Tips and traps of working part-time

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If you’ve ever daydreamed about working fewer hours, returning to a shorter week after having a baby or reducing your work days before retirement, there’s a lot to consider before making the move to a changed lifestyle.

Australia has one of the highest rates of part-time, temporary or self-employed workers in the world (over 35%)1 who earn more per hour than their full-time colleagues. Traditional part-timer workers include women (over 43%), people caring for elderly relatives, pre-retirees and those pursuing their studies.

But perhaps you don’t fit this mould? Maybe you’re a young parent wanting to spend more time with your family, an executive who wants a more balanced lifestyle, or you’re moving towards the next stage of your life and you just want to work fewer hours.

Changing the way you work is a big decision, so before you get excited about working a shorter week, you need to think about whether it’s the right decision for you. Here are some tips to consider, as well as some potential traps to avoid.

What are the benefits of working part-time?

  1. Enjoy your new lifestyle. You’ll have more time, so don’t waste it! Set up a meeting with the family every week so they can get involved with your plans and help you with the household chores. With less time spent on travelling and working, you’ll have more time to devote to health and fitness. Get those joggers on and start walking!
  2. Be your own social network. Take time out to spend with your family, catch up with friends for coffee or take the children to the park.
  3. Invest time in yourself and others. Take up yoga, join a library, volunteer for community work or visit an ailing relative.
  4. Boost your retirement funds. If you’re planning to retire soon, you’ll still be earning an income, so you won’t need to draw down on your super.

What else do I need to consider?

  1. Be realistic about your finances and whether you can afford to earn less income. Work out your budget and calculate whether your new income will stack up against your ongoing expenses, as well as those unexpected purchases, such as a new fridge.
  2. Even though you’ll be working fewer days, don’t fall into the trap of working longer hours. If you are moving from five days a week to three, you need to make sure your workload fits into your new time frame.
  3. Research2 tells us that part-time workers can be sidelined for promotions or training opportunities because they are seen as being less committed than their full-time colleagues.
  4. Earning less now might have an impact on your future super funds. You need to consider whether working fewer hours will allow you to still enjoy the lifestyle you want to have in your retirement.

What’s next?

If you’ve worked out all your finances and you feel you’re ready to move to a shorter working week, then you’re living the dream! Now you’ll have time to plan and do what you really want with your life.

But if you need help to work out whether you can afford to reduce your working hours or income, or if you would like advice about how this could affect your future, we are happy to help.

It’s never too late to start owning your tomorrow.




Oak Financial Planning Pty Ltd ABN 78 126 751 335, trading as Oak Financial Planning is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited, Australian Financial Services Licence and Australian Credit Licence 232706.

This blog article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.

If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, Oak Financial Planning Pty Ltd and other companies within the AMP Group may receive fees and other benefits. The fees will be a dollar amount and/or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investment. Please contact us if you want more information.

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