Working Part-Time: 17 Real Disadvantages/Downsides (Low Pay, No Benefits,…)

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

What’s the deal with working part-time? Is it a great idea, or do the possible disadvantages make the extra free hours in a day just not that alluring after all? Before you can determine if part-time work is a good or bad idea for you, you need to consider both the pros and cons of the situation. Today, we are going to delve into the true disadvantages of having a part-time job. 

Working part-time might give you a bit of extra free time and provide you with the freedom to live your life as you wish, but do the disadvantages potentially outweigh the advantages? Read on to delve into the downsides of having a part-time job. 

17 ways working part-time may not be a great idea:

1. You won’t receive benefits (health insurance or holiday pay).

When working as a part-time employee, you forego the benefits of a full-time employee. In many cases, you won’t be given health insurance or holiday pay when you take time off work. 

2. No work means no pay (you only get paid strictly for the hours on the job).

Have you ever heard the saying “time is money”? Well, that saying really rings true for the part-time employee. You only get paid for the time that you are at work. That is why most part-time workers have to clock in to work and out of work. There’s no monthly salary that may include time not spent at your desk or workstation. Instead, you are paid a certain amount for each hour worked. 

3. Part-time workers earn less than full-time workers.

How comfortable do you want to be when it comes to your earnings? When you work part-time, the amount of money you are paid is typically minimum wage. This means that your earning potential is limited in comparison to someone who dedicates entire workdays to a business and grows with it. 

4. It may prove difficult to schedule meetings with other staff members.

When you work on a part-time basis, it means that you are not always at the office when the decision-makers are. This could make scheduling meetings and getting approvals at work slightly more complicated than anticipated. 

5. Shift work can be inconvenient.

You might think that shift work is a nice way to get more done in a day, but it can actually be quite inconvenient. For instance, you might be scheduled shifts over the weekend or at night when you would rather be making other plans for yourself. 

6. When downsizing has to happen, part-time workers are the first to go.

There’s no real job security for people who have a part-time job. This is something that’s very important to most people, especially as they get older. When/if tough times strike the business, the first people considered and recommended for downsizing are the non-permanent and part-time workers. Unfortunately, this means that your job is simply never secure when you work part-time

7. Part-time workers are rarely promoted.

Just how badly do you want to get ahead in your career? Are you happy working part-time, or is it your dream to be promoted so that you can have more responsibility and reward to match? As a part-time employee, you probably aren’t going to make the shortlist for promotions and advancements in the workplace. If you are looking to get ahead in the workplace, you may want to look at landing a full-time job.

8. You may miss out on quality time with the family/kids.

When working part-time, your work hours may be a bit inconvenient. You might have to work a shift during unsuitable times, for instance, when the kids are out from school or during dinner time at night. Unfortunately, part-time workers pick up the slack for permanent workers by being at work during the times that they cannot be available. 

9. You never quite earn enough to save and get ahead.

The reality is that working part-time really limits your earning capacity. Most people who work part-time don’t earn enough to save towards their future or get ahead as they are consistently working towards simply making ends meet. 

10. You will find it difficult to take annual leave.

Quite often, working part-time doesn’t entitle you to annual leave. If you want to take leave or go on a holiday, you can do so, but it will usually be unpaid. This may lead to you being overworked as you simply cannot afford to take leave or have a break from work. 

11. Being a part-time employee could have a negative impact on your resume.

How may the term “part-time” impact your CV? Do employers view this positively or poorly? If you struggle to hold down a full-time job and perpetually work part-time, it may show on your resume as an inability to commit to a demanding job. Of course, it could also show that you have extensive experience, so it’s not all bad. 

12. You may get bored in the free time you have when you aren’t on shift.

Working part-time while all of your family and friends work full-time may leave you lonely and bored during the hours that you aren’t at work. Feeling this way could result in depression or life dissatisfaction. 

13. You might not be taken seriously in the corporate/career world.

Part-time workers may be seen by corporate workers and career-focused individuals as non-committal or unable to dedicate time to work.

14. No retirement or 401k. 

As well as getting no benefits, you won’t be taken care of in terms of a retirement fund or 401k. It is vitally important to take care of these requirements for yourself when you work part-time. Most people forget about this or overlook the importance and only realize they left it too late when they need to retire. You could face retirement completely unprepared. 

15. You may get into the habit of working unusual hours, making future job prospects difficult.

If you think of your part-time job as a bridging job that is “just for now”, but let the months pass by, you may get into a habit of working limited and unusual hours. When a full-time job comes around, you may find it challenging to handle or just plain uncomfortable. 

16. You won’t receive access to in-house training that permanent employees have access to.

When working as a full-time employee, you are provided with ongoing training and refresher courses to ensure that your skills are kept current. As a part-time employee, you probably won’t be given access to this type of training. You may have to spend your own money refreshing and developing your skills as the months go by. 

17. Sick leave might be something you aren’t entitled to (you won’t be paid for sick days).

If you have a shift booked and get sick, chances are that you are going to lose out on money. You won’t be paid for days that you don’t work, and you also can’t go to work and may everyone else sick. It’s a horrible catch 22 that you might find yourself in. 

Last word

Working part-time is certainly something that comes with a long list of disadvantages. Before you decide if part-time work is good or bad for you, consider each of these above-mentioned points. Give them some thought, and then decide 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.