Why Accepting a Part-time Job Could Affect Your Career

Will working a second job put your career at risk? Taking a part-time job impact your future career prospects. " Being over-educated fo...

Will working a second job put your career at risk? Taking a part-time job impact your future career prospects. "Being over-educated for your first job can hurt your career" stated Charlotte Alter on Time.com. for unemployed men, accepting a part-time job could be as detrimental to their career as remaining unoccupied.

Why Accepting a Part-time Job Could Affect Your Career
David Pedulla, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, sent thousands of fake resumes to show how gender and employment history affected the prospects of these candidates being called to an interview by an interested employer. Pedulla found that women who worked part-time had twice as many men as part-time men. In fact, men with part-time jobs performed slightly better than those who were unemployed.

In part-time work, there seems to be "punishment for men who are severe as punishment for being unemployed, while in the case of women we do not observe any punishment," said Pedulla.

It is estimated that one in six US workers lost their jobs during the recession years of 2007, 2008 and 2009 and unemployment remained at high levels in the following years, despite the recovery of the economy. An increasing number of studies indicate that the financial and psychological damage produced by a prolonged period of unemployment can be significant and lasting, especially for those who remain unemployed for longer periods of time.

The health of the US labor market has improved in recent years, but finding a job is not just about the unemployment rate.

Pedulla's research, published in a recent issue of the American Sociological Review, detailed an experiment that sent 2,420 job applications to 1,210 vacancies in five US cities. Between November 2012 and June 2013. Resumes described candidates and candidates who had graduated from major state universities in the Midwestern US. And had a similar work history up to 12 months before the application. At that time, the candidates were divided into five: those who had a full-time job, a part-time job, a temporary agency job, a job below their skill level (a store clerk) Or unemployed.

Among men and women with a full-time job, 10.4% were called for an interview with a potential employer. Those with work below their abilities were only called 4.7% of the time in the case of males and 5.2% in that of females.

"For both men and women, accepting employment below their skills results in severe punishment in terms of available job opportunities," said the sociologist.

Temporary work, meanwhile, generated calls for 7.1% of male applicants, the highest rate after full-time work, and 8.3% of women.

It appeared that employers did not consider part-time employment a barrier to hiring women, 10.9% of whom were called for an interview. The figure, however, fell to 4.8% in the case of men, barely more than 4.2% of the unemployed who received calls. 7.5% of unemployed women in the study were called for an interview.

What factors explain the gender gap? Pedulla said in an interview that it is difficult to separate the root causes. Based on the results of a separate survey of personnel managers, he said that "it appears that men are punished for working half time in part because of employers' perceptions of their degree of commitment." This, however, does not happen with women.

"Although there are good reasons for people to accept any work they find, specifically when economic hardship is imminent, the experimental data presented here raise questions about whether all types of employment open new job opportunities for workers," Pedulla wrote in the study. "In reality, certain types of employment positions appear to send negative signals to future employers about workers' competence and commitment, punishing them in a similar way as if they were unemployed."

Some of his findings are similar to the results of research published last year by Princeton University economist Henry Farber, Arizona State University economist Dan Silverman, and the economist at the University of California at Los Angeles , Till von Wachter. Economists, like Pedulla, sent resumes to see the responses of potential employers, although in this case the bogus applicants were all unemployed women. The research found that accepting "low-level interim" employment, such as a store clerk, significantly reduced the likelihood of being called for an interview.

"Apparently, it is better for an unemployed worker to remain unemployed and to continue seeking to accept low-level employment and to continue seeking," said the authors. "If an applicant accepted a low-level job on an interim basis, it might be better not to put it on their resume."

Farber, Silverman and von Wachter also found that employees over the age of 50 were less likely to be called than those under 50. They did not find a link between employers' calls for employment and unemployment time, a finding that does not fit the conclusions of other studies that found evidence of discrimination against those who were out of work for the most time, Authors.

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