How the Benefits of Working Part-Time Are Life-Changing

Gain insight into the benefits of working part-time and how it can impact your life. You will have more time to focus on what matters most: your own priorities.

A part-time job is an opportunity to shape your life around your own priorities. It can be hard to appreciate the benefits of working part-time until you’re doing it. I’d like to describe what the benefits are that I’ve found in my foray into working less.

It was five years since I truly felt off-the-clock. As the pharmacy manager, I was under constant stress and overworked. When I learned our company decided to hire a new part-time pharmacist, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to make a change to part-time work.

In life, you need to take risks to get to where you want to be. Your life will not change if you do not jump on opportunities when they arise.

I knew this position would be filled quickly. I did not want to let this opportunity pass me by. As soon as the role was available, I immediately approach my boss about taking it on. Although she was surprised by my decision, my boss knew my long-term goals and offered me the position. From there, I started changing from full-time to part-time work.

Come see what you have been missing. Discover the benefits of part-time work and the effects it may have on your own life.

Compare the Past to the Present

My switch to part-time didn’t happen for eight months. Once I accepted the part-time role, my old position needed to be filled. We took our time finding the right person and ensuring they were ready for the job. Therefore, I had plenty of time to anticipate the changes to my life.

I had periods of doubt with my initial decision. I questioned whether part-time work was the right choice for me. My sense of personal fulfillment through work partly comes from all the responsibilities I have. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to give up my position. I was nervous if going to part-time work was what I really wanted. Our finances could take a hit, too.

On the other hand, I was looking forward to what I expected the benefits of working part-time would be.

  • Fewer hours with a flexible schedule
  • Narrowed work-related duties
  • More time for my needs and wants
  • Less stress and a happier me

I was anxious about making a big change but I felt these benefits outweighed the risks.

Full-time manager to a part-time employee

To give some background context about myself, I was already on my path to FI. I just needed a little push to make this change. As the pharmacy manager, within the first 4 months of 2020, I put in 54 hours of overtime. On average, I clocked 45 hours per week, excluding any extra time I spent at home when I was not officially clocked in. I rarely got to take a lunch break and barely had time to pee.

In my new part-time position, I work 20-hours on average per week with my same employer, as a relief pharmacist, and at an equivalent hourly rate. I lose paid time off and access to company-sponsored health insurance, but still retain my 401K match. My schedule varies from one week to the next and I have to accept the shifts before they are scheduled.

Instead of the statement, ‘I have to work at 8 am’, now I can say, ‘I choose to be at work at 8 am’.

If you are looking to take a risk and change up your role to a part-time job, read on to see how my experience has made a difference in my life.

The Benefits of Working Part-time

After experiencing a few months of part-time work, I can reflect on my experiences. I evaluated whether the benefits of working part-time have lived up to my expectations and the effects they have had on my life.

My ultimate goal was to have fewer responsibilities and to have more time to myself. That is precisely what I have experienced plus a few more benefits that I will share.

Shorter work hours for a specific purpose

As a part-time employee, you will be assigned fewer hours to do your specific job. Your assignments will become more focused to have time to get them done. I now have designated hours to be on the clock for the purpose of completing my clearly defined duties.

Since the end of May, I have worked 20 hours per week on average without any overtime. 100% of my work is on the clock and I no longer feel obligated to spend any time at home ‘working’.

I also get to take a lunch break!

Meaningful work

You may get to redefine your role as a part-time employee. With this new position, a job description had not been developed. Since I knew the needs of the company, I drafted an ideal job description for the role to match both the company’s and my desire for a part-time position. Now, there is a clearly defined job description for my new position with fewer roles and duties.

You may discover your work has more meaning. While negotiating with my understanding boss, I was able to create my own job description and choose duties that I am the most passionate about. I traded my management role for more focused responsibilities that meant more to me. The work I get to do is now what I want to do.

Daily management problems no longer fall into your realm of duties. I still offer my assistance and advice to resolve the issue if needed, but the team no longer assumes that I will take care of it.

Separate work-life from home-life

Strict working hours will create more concrete boundaries between your work-life and home-life. No one expects you to work around the clock at any job let alone a part-time job. You can be passionate about your work and still have specific hours to work.

Once you clock out, you can leave work at work. There are no work-distractions coming home with me. I no longer have major work concerns or worries to bring home occupying my mental space.

