Working a Full-Time Job Pros and Cons (With a Few Tips)
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When seeking out a new job, it's helpful to consider what type of employment you want. While working full-time may mean spending long hours in the workplace, it can have a larger return on investment than part-time positions. Choosing to work a full-time position can allow you to experience many employment advantages through the various company benefits and perks offered. In this article, we discuss the differences between full-time and part-time jobs, provide a list of full-time employment advantages and disadvantages and offer a few tips for starting a full-time job.
Full-time job pros and cons
Before learning about full-time job pros and cons, it's important to understand the differences between full-time and part-time employment. The biggest difference between part-time and full-time employment is the number of hours worked per week. Part-time employees usually work less than 30 hours per week, while full-time employees work around 30 to 40 hours a week. Schedules for part-time jobs are often more flexible, usually with rotating shifts, whereas full-time roles have more consistent schedules. Full-time employees are usually also eligible for more benefits than part-time employees. Here are some full-time job pros and cons:
Pros of working full-time
Here are the benefits of working full-time:
If you're a full-time employee, you often have a fixed salary, which your employer pays on a weekly or monthly basis. Some employers include overtime compensation on top of a fixed salary. Having a consistent income source can help you budget your expenses better. Having a fixed income may also help if you're looking to subscribe to financial products such as insurance plans or credit cards.
Full-time employees in Hong Kong are generally provided allowances for paid annual leave, sick leave and parental leave. Employers sometimes offer paid annual leave for certain holidays such as Christmas. Annual leave is usually accumulated at a set rate on a weekly or monthly basis with a certain allowance that can be carried over to the next year. Most employers provide a monthly allowance for sick leave which isn't accumulated. Employers generally set a prescribed amount of parental leave that is usually the same regardless of the rank or tenure of an employee.
Employers in Hong Kong are required to provide employee compensation insurance to all employees full-time and part-time. Aside from employee compensation insurance, many employers also offer full-time employees health insurance and other benefits to attract better candidates. These include life insurance, dental insurance and disability insurance. Depending on your position, your employer may pay part or all of the insurance premiums.
If you have an employment contract of 60 days or more, you and your employer are required to contribute monthly to the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF). Under the MPF scheme, you and your employer contribute 5% of your monthly salary. As you advance in your career, you can keep your retirement earnings by rolling them over to your next job's retirement plan.
Job advancement opportunities
Companies often view their full-time staff as a long-term investment so they're more likely to promote full-time staff compared to part-time staff. Your employer is more likely to invest in you and help you advance your career if they feel you want to stay with the organisation for a long time. Many companies also have designated career paths for full-time positions.
Professional development opportunities
Professional development can help you further excel at your job which may lead to faster career advancement. Employers often provide on-site professional development opportunities to help full-time staff continue to learn and grow. They may also provide tuition reimbursement to encourage you to earn an advanced degree.
Full-time employees usually work a fixed schedule, typically 40 hours per week, though this may vary depending on your job and industry. Having consistent and specific work schedules each day can help you plan your weekly schedule. This can provide stability as you can better plan your personal time.
Working with the same people each day can help you establish close professional relationships, which can expand your professional network. Expanding your professional network may help advance your career with new job opportunities. You may also develop a mentorship relationship with a more senior coworker that may provide you with more personal growth opportunities.
Besides receiving work supplies, you may also enjoy office amenities that can help you boost your work performance. These amenities may include free snacks and access to an on-site fitness gym. Your employer might also provide space for a variety of purposes, such as lounge areas for chatting with colleagues and conference rooms for meetings.
Employee stock purchase plan
Depending on your employer, you may be able to contribute a percentage of your salary to the company's stock purchase plan at a discounted rate. You can contribute to the plan through payroll deductions, which accumulate between the offering date and the purchase date. At the purchase date, your employer uses your accumulated funds to purchase stock in the company on your behalf.
Discounts on products
Your employer may also provide you with discounts on products. These may include job-related items and mobile phone plans. Depending on what services or products your employer sells, you may get discounts on them and early access to information and opportunities.
Cons of working full-time
While full-time employment has several benefits, there are a few disadvantages to consider such as:
Possibility of becoming stagnant
Working at the same organisation for a long period can cause you to become comfortable in your daily routine with no desire for change. Your work may become monotonous because you repeat the same tasks each day. To motivate yourself, make sure you continue to improve or enhance your skills and try taking on more interesting or challenging projects at work.
Limited versatility on your resume
When you work in one full-time position as opposed to several part-time jobs, your CV might lack versatility. To improve or enhance your experience, consider getting involved with volunteer organisations or groups outside of work to demonstrate your skills in other areas. For example, if you love to write but don't use that skill in your current job, you may consider writing email blasts for a local charity in your free time.
Increased work-related stress
Since working full-time may involve spending a lot of time on the job each day, you might experience more work-related stress as you try to handle several tasks simultaneously. Consider prioritising your tasks based on their importance and urgency. In addition, make sure to take breaks throughout your workday to relax. For example, you could eat a snack outside or go for a walk to enjoy some fresh air.
Difficulty achieving a work-life balance
Having a good work-life balance might be more challenging with a full-time job, as you have less free time than you would in a part-time job. To make sure you still have time for you, your family or friends and hobbies, consider hyper-focusing on your day-to-day duties with no personal distractions, such as your smartphone. This can help you complete all of your tasks during business hours so that you can spend the rest of your day focusing on your personal life.
You can't choose your projects
Companies that offer full-time contracts usually have set structures, hierarchies and duties that they meticulously manage. This means that, compared to contractors or freelancers, you may not get to choose where you apply your abilities or skills. This can limit your creativity and may affect your work performance.
Tips for starting a full-time job
Here are some tips to help you start a full-time job:
Take the initiative: Start a project on your own and take the necessary next steps to move the organisation forward towards success. Going beyond the company's expectations can demonstrate your initiative or leadership skills and help you advance further in your career.
Ask questions when necessary: As a new employee, it may be helpful to ask your colleagues any questions you have about your projects or tasks. Consider using available resources at work to find answers on your own if you can.
Stay organised: Consider writing out important tasks and meetings on a to-do list or calendar that you can check throughout the day. You can also consider keeping your workspace or desk tidy so you can easily find items and stay productive.
Get to know your colleagues: Initiating friendly interactions and conversations with your colleagues during the workday can help you establish professional relationships. Consider using active listening to learn more about them and find common interests.
Prepare for the day ahead: Each night, consider laying out clothes to wear for the following day and setting an alarm to make sure you wake up on time. If you take steps to prepare for your day ahead, you can make your workload lighter in the morning.
Double-check your work: Before submitting your assignments, make sure they follow company guidelines, are free of errors and something you're proud of. Consider using checklists to make sure you followed all necessary steps and avoided making mistakes.
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