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Applying for Fulltime when you want Parttime? Advice please ....

(18 Posts)
Lovethesea Sat 21-May-11 11:00:51

I've been a SAHM for 2 and a half years and have DD (2 and half) and DS (11 months). I'm starting to look for work again but would like to do 3 days. DH works FT.

I've seen a job I would love, great longterm role, decent money (for the charity sector), ok commute .... but it's full time. The same role for the same organisation in a different location was advertised recently as fulltime but had 'would consider parttime' on the advert. This advert doesn't mention parttime though.

Should I apply and mention my preference for part time straight away?

Should I see if I get offered an interview and then tell them my preference is 3 days and would they consider a jobshare or parttime post?

Should I wait until I'm their preferred candidate and then see if they could be flexible?

I don't want to annoy them or waste their time, but I don't want to be thrown out immediately if I might suit them .....


suzikettles Sat 21-May-11 11:13:25

Depends on the job. I've never interviewed for a job where if the candidate had said "Actually I can only work 3 days a week" I wouldn't have had to say "Sorry we need 5 days a week. Next."

What do you know about the job? Can you see it working 3 days a week?

Lovethesea Sat 21-May-11 11:40:54

What gives me hope is that the same role (family support work) was advertised as suitable for parttime in the same organisation, just at another site. Obviously that location might have a bigger team or something else that made it feasible, but it's the only reason that I am considering applying. I don't know the organisation well as I've just relocated 400 miles.

Do you think it would be best to apply saying my preference is 3 days but if only FT is available I would still like to be considered?

Maybe I should take it if offered FT. But the kids would go from seeing me 24/7 to 2 hours a day for 5 days of the week. That would be a bit of a shock for all of us, though I am really keen to get back to work for my sanity.

Vintagepommery Sat 21-May-11 11:52:33

can you phone them up and ask them if they'd consider a jobshare?

Lovethesea Sat 21-May-11 15:01:20

Maybe I should send in the application with a covering letter saying I am looking for parttime and would they consider a jobshare? I just worry if I ask over the phone they won't even glance at my job history or suitability before saying no chance. If they have my application and don't get a lot of people shortlisted maybe they would consider being more flexible????

beanlet Sat 21-May-11 15:08:14

Ring or email before you send in your application and ask if they would consider part time. Otherwise you risk wasting your time and theirs. Whatever you do, don't leave it until interview/offer - as an employer that would really piss me off.

beanlet Sat 21-May-11 15:10:08

As for your last suggestion, if I wanted a fulltime employee, I wouldn't read past the covering letter, so you're still wasting your time. It's an employers' market out there at the moment.

cantfindamnnickname Sat 21-May-11 15:30:46

I applied for a position - not knowing whether it was full or part time - i had sent CV on spec to a Company and they didnt tell me before the interview - only that it was to cover maternity leave.

I got to the interview and they asked me what i was looking for in terms of hours - i told them 9 - 3 every day and they offered me the position on that basis -

Lovethesea Sat 21-May-11 16:01:55

Ok, so it's probably a lost cause. I don't want to waste their time, I'll do some of the basic application form today to get myself used to it again, then I'll call Monday and ask if there is any point applying on a jobshare basis. If they say there is I'll finish it, send it in and hope. If not I'll keep searching.

It's just gutting as it's the first exciting opportunity I've seen in many months.

hairylights Sun 22-May-11 17:01:26

Be up front with them. Ring them up and ask if there would be any possibility if jsob share.

Thingsfallapart Sun 24-Jul-11 00:56:16

Lovethesea, is the job in Southwark by any chance? I am in EXACTLY the same position

AnnieLobeseder Sun 24-Jul-11 01:27:10

Well, I don't see any harm in applying. I don't think it would be a waste of your time as interview experience is always valuable. And if you turn out to be their ideal candidate, you won't have wasted their time if you ask to negotiate hours. Many people negotiate salary at the job offer stage, I see no reason why hours shouldn't work the same way.

Another tactic that worked for me in the past is to go for the job, start full time, and once you're a few months in, you might see for example that things are very slow on a Monday but crazy on a Thursday afternoon. So you could ask if perhaps you could work a 4-day week with Mondays off, but with an extra hour tacked onto Thursdays.

I also found that working full time wasn't as bad as I'd expected when I moved to my current job. I was hoping to pare the hours down as I've just described, but that didn't work this time around. But I actually quite enjoy it, my family seem to be coping magnificently, and when I finally did get the chance to go part time this year, I turned it down.

Good luck with the job hunt!

AnnieLobeseder Sun 24-Jul-11 01:27:46

I meant to say, I'm not sure I'd ask before applying as that might put you out of the running before you even apply.

MovingAndScared Sun 24-Jul-11 08:12:31

It depends - I think in this case I would ring them and ask - sound like it might be a possibility - what some employers are sometimes open to is a 4 day week - I think asking to go down to 3 days a week might be a step too far
but I have to say that in the job market at the moment its number of applications that count so it would be good practice anyway!

swedie Sun 24-Jul-11 08:24:56

I had exactly this situation. I applied for a full time position then negotiated when they offered me the post to have it part time for a fixed period and then gradually moved up to full time. This was a public sector organsiation and they had no problems with this.
Could you apply and discuss your preferences at interview, if you want a job share, they could then consider whether the other candidates would be open to this too.
NO harm in trying!

HoneyDuke Sun 24-Jul-11 08:31:05

Phone them up and ask them if they would consider a job share. You've got nothing to lose.

BranchingOut Sun 24-Jul-11 08:39:50

I always think that you don't have anything to lose by trying - what's the harm done?

The key is to ask the question of the manger or decision maker before you apply - the person who might be able to authorise a part-time working request. There is no point asking someone who will just glance at the job paperwork on their desk and say 'It's advertised as full time'.

I have done this several times and sometimes got a 'yes'. In those cases it has turned out to be other aspects of the job which aren't quite right, but it has certainly opened up opportunities which were not originally advertised as part time.

hecklephone Mon 25-Jul-11 21:35:22

I'm also in this position OP - I've recently applied for a couple of jobs advertised as FT. In one instance I sent a covering letter asking to be considered for PT hours or jobshare. I didn't even get selected for interview for that one - although of course I may not have been suitable for other reasons. More recently I applied for a FT temporary post. I got an interview but was not selected for the post - however if I had I was planning at that point to enquire about flexibility in hours, the possibility of perhaps reducing to 4 days, that sort of thing. However, I was seriously considering taking it FT as it was a maternity cover and could possibly have led to reduced hours in the long run.

My mindset now is continuing to change - I never thought I would consider FT (have done PT since DD1 was born 5 years ago) but now I reckon I may need to bite the bullet - jobs in my industry are few and far between and I think perhaps taking a FT post in the short term would be beneficial both for our finances and my career in the long term. There could be a better chance of finding a more suitable PT post or of negotiating PT hours after being in the job a while.

So...I think apply for the post as it is, then wait and see how you feel at each stage. If you are their preferred candidate they might be willing to discuss flexibility in working hours, and if not, you might find yourself keen to take on the FT post anyway. Basically, don't make any decisions until you really have to! hth and is not too confusing...(can you tell I'm obsessing about this stuff A LOT at the moment confused)

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