In Interview, How to Bring Up Desire to Work Part-time


Jennifer writes:
Dr. Hansen — thank you so much for your informative website!
I needed to make a career change so I chose a new field (with your help!)
and recently graduated from graduate school. Now I am looking for a job and
would appreciate some interview advice. I have found a full-time position that I
am considering applying for — I would prefer part-time work though and was
wondering when would be the best time to mention this subject to the hiring individual.
Another possibility for me would be telecommuting so I guess I have the same
question about that subject as well — should I wait until they have offered me the job
to mention my interesting in telecommuting or should I be more up front and ask
about the possibility earlier in the application process.


The Career Doctor responds:
Yours is a challenging position because most employers do not set out making jobs
either part-time or with a telecommuting option. There are other possibilities too
like job-sharing and flex-time.
My best suggestion is to find a few prospective employers that have a corporate culture
that supports such flexible work options. By doing your research you will be interviewing
only with organizations that offer these types of programs. Review company Websites
and talk with people who work there.
As a career-changer you will have to work a bit harder in your job search and since part-time
is only a preference and not a necessity I would focus more on finding the best opportunity first.
Once you are with the organization for a while then you can raise the issue of work flexibility options.
If part-time work is a requirement then I would make it known in my cover letter that the
position I was seeking had to be part-time. You are going to be eliminated from a lot of
possibilities but better to be upfront than to pretend you would accept a full-time position.


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