Where can I find a job that has flexible working hours? Ask the expert

I am looking for an HR Manager or Advisor role either part time or as a job share. There are very few roles to apply for that offer flexible hours like this. I am not sure whether to apply for full time jobs and ask to work part time? I would like to find a job share partner but not sure how to go about it. I am getting disheartened by the lack of part time roles. Can you help?

I can understand your frustration!  Good part-time/flexible roles were never easy to come by even when the jobs market was a lot better than it now is. It’s unrealistic to try persuading employers with full-time posts to re-configure them into part-time roles because there are too many good full-time candidates competing for each quality job. If you restrict your job search to full-time roles, finding a good job share partner with whom you can jointly apply for jobs that interest you both is your best bet. You’ll need a partner whose professional skills and approach to work mirror your own (quite a challenge), who wants to work when you don’t (another challenge), who’s easy to get on with and who communicates well.

He or she must also live close enough to your own area to make it practicable for you to meet often before you start applying for jobs (you need to be sure you’re on each others’ wavelength and to hammer out a joint approach to job search and self-presentation).  I’d suggest you look for this partner amongst past colleagues, Chatered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) students at local universities, present attendees of branch CIPD meetings, your own network of friends and relatives, suitable job sites (eg other versions of the workingmums site) and so on.  You’ll probably find yourself repeating the mantra …” and if you don’t know of anyone looking for a HR jobshare partner, which of your contacts might know?”

Alternatively, if you focus your job search on part-time roles, your best bet may be to broaden the way you search for jobs.  Most people don’t put anywhere near the amount they should into networking activities.  Again, tell friends, family etc what kind of job you’re looking for and ask them to watch out for any snippet of information that could help you (eg details of a new business starting up on the industrial estate, news of someone leaving their HR job, etc).  Go onto the web sites of the businesses in your locality (especially the smaller ones) and see whether they’ve anything to offer.  Track down those recruitment agencies and job sites advertising part-time posts and try to develop a personal rapport with the staff (you want to be remembered when a sniff of a good job comes up).  Good luck!

Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this answer, WorkingMums cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice.

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