The Easiest Part-Time Tech Job to Get
A guide getting your first part-time job, and you won't even have to interview
The elusive part-time tech job. Demand is high 📈 but supply seems low 📉.
Sure you can start your own business or freelance, and that’s certainly one angle we’ll explore on Part-Time Tech, but most of us just want to work part-time for someone else. We want a steady paycheck without having to source clients or the stress of starting a company. But where can you find this magical job?
Your first part-time job in tech, the easiest one you’ll probably ever get, is the full-time job you have right now.
“But my company doesn’t offer part-time roles!”
Yes, most tech companies don’t offer these types of roles (yet). But the easiest way to get a part-time job in tech, or in any other industry, is to transition from full-time to part-time.
As someone who’s successfully transitioned a full-time job to a part-time, and also been a manager of teams with contractors and part-timers, I know this requires strong planning and foresight.
Here are 7 steps to transition your full-time job to part-time.
👨💻 Be really good at your job. This is the hardest step. You need to do some introspection and ask yourself: “Am I good enough at my job, and valuable enough to my company that they would allow me to work part-time rather than just let me go and replace me?”. If the answer is no, then close this tab and work on leveling up. This advice isn’t for people in the first couple years of their career. That being said, imposter syndrome is real for many and it’s often hard to judge yourself honestly. Get help by confiding with a trusted co-worker who knows your work and looking at past performance reviews.
👟 Figure out who the decision maker is, and get in their shoes. Who will ultimately decide whether you can go part-time? Is it your direct manager, a far-away VP, or HR? Put yourself in that person’s shoes and anticipate their objections.
🙌 Determine your likelihood of success. Determining how likely your company will go along with a part-time role will help guide the rest of your plan and how strongly you can negotiate. Ask yourself: 1. Does the company already hire contractors or is there other precedent? 2. How replaceable are you? 3. How strong is the company’s hiring pipeline for your role? 4. Does the decision maker and/or your direct manager like you?
🚫 Be prepared to quit. The strongest way to get leverage in a discussion about going full-time to part-time is to be ready to leave your job entirely and have a plan B. You need to be prepared for the possibility that asking to go part-time could backfire and put you on bad footing with your boss or company. You want your employer to think “I would rather you stay with us in a part-time capacity than leave entirely”.
💰 Figure out your terms and negotiation range. Treat this like any other compensation negotiation. How many hours do you want to work and how do you want to adjust your compensation? Figure out your range and what you’re willing to accept. Depending on your company’s compensation structure and the laws where you live, you’ll have to properly account for how equity and benefits may be affected. For various back-office or legal reasons, some companies may not be able to award equity or benefits to part-time employees. Therefore, you should try to keep things as simple as possible and be flexible by giving your employer multiple options. For instance, you could say you’ll work 4 days / week for 75% comp and benefits, or 80% time for 80% comp and no benefits.
📚 Do your homework and write a part-time work plan. You’re good at your job, so you should also know what it would take to do it well on a part-time basis. Write down a well-thought out plan for when you will work, what work you will do, how it will be structured, and how you will continue to communicate with your team. The more comprehensive and thoughtful this plan, the more confidence you’ll instill in your employer that this arrangement could work.
🗣 Have the conversation with your manager. Regardless of whether your manager is the decision maker, start the conversation with them. Let them know that you’re considering leaving for external reasons, but that you would prefer to stay on part time. Present your written plan at the right time and navigate the conversation from there. If they are open to the idea, it may make sense to collaborate with them on your written work plan. If your manager is not the decision maker, but is generally in your corner, have them advocate for you and work together to present your plans to the powers that be.
Need help getting started? I’m offering three readers a free 30 minute private consult to develop their plans to go part-time. To be eligible:
Follow me on Twitter @parttimetech_io.
Retweet/quote one of our posts on Twitter.
In one week, I’ll select three readers at random. Happy part-timing all!
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