Rather than worry about work once I'm home and on the weekends, I can focus on what matters to me. One of those things is spending time with family, which is possible when you can separate work-life from home-life. It's a great benefit of part-time work!
Rather than worry about work once I’m home and on the weekends, I can focus on what matters to me. One of those things is spending time with family, which is possible when you can separate work-life from home-life. It’s a great benefit of part-time work!

Reconstructed schedule

Gain more time away from work. You may have a long weekend and only work Monday to Wednesday. Or, you may have an even less rigid schedule and work when you want to as long as you get your work complete. There are lots of different scheduling options in a part-time job.

For me, I have a very flexible schedule. I work anywhere from 8 to 24 hours depending on the needs for that week. Looking back over the last few months, I gained 20 hours per week on average for myself to do whatever I want to do. Extra time for life is one of the huge benefits of working part-time.

More personal time

You will gain so much time in your life that you may not know what to do with it. While I am still adjusting to this new schedule, I am taking full advantage of getting to sleep in, spend more time with Chris on a walk, or top rope at my rock climbing gym.

It is a completely different feeling not to have someone else dictate where you have to be and when. There is no fear of getting in trouble if you are late to the next thing on the schedule.

A flexible schedule will let you fit your work into your life schedule. I am no longer limited on the days I can make doctor’s appointments, get my oil changed, or have lunch with a friend. Taking time for a personal day is a breeze. Plus, with a shorter workweek, every weekend is a long weekend.

Time will be become yours to do with what you want. I always felt I had to do something for someone else. I rarely had time to focus on myself or time to do what I found important. Now, I call the shots. I make time for what is important to me. I can bring a wider variety of interests into my life—it’s an opportunity to ignore the generalist in my personal life while letting the specialist in my professional life take a break.

Take time for your priorities

There is more time to share with those who matter to you. On a random Tuesday afternoon, I can enjoy a fall hike discussing the future posts of TicTocLife with Chris. If my sister calls in the middle of the day, I can answer and catch up on the family gossip.

When we find an amazing flight deal, I can jump on the opportunity to vacation with friends without requesting days off at work. I no longer have to wait for the weekend to fit in time for fun.

Your to-do-list will actually become longer. While you will have more time to tackle your original list, new things you have always wanted to do will also be added.

I am slowly working through my original to-do-list and making plans for some of my bigger, fun projects.

One of my first priorities is to focus on my health, both mental and physical. I believe it is important to build healthy habits like having a regular sleep schedule, getting daily exercise, and maintaining a healthy diet. Now that I make the schedule, I try to incorporate time for all of these things every day.

Positive effects on health

The benefits of working part-time play a role in your physical and emotional health. Your outlook at work may change improving your mood and reducing your stress. In return, you can become a healthier person. You can focus on yourself and improve your physical health through diet and exercise.

Find joy

Part-time work can be less stressful. You might even find more joy in your work.

I am more excited to see my coworkers and take pleasure in doing work that I enjoy. The anxiety I once felt pulling into the parking lot is no longer there.

I am less stressed out because I have fewer responsibilities. I know what I am supposed to do day-to-day and I know exactly what is expected of me. Before, I had to juggle so many things at once that I could barely stay above water. This type of stress weighed so heavily on me and I wasn’t aware of how it was affecting me. My coworkers started to wonder if I was alright.

Now, I have more time to do both what needs to be done and what I want to do. I have become a more relaxed and happy person. As a bonus benefit to my employer, being under less stress makes me a better employee and a more cooperative team member.

One of the benefits of part-time work: getting to take a walk on a beautiful day! It's the simple things like this that can create that little extra joy in your life.
One of the benefits of part-time work: getting to take a walk on a beautiful day! It’s the simple things like this that can create that little extra joy in your life.

Sleep in

Another health benefit of part-time work is getting more sleep. When you don’t have to wake up at a certain time in order to be out the door to beat rush hour traffic, you can sleep in. It is ok if you stayed up late finishing that movie or got lost playing games with your S.O. This might not be the case for you if you have children or a fur baby at home, but for us, an alarm clock is a thing of the past.

However, one of our health goals is to have a better sleep schedule. Neither of us are morning people, so this is an ongoing battle.

Sweat often

You will have more time to dedicate to exercise. Everyone needs to have some form of daily exercise. Now that you are working less there is no excuse not to exercise at least 20 minutes per day. The days I drag myself out of bed to workout in the morning, I feel both physically and mentally prepared for the rest of the day.

