays and sick days as needed and according to labor laws. 

15. Companies only offer part-time work to save on their own costs. 

Some believe that there’s a devious aspect to part-time work on the part of the hiring company. They believe that the company merely seeks to save money and take advantage of the employees’ time and skills. On the contrary, a company that takes advantage of a part-time worker and doesn’t pay them sufficiently will find themselves with a high turnover of staff and a poor reputation…so this very rarely happens. While cost-saving might be a driving factor, it is not the sole factor. 

16. Part-time workers aren’t appreciated or taken seriously in the workplace. 

If you’re thinking that as a part-time worker you will be considered easily replaceable or be unappreciated, keep in mind that the work landscape has changed a lot, especially in the last years. If you are ready to prove yourself in the workplace and work hard to achieve the best results, you will certainly be noticed and taken seriously. If you take the job seriously, the employers will notice and return the favor. 

All in all

With so many misconceptions and myths about part-time work out there, it’s no wonder many people are off applying for such a job. If you’re interested in working in a position that doesn’t demand a full day or every day from you and allows you to still achieve your career goals, start looking for or negotiating part-time work in the industry you’re interested in or qualified in. You might just do a great thing for yourself.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He mainly focuses on content about faith, spirituality, personal growth, finance, and sports. He graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in Marketing. He is a certified tennis instructor who teaches in the New York City Metropolitan area. In terms of finance, he has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.