Ways of working

Climb to the top of the career ladder – and only work part‑time

Reading time:  3 Minutes

Becoming successful doesn’t mean dedicating every hour to your career. Deciding to work part-time is a strategic decision you can make at any point in your business journey – you just need to put the building blocks in place. A recent survey of self-made millionaires found that 65% of them actually started their businesses part-time. You can divide your attention, and still conquer.

Choosing your path: Part-time work is a valid and common choice that delivers results for companies and entrepreneurs around the world. OECD research reveals that 17% of people worldwide are in part-time employment. That’s nearly one in five workers.

The range of industries in which you can carve a successful career part-time is bigger than you might think too. For example, UK data on the highest paying part-time jobs found the top ten included lecturers, business analysts, teaching assistants, brand ambassadors and warehouse workers.

The secret isn’t in finding a lucrative industry, it’s in being good at what you do and finding people who value your work. And that can happen in almost any sector.


Using your time productively: Finding success doesn’t mean working every hour under the sun. The Harvard Business Review is just one of many business papers to note that working longer hours actually makes workers less productive. In fact, OECD data shows that reducing hours increases productivity.

The art is to use your time productively, but it’s no mean feat. Both structure and commitment are needed to ensure that part-time means part-time.

The successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople we spoke to explained that organisation is key. This could mean using productivity tools like Harvest, Toggl and Wave to keep track of your output and time, or engaging closely with clients to meet their exact needs rather than working on unnecessary services. It’s all about having a system and a focus in place.

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Creating and claiming opportunities: Of course, success is often equated to growth and longevity in business and these goals might seem to jar with a part-time schedule. This doesn’t need to be the case.

Opportunities are available at every stage of your business – for instance, your choice of office can create opportunities too. 80% of workers say that networking situations are driving the growth of co-working spaces, while 69% say the spaces have helped them grow through shared skills and experiences.

A professional environment can also help your business grow in the eyes of your clients and customers. 74% of our respondents said being near clients improved visibility. Many more also benefitted from the professional image and structure provided by dedicated receptionists, phone answering services and meeting rooms.

If you structure your business right, inside and out, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a successful business and a part-time schedule.