I don’t always exercise in the morning, but I make time to do something every day. We often go for a 2-mile lunchtime walk or a jog around our city—this sort of accessibility is a fantastic benefit of city life vs country life. Twice a week I meet up for an outdoor HIIT class and the other days we mountain bike along the river trails or climb routes at our climbing gym.

Eat well

You will have more time to prepare healthier meals at home instead of eating out. If you plan ahead, you can also save money and reduce food waste. Check out our tips on saving money at the grocery store.

You can keep it interesting and learn to cook new types of meals. I have been eating a gluten-free diet for over 15 years but we recently tried to stick to a pescatarian diet as well. With more time on my hands, I’ve been able to try a ton of new recipes.

If you have any suggestions for healthy, gluten-free, pescatarian meals, drop them in the comments!

An unexpected benefit of part-time work

You may become more aware of your financial independence. Making the change to part-time work may help you realize your financial situation. If you are on your path to FI, this change can show you if you are headed in the right direction or if you need to reevaluate your plan.

By only working part-time, I still make more than enough money. I am able to save 50% without making significant changes to my lifestyle.

I could have done the math and came to the same conclusion, but there is something about actually taking this step in FI to make it all feel more real.

Taking this step to part-time work helped me solidify my thoughts that I can truly be financially independent and retire early.

Make the Most of the Benefits of Working Part-Time

Once you reap the benefits of working part-time, your next task is to make sure to make the most of your new-found time. It is a perfect opportunity to practice those time management skills you’ve used to meet deadlines at work. But, now you get to set your own deadlines for your own personal interests.

Having the opportunity to work part-time has been an exciting adventure. I’ve gained more time away from work while retaining the duties I am the most passionate about. I learned to enjoy work again and feel less stressed. I’ve become a happier person both at work and at home.

With more time on my hands, I’ve been able to focus on what matters to me. I’ve spent more time with family and friends enjoying the outdoors. I’ve started to spend time on myself building healthy habits while making time for fun activities. Now, I am researching ways to give back to my community by donating my time, expertise, and money.

If you have the opportunity and means to transition to part-time work, consider it. You will not be disappointed with the benefits of a part-time job. You can take back your life and discover a whole new type of schedule. Part-time work is an opportunity to shape your life around your own priorities.


Have you experienced similar benefits to these after taking a part-time job? How has it affected your life? What are you able to do now that you didn’t have time to before?

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By Jenni

Jenni began her path to financial independence after pharmacy school left her with six figures of debt and no clear path to digging out. She started absorbing personal finance strategies and built a plan to pay down her debt quickly as a pharmacist.

Years later with her debt at zero and net worth approaching her FI number, she made the jump to semiretirement as a part-time PRN pharmacist.

Learn more about her: Meet Jenni.

15 replies on “How the Benefits of Working Part-Time Are Life-Changing”

Hi Jenni! Pleasant treat to read an article from you today. I am not her working part-time but it is definitely a goal. I expect to be happier when that time comes. My job is high stress and just so demanding. I also think that I will find new appreciation for what I do. It gets diminished when stress levels are continuously high so I have to remind myself often. Once I get to part-time, I don’t think I will have to remind myself so often that the work I do is really valuable.

Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it. It can be hard to appreciate the work you do when you are overwhelmed with minor details. It does help to be surrounded by positive coworkers who are all working towards a common goal. I am fortunate to work in a company that promotes positivity at work and discourages what we call energy vampires. But hang in there and make the best of it. Once you can shift into part-time work, make the most of it, and enjoy life even more.

Thanks for the post. I had not thought about the possibility of going part time until I read your blog. This is not a bad idea, plus, in your case you were able to define the responsibilities of the part time role. That is a pretty cool pivot and it sounds like it was a win-win.

As I read this article, I got curious on how you tackled health insurance in this transition. I just did a search and found your post from May on choosing insurance. Please do another update if you find other options! I am still working currently but trying to figure out how to tackle health insurance when the time comes.

Chris

I was in a very fortunate situation. We never had a part-time spot before due to the nature of the job. The fact that I wanted that position was definitely a win on their part as well. As far as insurance, I am finishing out my Cobra coverage with my company for the end of 2020 but for 2021, I still need to finalize my plan. I will definitely do an update very soon. The deadline for open enrollment is 12/15.

Thank you for the comment and the encouragement to write about my experience.
Jenni@TTL

I think part-time work is a great compromise. It’s really the perfect choice for most people if they can swing it financially. I retired from my engineering career in 2012 to become a SAHD/blogger and it’s great. Well, it was tough at first because of our baby, but he grew up and went to school. Life is easy and mostly stressfree now. I love it.

