Careers advice

Everything you need to know about part-time jobs in NZ

It's a different way of working, so here's what you need to understand.

Last updated: 13 September 2023

In a constantly evolving job market, part-time jobs have become increasingly popular in Aotearaoa New Zealand among individuals seeking flexibility, additional income, or a better work-life balance. Whether you're a student looking to make some extra money, a parent juggling family responsibilities, or someone pursuing a side gig, part-time employment can be a valuable option. However, there are key aspects to consider when diving into the world of part-time work. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what people need to know about working part-time jobs, addressing the advantages and disadvantages and strategies for success.

What counts as a part-time job in NZ?

Before delving into the details, it's essential to have a clear understanding of how you define part-time employment. There’s no set amount of hours that make a job part-time, rather than full-time, but usually it means anything up to 30 hours per week. This contrasts to the standard 40 hour working week that most full-time staff work in Aotearoa New Zealand.

What are the advantages of part-time jobs?

  • Flexibility: Part-time jobs often offer more flexible schedules, allowing individuals to balance work with personal commitments, education, or other jobs.
  • Reduced stress: The reduced workload and shorter hours can result in lower stress levels, promoting overall well-being.
  • Skill development: Part-time positions still provide an opportunity to develop both hard (or technical skills) as well as crucial soft skills such as customer service, time management, or communication.
  • Supplemental income: Part-time work can serve as an additional source of income, helping individuals meet financial goals or cover essential expenses.
  • Exploration: Part-time jobs offer a chance to explore different industries or career paths without making a long-term commitment.

Working part-time can be useful if you have a young family, and if you can afford.

What are the disadvantages of working part-time?

  • A reduced income: In most cases, if you’re only working a part-time job, you’re likely to be earning less than most people in comparable full-time roles in the same industry. Of course, you can always work multiple part-time jobs if you want to top up your earnings.
  • Slower career progression: Advancement opportunities may be limited for part-time employees compared to their full-time counterparts.
  • Work-life balance: While working part-time can be really beneficial to your work-life balance, juggling multiple part-time jobs or other responsibilities can be challenging, potentially leading to burnout.
  • Reduced job security: If your company goes through a rough patch financially and needs to reduce its headcount, it can often be the part-time staff who are let go first. This isn’t always true, but it’s something to be aware of.

If you have a partner or family, you'll need to discuss how shifting to part-time hours will impact your finances.

Strategies for success when working in part-time jobs

To make the most of your part-time employment experience, consider using the following strategies:

  • Set clear goals: Define your objectives for working part-time, whether it's to gain experience, earn money, or explore potential career paths. This will help you decide what roles to take on, and which don’t fit with your goals.
  • Manage your time carefully: Efficiently manage your time to balance work, personal life, and other commitments. Make sure that the number of hours you’re committing to will bring in enough money, while leaving you the time you need to do other things.
  • Enhance your skills: Identify the skills relevant to your job and seek opportunities to improve them. Online courses, workshops, or on-the-job training can be valuable resources. This is the one of the beauties of working part-time, you have the time to invest in yourself.
  • Plan your finances: Create a budget that accounts for your part-time income and expenses, ensuring financial stability.
  • Explore your options: If you're using part-time work as a stepping stone, actively explore other career options and keep your long-term goals in mind. It can be easy to go into part-time work with this objective in mind and then get sidetracked..
  • Maintain a high degree of professionalism: Regardless of the job's nature or hours, maintain a high level of professionalism in your interactions with colleagues, supervisors, and customers. Importantly, remember that plenty of other folks working around you will be there full-time, so if you aren’t pulling your weight, they’ll probably be picking up the slack.
  • Be adaptable: Be open to change and willing to adapt to new tasks or responsibilities that may arise in your part-time role. This includes making yourself available for meetings, particularly if you’re working varied hours, as well as only part-time.

We hope that this article will help you in deciding whether part-time jobs are the right fit for you. Part-time jobs offer a range of advantages and challenges, making them a suitable option for various individuals seeking flexibility and additional income. To thrive in part-time employment, it's essential to develop and apply soft skills, as they enhance your ability to work effectively with others and navigate the challenges of the modern workplace.

Whether you're a student, parent or anyone else looking to reduce their working hours in order to make room for the other things in their lives, part-time jobs can be a valuable stepping stone towards achieving both your personal and professional goals. By setting clear objectives, managing your time effectively, and honing your soft skills, you can make the most of your part-time employment experience and position yourself for future opportunities in an ever-evolving job market.


Al Hall
Al Hall

Al Hall is a regular contributor at Trade Me Jobs and Trade Me Property. He’s dedicated to helping people succeed in their aspirations to find their dream job and place to live.