Stay at home or sell your soul to the world of work? That’s the black and white decision many women think they’re facing. In reality there are many (non X-rated) shades of grey.
After a decade’s focus on finding women flexible work, I know that part-time jobs—outside of retail stores—are very hard to find. That’s mainly because lots of part-time jobs are never advertised—or even formally created.
Many women find part-time jobs through personal networking and general word of mouth. Nine times out of ten those jobs will be at a small or very small company that does not have an HR department or 3,000 rules on hiring.
There are thousands of small companies in every state—and many of those companies are LLCs with an owner and no employees. In this economy very few small businesses can afford to hire full-time or part-time help, but they might be interested in a few hours of your time.
For a sole proprietor or a small business owner who has a skeletal staff, even 10 hours of help from a smart person can raise overall business productivity. Many don’t want to increase their overhead with a commitment to pay even a part-time employee—mainly because today’s business outlook is so uncertain. An occasional employee, or someone who is willing to work an affordable number of hours per week, is very attractive.
When you’re not quite ready to take on a permanent position, helping a small business owner on a very limited basis can be a great option to contribute to your long-term financial security. Make a list of everyone you know (and who your friends know) who has a small business, and I’m sure you’ll come up with at least 20 people. Show them a professional resume, tell them your key skills and ask if they could use your help a few hours a week.
My guess is that the answer, in many cases, will be yes. They’ll get help, you’ll get work, and no one has to sell their soul. —KAS
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