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Benefits Of Working Part-Time vs Full-Time

I recently wrote about when it might be a good time to switch down to part-time work. I have been thinking about going part-time for a little while myself. I broke the news to my financial adviser just the other day and he said we should chat about it next week. His concern is my goal of retiring by age 41. He also know that I’ve contemplated making a primary residence purchase. Hey, I don’t wanna be the easy client, so I gotta throw him some curve balls!

Perks Of Being A Full-Time Employee

The reason for wanting to go part-time is to have more free time. I currently work a 7-on and 7-off schedule. At full-time I get a few perks such as 3 weeks of vacation and nearly 2 weeks of educational time. There are small bonuses (<$3,000/yr) that we get at the end of the year which are paid based on full-time status. Also, I get about $250 per check as a “bonus” to encourage us to stay full-time.

Minimum Hours To Still Qualify For Benefits As A Part-Time Employee

I could go down to as low as 50% of full-time and basically work three 10 hour shifts every 2 weeks and still be able to quality for the various benefits such as the 401(k), 401(a) and the Cash Balance Plan that my job offers.

I would go down to part-time for various reasons. I really enjoy my free time, I don’t enjoy the intensity of the job (though I enjoy the clinical aspect quite a lot), and I don’t need the income right now. I recently purchased a condo in cash which lowers my monthly overhead even more.

I Can Stay Part-Time And Still Pick Up Extra Shifts

At most larger medical groups there are usually plenty of extra shifts to pick up. I could still remain a part-time employee and make a full-time salary by picking up extra shifts.

This is a wonderful way to work extra because I would get to pick and choose which shifts I want to do. I wouldn’t work Black Friday and I would try to avoid working a Monday evening. This flexibility can add a lot to one’s life quality.


I could go down to part-time and switch back to full-time when I want. Most medical groups will gladly have you switch to full-time because in general it’s cheaper to have a full-time employee.

Besides being able to pick up more desirable shifts I also will have more time to work on side projects. Writing, obviously, is what I enjoy doing so that’s why I am publishing my own blog. I have mentioned before that I have an entrepreneurial side which I would like to develop further.

With more free time I can also choose better vacation dates, which means cheaper travel overall. I can essentially schedule my work around my life and not the other way around.

Downsides Of Working Part-Time

You may feel a bit more ‘out of the loop’. If you have a strong desire to belong then this may be an issue. Going to meetings regularly, working with full-time docs to get the scoop might be an easy solution.

Income would  be lower of course, and your benefits may be adjusted down. However, if you don’t need the extra money it might reinvigorate you to work less. Most likely the lower income would delay your retirement age, though the extra free time might allow you the opportunity for a side-income.

Not only might your chief give you a little shit for wanting to go part-time they may also put you into less favorable shifts. They may have you work more weekends and more evenings because you are part-time. You may end up on the back-up pool as many times as a full-time person which may be necessary for the schedule to work out. If it’s all done to keep things fair I don’t see a problem with it. If it’s done to punish you I would recommend looking for a better organization.


If you switched from full-time to part-time what was your experience?

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