I can imagine life with a newborn is more of an around-the-clock job versus part-time! I am glad you were able to make the switch and spend time with your baby!

Hey Jenni, I love this post! I recently celebrated my 1 year anniversary of shifting to part time work and I agree with SO many of the points you made! It was so hard for me to switch to part time since we were so close to our FI number at the time, but this really has been such an amazing transition to early retirement for me.

My 1 year recap post will be coming out on our blog this week. We’d love to hear your thoughts on it once it’s out on Thursday 🙂 Cheers!

Thank you! It has been interesting to change to such a different position. I keep catching myself getting involved too deep. It’s hard when you like what you do.

I just checked out your site and subscribed! Looks like you have a lot of post for me to catch up on. I’ll be looking out for your part time update next week.
Thank you

This is something I am very seriously considering and I was glad to read an update on how it’s all going. Please keep updating! I’ve heard it can take months to decompress and really adjust to your new life.

Hi Stephanie! It is quite a change from going non-stop at work to having time that I get to decide what to do with. I feel on top of all these changes, I am in a unique situation. I was able to slowly give up my duties at work over an 8 month period, then I had a slow transition to true part-time work due to the crazy covid work schedule to accommodate for the social distancing. Late last summer was when I really started to gain those extra 20 hours to myself and started to figure out what to do with my extra time.

I will tell you it’s been a little bit of a struggle to do efficiently use my time. Don’t get me wrong, it is extremely nice not to be pressured to meet deadlines set by someone else. However, that is what I am used to. I am learning to adjust and set my own schedule so that my days are productive and I am meeting the goals that I have set for myself. (This is actually the topic for my next post)

Looking back over this post, I really put exercise at the top of my list and aim to do this every single day. I am also volunteering most of my extra time as a vaccinator in our community. This seems to be the biggest way I can be a part of the solution and play a role in history!

It was hard to really plan ahead for how to spend my life after going part time although I did try. It just seemed impossible that it would ever actually happen. Now that it is here, I am lucky to have this pause in the world to really adjust to it.

Thanks for responding! I think I will be able to do it gradually like you have. I’m aiming for just a bit of a scale back at first, intentionally, because we are not quite (fat) FI yet, but we are so close now that I don’t want to feel like I have to wait until we are to start reaping the benefits of all the saving we have been doing. Then, depending on how the finances look after a year or two, I would like to scale back a lot.

I am also a bit concerned about balancing productive time and just plain old relaxing. I have hobbies, exercise goals, and household goals I would like to meet, in addition to spending more quality time with family and friends. But I also don’t want my hobbies to start to feel like work, and I would like to just be able to sit and read a book during the day if I want to (haven’t done that since having kids several years ago!). I’m so deadline motivated that it will be a tricky balance I think. Looking forward to your future post on this topic!

Yes, keep fun time as fun time! I’ve been combining a few of my goals and hobbies together. One, keeping up with friends and family more (from a distance right now), and two, being creative and making things. I have a closet full of crafts from scrapbooking, knitting, macrame, painting, and beads for making jewelry. I will make homemade cards for birthdays and special occasions at the beginning of each month to mail out. I’ve also made a few homemade gifts and paintings for my friend’s nurseries or birthdays. In fact, I just pulled out my jewelry-making box to whip up a pair of earrings for a friend.

Thanks for the encouragement on finish up my post too!

Yes, keep fun time as fun time! I’ve been combining a few of my goals and hobbies together. One, keeping up with friends and family more (from a distance right now), and two, being creative and making things. I have a closet full of crafts from scrapbooking, knitting, macrame, painting, and beads for making jewelry. I will make homemade cards for birthdays and special occasions at the beginning of each month to mail out. I’ve also made a few homemade gifts and paintings for my friend’s nurseries or birthdays. In fact, I just pulled out my jewelry-making box to whip up a pair of earrings for a friend.

Thanks for the encouragement on finishing up my post too!

I just recently went part-time do to health concerns and I really love it. I don’t really care for the work I do but the extra time to myself is awesome. I am using my extra to start a business, get some weight goals together. It’s great to just get back in touch what important to me .

Dana, Sometimes you just need some time to focus on yourself. Always working for someone else can be hard on your mind and body. So hopefully with your new adventure you will be able to keep everything in a better balance.
Best of luck on your new business.

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