Creative ways of finding part-time work

It’s not easy to find a flexible job or an employer that allows you to work flexible hours. But it can help to get creative.

Don’t give up, here’s some ideas that might just help you find the job of your dreams.

Start with your old employer

Many women returners find the best place to start is their old employer. They might have an opening themselves, or know what’s happening in your field. Go for a chat, and see where they are. Prepare yourself by reading up on the latest developments in your field and on flexible working.

Consider up-front which type of working hours would suit you, your family and your field of work best.

Try small or medium-sized businesses

You might find that many small or medium-sized businesses, often started by women, provide flexibility. There are for instance virtual PA’s businesses, and law firms that mainly work with free-lance lawyers. You can find a case description of one of these companies on Business Link – government’s online resource for businesses. It is tremendously encouraging and they sound almost too good to be true.

Look in local papers

Do check out local papers, as many part-time jobs, for instance in local schools and charities are advertised there. A recruitment agency like ‘Women Like Us’, knows that parents like to work in the local area, and advertise locally too.


Part-time jobs are more prevalent in certain sectors, mainly in: nursing, education, administration and finance. However, don’t let yourself be put off if those are not the areas you are qualified to work in, you should not forget it is possible to re-train and many women do.

Create it yourself

If you work in a field that doesn’t offer much part-time options, you could be the trend setter and become one of the first people in your field working part-time.

A highly stressed corporate lawyer might consider moving into family law or in-house law, which can offer more flexible hours. An academic might secure her own funding and work hours to suit her. Go for it! Create it yourself!

Apply for full-time jobs

Just apply and take the risk. Many employers have a flexible working policy, and some are willing to discuss flexible hours, with the right candidate. Once you seem to have a real chance in the process, start discussing your requirements. Obviously you will not get the hours down to 2 days a week, but the employer is looking for a job to be done. Perhaps you can do that job when working partly from home, or working 4 days of 9 hours, thus still providing the employer with a good quality candidate.

Recruitment agency or head hunter for flexible work

You will find a list on our part-time working page.

Become your own boss

Start your own business or go free-lance

Comments (3)

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  1. Great ideas. We are a small business and always looking for part-time colleagues, whether running clubs or working in our head office. Do have a look at our website if you’re interested. Good luck! Nina

  2. Thanks Nina, that sounds great. I think you might have forgotten the URL, here it is:

  3. Good question Suzanne, where do you go to find support? Assuming you are currently looking for part-time or flexible work, I would say: try a Linked In group. There are several for Working Mums.

    Good ones are:
    Women In Technology
    Women Unlimited (if you are looking at starting a business)
    iRelaunch (if you are returning from a long career break)

    Do let me know what you find, I would like to know too, and share with others like you.

    You can also try our Forum. Even though it isn’t busy, it is read a lot, and with the right question might get you some great answers and support.

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