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To ask why young people without children work part time?

(667 Posts)
RosesinGranGransgarden Sat 20-Jun-20 10:28:58

Going to get flamed for this but here goes!

In every single job I've been in I've worked with people younger than me who work part time hours. I can't quite get my head around it.
In my previous job I was a retail manager. Most of the staff were young, 20-30, none had kids apart from me and one other lady. We used to have a sheet of overtime shifts up and I used to have to beg staff to work it. These are young people, not studying, none with disabilities that they disclosed to me, most were renting/ house sharing. I never understood why they didn't want to work more hours, get more money for house deposits, travelling etc.
Another job I was an admin assistant and two or three of the other admin were young women, married with no children, who worked three or four days a week. Why?! Even if their husbands earned enough to support them, shouldn't they have worked to save for maternity leave, holidays, nice car etc.
I know money doesn't motivate a lot of people but as a young, childfree person, I would have never thought to apply for a part time job, unless I could be assured there was overtime. If not for financial reasons then just out of boredom, as all my friends would have been working full time.
Currently I work 32 hours due to no afterschool club, my colleague works the same hours. She said to me yesterday she wants to drop a day as she's exhausted. She's 28?! We work in an office together. She moans about not being a homeowner, why not work more hours?
Sorry rant over.

OP’s posts: |
JorisBonson Sat 20-Jun-20 10:32:53

Childfree people do have a life outside work. The world doesn't just revolve around children.

sunlightflower Sat 20-Jun-20 10:32:55

I think some people don't enjoy work and just don't think it's worth the stress. They work to live.

I couldn't have afforded it when I was younger, but I definitely would have worked part time if it was an option. I definitely would have preferred a day off to a holiday.

I agree with you though that you have to cut your cloth accordingly so you can't choose to work part time and then moan that you can't save to buy a house (like your colleague). Can't have it both ways!

RosesinGranGransgarden Sat 20-Jun-20 10:33:51

@JorisBonson did you work part time when you were in your twenties?

OP’s posts: |
OnlyFoolsnMothers Sat 20-Jun-20 10:34:23

Seems odd to me, unless another type of dependent in the family. Work to me when younger was about money and socialising- I would max out both with the chance.

SquidwardTennisballs Sat 20-Jun-20 10:34:46

Because they want to 🤷🏼‍♀️ Not everything revolves around children and I don’t understand why it bothered you about what hours people work.

SadSisters Sat 20-Jun-20 10:35:07

If they can afford to live on a part time wage, I can see why they would. More time to pursue hobbies and passions, more leisure time, better work / life balance, more time for socialising.

Money isn’t everything. For some people, it will be low on the list of priorities. There’s nothing wrong with that.

JorisBonson Sat 20-Jun-20 10:35:21


*@JorisBonson* did you work part time when you were in your twenties?

No because I never had the chance in my job, but I would have loved to if I could have afforded it. I'd love to now.

emptycup Sat 20-Jun-20 10:35:26

Because there's more to life than work. If they're comfortable on a part time wage then why take on more hours and stress? Before I had kids I worked 30 hours mainly because that's all the job role needed but I was happy that I was free from 4.30 and all weekend

RiftGibbon Sat 20-Jun-20 10:35:34

I worked part time in my twenties. It was a job I enjoyed and it gave me the freedom to persue other interests outside work.

Iwalkinmyclothing Sat 20-Jun-20 10:36:16

Life isn't all about work. Time is also valuable. If you can afford to work part time and want to, why not?

Finfintytint Sat 20-Jun-20 10:37:06

I know a 24 year old who works part time because she has a very time consuming hobby.

SegregateMumBev Sat 20-Jun-20 10:37:08

Work life balance? Able to go shopping outside peak times? Ditto the gym. Afternoon matinees. VisitIng other family members, lunch with friends.

bluebluezoo Sat 20-Jun-20 10:37:20

If you don’t have children you can probably afford to work part time and still have a larger disposable income..

If they want to, why not?

Btw “saving for maternity leave”- not everyone wants, or can have, children. If I knew my life would be child free damn right I wouldn’t work so much and would be enjoying life instead of working every second.

dontdisturbmenow Sat 20-Jun-20 10:37:49

If they can afford it, their decision. Not everyone is ambitious.

What gets me though is that they are often 5ge ones who end up moaning layer about how things are hard for them and how it's nothing to do with the choices they made in the past.

RosesinGranGransgarden Sat 20-Jun-20 10:38:00

I can't think of one interest that I had in my early twenties that I couldn't have done around full time work or that wouldn't have benefitted by my earning more money. My passion was travelling, more money I earned, more places I could go grin

OP’s posts: |
Shopkinsdoll Sat 20-Jun-20 10:38:35

I work in a large warehouse. Different 4 hour shifts. The majority of people doing these shifts are young people under 25. No kids or college/uni. They all stay at home with parents. I think this is bizarre. When I was younger it was unheard off, going back 30 years.

BeforeIPutOnMyMakeup Sat 20-Jun-20 10:38:53

I worked PT for a few months before I did my Masters in my mid-20s. I did a calculation and if I worked FT, which was about 10 more hours, I would have not been better off.

One of my nephews' later did similar about 3 years ago.

We now both work full-time in much higher paying jobs in the same area.

AngelicInnocent Sat 20-Jun-20 10:39:02

One person I worked with was very quietly studying and nobody knew until she passed and handed in her notice to take a job in the area she had just qualified in.

I also know someone who doesn't tell people she works with that her parents had her at quite an old age and she works part time to fit in her caring responsibilities. She's only 23 so maybe people judge but she is exhausted.

You don't always know what is going on in people's lives if they don't choose to tell you.

FTMF30 Sat 20-Jun-20 10:39:07

Because they don't want to spend most of their life working, especially if it's not in a job based on their desired career.

Life is to be enjoyed.

ConstantlySeekingHappiness Sat 20-Jun-20 10:40:03

Because they want to 🤷🏼‍♀️ Not everything revolves around children and I don’t understand why it bothered you about what hours people work


And ‘saving up for maternity leave’? Were they pregnant? Or are you just assuming all women must have children and that’s all they should be interested in?

BeforeIPutOnMyMakeup Sat 20-Jun-20 10:40:16

@Shopkinsdoll rents particularly for rooms in shared houses are much higher now than they were 30 years ago.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Sat 20-Jun-20 10:40:32

The life outside work thing I don’t quite understand because at that age aren’t people’s friends also working round the clock? surely you have to be in a pretty lucky position to opt to work part time in your 20s- and no it’s absolutely not about saving for kids but more a house, a car, holidays etc.

MrTumblesSpottyHag Sat 20-Jun-20 10:40:33

I only go to work to earn enough money to live the life I enjoy. That's been true all of my life and is still the same now I have kids.
I've had a mix of 6 day a week jobs and 2 days a week. It all depended on what I wanted out of life at the time.
Living life is more important than work for me.

Oysterbabe Sat 20-Jun-20 10:40:37

I've never met someone young and childless who chooses to work part time. I think it's probably fairly uncommon. I'm sure they have their reasons, maybe other caring responsibilities, medical conditions or stresses in their private lives.

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