This post continues on from my previous blog post about the pros and cons of a part-time research post. It has now been few weeks since I moved from working in multiple part-time posts to one full-time post and I’ve had some time to think about what else I learned during a very busy twelve months. So, to add to the last blog post, here are some more pros and cons that may be worth considering when applying full and part-time positions.
Pro – More work, more experience
Another way of looking at it is a part-time post puts you in a position to do something else to build up to full time. As well as my part-time RA post, I did some private tutoring. Both of these can now go on my CV and I’d say I have a broader range of skills because of it than if I had been working on just one thing.
Con – Does workload equal contracted hours?
Sometimes, there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. In the case of being responsible for the daily running of a research project on a part-time basis, it may be that from time to time the demmands of the project don’t fit with the particular days you have set aside for the job. Sometimes, the workload and working pattern don’t quite match. In this case, you need to be very organised and flexible. Working late or shifting your working pattern to reflect the change in demmand (for example, human participants who aren’t available for testing on your usual project days) might be necessary. I would often find myself doing things outside of their set days because some tasks just couldn’t wait until my next days for that project. In this case, flexibility is key.
Pro – A way in to teaching?
Lecturing may not be on everyone’s agenda, but by already being in and involved with an academic environment but not having all of your time accounted for by your post, you are in a good position to be flexible with your time and perhaps even pick up teaching hours. Once you’ve volunteered for one thing, you’ll probably be remembered and included in emails asking for help in the future.
As I said in the Part 1 of this post, juggling multiple part-time jobs was tricky at times, but I learned more than I ever expected to from a year of being incredibly organised and on the go. I debated turning down a part-time post for pretty much all of the “con” reasons mentioned here, but I’m very glad I didn’t. If I had, I wouldn’t have been able to find out about all of the “pros”.