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Is Part-Time Work Worse for Work-Life Balance?

Is Part-Time Work Worse for Work-Life Balance?

Nataly Kogan | Work It, Mom!

May 06, 2008

Almost every working mom I know who works full-time has told me that she would love to do her job but on a part-time basis. And according to a survey that came out last year, nearly 80% of women want to work part-time.

Part-time work seems to be an ideal, most coveted arrangement for working moms – one that would allow us enough time to pursue our career ambitions and spend time with our kids and families.

But according to a new Australian study, the reality of part-time work is far from what we might idealize it to be.

The study found that many part-time workers face career dead-ends, lower incomes, and still not enough time to spend with their families. The hardest hit were women professionals, who turned to part-time work as a way to balance work and family.

This is sad news but, to me, it’s not surprising.

Just this morning I had lunch with a friend who told me that she gave up a high-flying career for a job where she works a lot less hours and that fits around her kids’ schedule. She has lost a great deal of respect from her colleagues, makes less money, and often finds that because of her own work ethic, she still puts in a ton more hours.

When I recently wrote about part-time work for moms on the Work It, Mom! Blog, several members expressed their frustration with part-time work in the comments, citing similar issues as the Australian study found.

Do the findings of this more recent study surprise you or do they make sense to you? How has working part-time impacted your career and your ability to juggle work and family? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Nataly Kogan is the co-founder and CEO of Workitmom.com.


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