I have been working as a software developer at one particular company for a couple of years already and I'm now looking for a new place. When I started working there I was still a junior student in the university so I was employed at 30 hours work week (as opposed to 40 hours a week which is the norm in my country). However, I graduated from the university almost 2 years ago and I'm still employed at 30-hours workweek. The reasons for this are:

  • the management of the company where I work sees no point in employing people full-time (i.e. 40 hours a week). They believe that the work done will be more or less the same whereas the payment will be higher (i.e. it will be a loss for them)
  • after I graduated I got a relatively large salary + title promotion so I decided to stay at the company for a while longer
  • I'm quite indecisive when it comes to such "big" decisions. I'm also a bit of a nerd / anxious person and hence scared about how will I get along with the people at a potential new place, so this also made me stay at the same company
  • In the country where I live programmers are generally paid much more than the average person, so by working 30 hours a week I was actually making significantly more than the average guy in the country who is working 40+ hours a week whilst having great work life balance.

Now I have decided to interview for a new job at a few places, but I see the fact that I have never been employed full-time as some kind of a disadvantage. I have good experience in terms of projects and technologies I have worked with, but I'm a bit ashamed to tell people that I have only worked part-time. I have an excuse for the years when I was a student, but I am afraid I might be seen as a slacker for the past 2 years when I wasn't doing anything else other than working for this company. Any thoughts? How should I mention this? I feel that I should tell prospective employers about that.

  • At least in my home country I think it would be illegal to ask you for your reasons to work part time. It could be you have family, it could be your dog was terminally ill and needed special care, it could be you had a competitive hobby that you wanted to have time for. So what? The quality of your work and the question if you are willing to work full time now will be much more important to your potential employer. If they ask a simple "personal reasons" should suffice as an answer. – skymningen Feb 6 '17 at 8:37
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    @skymningen I can't think of any country with such stringent laws that simply asking why you worked part-time is illegal. I think you're confusing it with an employer asking for details after you mention "I worked part-time due to a health issue / personal reasons at the time". – Lilienthal Feb 6 '17 at 8:58
  • OP, what is your actual question? If it's just "How to tell potential employers that I have been employed part-time" then the simple answer is to write "Job (Employer, Location) (part-time)" on your resume... – Lilienthal Feb 6 '17 at 8:59
  • @Lilienthal They are not even entitled to know that you had health issues, so they are not supposed to ask you anything where the answer would be personal life or health related. – skymningen Feb 6 '17 at 9:02
  • Wait.......why would you need to justify part time work? – NZKshatriya Feb 6 '17 at 10:18

Of the four bullet points you listed in your question, you could actually use a couple of them:

  • the company tends to use part time staffing

This is an excellent reason to be employed part time. Especially if you:

  • got a large salary and title promotion

And you can mention the work life balance. Of course you'll now want to have a good explanation for why you will now be okay going to full time.

I wouldn't mention the indecisiveness, though - this would really be the only negative as far as I'm concerned, as an employer.


To rephrase what you've said above, your management believe that you were getting the same amount of work done as someone working 40 hours a week, but would rather your terms and conditions said 30 hours per week as it meant they could pay you less.

Right there, you are saying that management regarded you as highly productive, while at the same time providing a very understandable reason why you now want to move on.

A different point related to this. Many full time workers often work longer than the 40 hours it might say in their contracts in order to get the job done.

If in practice you were working more like 40 hours a week, then you were in practice a full time employee, being paid a part time wage. If this is the case, I don't think there's any need to mention being part time in your CV, as, this was not really the case whatever your contract said. Your not keeping it a secret unless they directly ask, but some things are better discussed face to face in an interview.

If you were actually working a 30 hour week and were always able to stop immediately when you had done your hours, bear in mind that the ability to limit your hours like that is something that comes with a part time job, and if you were to move to a different "full time" position you might find that there was an expectation of more flexibility.

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