People all around the country are talking about the latest trends in the labor market, with most of the headlines these days focusing on the minimum wage debate. Whether or not you believe in the idea of a $15 per hour base rate for minimum wage, it’s clear that part-time work simply isn’t meant to support a family on. What it is good for, of course, is filling gaps in your budget and ensuring that you’re putting enough away for your retirement. Might as well work while you’re spry, right? Well, that’s the idea anyway.
Minimum wage these days is set at a paltry $7.25 per hour. Now, as far as part-time spare-cash work goes, that isn’t too bad, particularly considering that just 15 hours per week making $7.25 means you’re bringing in an extra $108 per week, a little over $400 per month. Now, that isn’t much, until you consider that $400 per month is a pretty reasonable monthly payment these days on a new car. Not a Cadillac, mind you, but at least a new car!
When determining if a part-time job could meet your financial needs, it’s important to take into consideration how it will impact your regular income. One of the Hallmarks of low-paying jobs is that the companies who hire in these fields typically expect a whole lot of their employees for that minimum wage. You may have to deal with hiring managers who expect you to have completely open availability, (say bye-bye to your weekends,) be willing to work swing shifts, open and close venues with little or no prior notice, and generally be accepting of a whole lot of abuse in return for the “privilege” of making a few extra bucks a week. You won’t get benefits of any kind, taking time off is considered tantamount to quitting, and you’ll always be expected to treat it as your “most important” job, but if you’re lacking a few bucks in your budget, you could do a lot worse.
If you determine that a part-time job is necessary for your, find a place that’s close to home. You aren’t going to want to have to drive very far to get there, as it may not be worth the gas money and wear on your vehicle to make the trip. Make sure that the hiring manager who brings you on understands completely where you stand on issues like scheduling, pay rate, and benefits. With all that laid out in advance, that first time they try to take advantage of you (and it will happen eventually,) you’ll be prepared and can let them know unequivocally that those weren’t the terms you were hired under!