How to Get Started with Part-Time Engineering
Many engineers who work part-time work in specific ways, or in specific circumstances. Many companies are cautious about hiring part-time, as the workload will often require an advanced understanding of the work situation at all times.
However, there are a handful of ways that starting out as a part-time engineer can be made easier.
Cut Down from Full-Time
Many engineers that work part-time have cut down from full-time jobs. After a year or so of working for a company, you’ll be well versed in their processes and will be costly to replace. If you’re currently working somewhere full-time and have done so for some time, many companies would rather let you switch to part-time over losing you entirely.
Have a candid talk with your line manager and make sure to elaborate on exactly why you want to cut down your hours. Either way, it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep their established engineers content and working.
While you lose out on the many benefits of being an employee at a company, freelancing can be an excellent way for you to work the hours that you want/need to without tying yourself down to any obligations.
When starting out as a freelancer, it’s important to establish a portfolio of work as a proof-of-concept. Having tangible evidence of your ability is important when bidding for any contracts that might become available. As a freelancer, companies will rely on you to complete a task in a given time. Either they will offer a rate of pay, or you’ll have to determine one yourself. Make sure you know what you want to be paid before contacting clients.
Contact Start-Ups & Businesses Directly
Many start-ups will be more inclined to hire out their work to freelancers, as they might not have the funds required to hire someone full-time. Depending on your specialism, companies might need varying levels of support. While this work can be inconsistent, it is a great way to get started and to build up your portfolio of work.
Look for Near Full-Time Work
Many companies are looking to hire engineers for ‘near full-time’ of around 4 days per week. These positions are quite rare and usually very competitive.