Four Ways a Part Time Job Will Change Your Life Forever

by Joe Plemon on September 20, 2010

A part time job will help you dig OUT of a hole

If you associate “part time job" with drudgery, exhaustion and meaningless toil, this article is not for you. The right part time job, however, done with purpose and parameters, can be a life changing experience.

Read on for four ways a part time job can change your life forever.

1. Dump debt

Purpose: to focus your energy for a defined time period on getting out of debt.
Tip: Set a specific time frame goal, hopefully of 24 months or less. Why 24 months? Because you will be able to follow through with sacrificial living if you know it is only for a set time. Two years is long enough for huge accomplishments, but short enough to see the end.
How: This is down and dirty math to help you set your course: add up all debt other than your mortgage. Divide that total by 24 to get monthly payment. Subtract what you are currently paying to get the additional amount needed from a part time job. Now divide by whatever hourly rate you can earn to discover how many hours you need to be working each month. For example, if you have $30,000 debt, you will need to pay (depending on interest rates) at least $1250 a month for two years to make it disappear. If your current payments are $650 monthly, you will need an additional $600 for two years. At $15 per hour, you would need to work part time 40 hours a month, or 10 hours a week for two years.
Someone who did it: Steve and Kim Llorens made a $150,000 positive swing in their finances in three years without selling any possessions over $2,000 and without receiving any windfalls. How? Steve worked evenings at Kroger and Kim (a teacher) took on extra tutoring work. Source: “Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey

2. Change careers

Purpose: to transition from a dead end career to one you are passionate about.
Tip: Buy lunch for someone who is successfully doing what you aspire to do. Take a notebook and interview this person to learn how to start and what to expect. Of course, if this is a competitive field, you would want to travel outside the radius of competition.
How: Learn and network, learn and network, then learn and network some more. The only difference between who you are today and who you will be five years from today is what you learn and who you meet. Once you learn enough to try it on your own, get started part time. You may even get your foot in a door by volunteering. Set a goal of two, three or four years to be earning enough to be able to leave your existing job.
Someone who did it: In his post “How to Make Money With a Blog", Bob Lotich of Christian PF shares his two year journey from his corporate desk job to becoming a full time blogger.

3. Become self employed

Purpose: to continue the same career, but transition from working for someone else to working for yourself.
Tip: Be considerate of your current employer. Good communication is important, but may also get you fired if he thinks you are going to be competing with him. Also, be aware of the wording in any “non-compete" agreements you may have signed when you began at your current position.
How: Assuming you have cleared possible obstacles with your current employer, start finding your own clients. This will be your part time job. Your goal will be to build up your own business to the point where you can make it on your own. Go into this knowing that you will be working nearly two full time jobs before you will be able to leave your original one.
Someone who did it: I have a friend who was a bookkeeper for an automobile agency. She communicated openly with her boss about her desire to open her own bookkeeping firm and, because she was forthright and because her new venture would not be competing with his business, he was quite supportive. In fact, he let her transition from five days a week to four days a week as she was building her own business. Eventually, she was able to turn in her resignation, train her replacement and go solo. She is doing well and loving it.

4. Pay for college education

Purpose: to graduate from college with zero debt.
Tip: Try to find a part time job in the same field of your study. Your work will have more meaning, you will be building your resume and you will be networking for that post graduate job. Consider a co-op work program.
How: Plan to be very tired (and free of debt) when you graduate from college. You need to plan on working two jobs every summer and one part time job during the school year.
Someone who did it: Kevin, an R & D Engineer and the guy behind Invest it Wisely, shares in his Yakezie member post how, other than some tuition help from his grandmother, he worked and paid his own way through college.

Concluding thoughts

If you are considering a part time job, understand exactly what you are trying to accomplish before you start. The right job, done in the right way, can change your life. Dumping debt, transitioning to a new career, becoming self employed and paying for your college education are four great examples.

When has a part time job been a great benefit for you? When was it an exercise in futility? What other great reasons for part time jobs can you think of?

Creative Commons License photo credit: David Boyle in DC

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