Monday, May 10, 2010

Increasing Part Time Job Offers

When I retired in my forties in 2007, I thought it would be easy to get a part time job when needed. I thought a 25+ year career at a Fortune 100 company would show I would be a good part time employee. I was right. . . for about a month. I was offered the first part time job for which I applied. After that, I experienced as series of rejections through the end of 2009.

At first, I decided I was being rejected for being over qualified. I also concluded the Great Recession probably reduced my chances since many younger applicants were applying. Finally, I took action by broadening my search from a few jobs of high interest to more jobs in which I had at least a medium interest. Now , I'm finding that I almost have more job offers than I can sustainably handle. Fortunately, all of my part time jobs are seasonal or short term. However, I have had as many as five jobs concurrently during the seasonal transitions.

In reflecting on my improved part time job offer results, here are the factors I think had the biggest influence:

  • Increasing the opportunities. Initially, I only applied to what I considered "perfect" part time jobs, assuming I would have a 100% success rate. After experiencing a 15% offer rate, I expanded my list of potential opportunities to "great part time jobs for retirement."
  • Emphasized part time job experience on my resume. My original resume highlighted the job from which I retired, my only job since graduating from college. I believe many employers thought I was primarily interested in a full time job, and therefore, not a good candidate for a long term part time job. I changed my resume to show my part time job experiences, which shows that I am primarily interested in working part time..
  • Patience. I incorrectly assumed that all employers were interested in hiring soon after soliciting applications. For two of my part time jobs I was offered a position at 6 months and 14 months after applying.
  • Improving economy. For 2008 through 2009, I believe there was a glut of part time job applicants due to a high number of full time job seekers expanding their employment opportunities. With an improving economy, it seems I am again competing mostly with primarily part time job seekers.
  • At this point, I have accepted every part time job I've been offered. For now, I am working each one to the "end of the season" to fully evaluate how much I like the job and which jobs will best help us to reduce our withdrawal rate from savings. In 2011, I'd like to narrow the number of part time jobs to a minimum that meets our financial and my personal interest/development needs.

    For more on Strategies and Plans, check back every Monday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or job advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2010 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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