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Ask HN: What companies offer part-time positions?
71 points by ernestipark on Dec 14, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 50 comments
Gumroad somewhat notably is a company that has only part-time employees. There are some companies that do a 4 day work week, and some big companies like Google have policies where full-timers can ask to go down to 60% or 80% pro-rated, but you can't apply directly for those positions.

Are there other companies like Gumroad that offer part-time employment as a competitive hiring advantage and as a formalized program? Note I'm not asking for companies that have allowed it one-off for a key hire, or a company that hires contractors occasionally.

Fwiw, I got a lot of pushback at Google when I requested to go to 80% or 90% (4 day week or alternating 4/5 day week) for the sake of my mental health. I tried to be firm about that being the best accomodation for my needs and got nowhere except seriously burnt-out months later, put on a PIP, worked my ass off to get off the PIP, and finally quit when I couldn't just suffer through the burnout any longer.

So take those "policies" with a grain of salt.

Sorry to hear this. Hope you found somewhere better now. In my experience with 4 day weeks - in the public sector e:g gov't, academia, it really means that. You can chill , do caring responsibilities, whatever on the 5th day. And ironically, as result you are more productive the other 4 days. Whereas the private sector is patchy. In a corporate like Google, its less likely to work. I worked for a large US corp where they allowed compressed hours. Still 4 day week but just tiring long days instead. Where they have systems comparing peoples performance on the same grade against each other (a bit like apples and oranges. ;) ) , doing PIPs etc, someone working less hours may be hurt by getting less work done at times. That's fine, because for 80% of the salary the employer should expect 80% of the work (in practice they probably get 85-90% so its a bargain). However, private employers in particular can be rigid and just see that person as having done less. If there's internal politics and everyone's trying to look better than others, sometimes working 4 days makes you miss a crucial meeting and be out of the loop of what you need to do to impress Manager X by end-of-year. Public sector by contrast, its in the culture, for years plenty of people working part-time including some senior managers, more women in senior positions who previously juggled work and kids and know what its like, and, it just works. The work gets done.

I also have a friend at Google successfully requesting a 60%, but they had to change team to do so. They also experienced pushback for it - I'm sorry it went the wrong way for you.

Sorry to hear you had that experience. I’m sure it’s a YMMV type situation and it’s not guaranteed. The few anecdata points I have show that people have done it successfully. But certainly it’s small numbers.

Here in The Netherlands it is quite common for employees to work 4 days a week and receive 80% pay. Most employees will even ask you about it during the interview process.

Most of the people I know who do this is because of the cost of daycare here, which is in most places higher than your rent or mortgage. Both partners will work 4 days but have different off days, so they pay only for 3 days of day care.

Yes very common in Germany and other European countries as well.

Any real data about it? Can you backup somehow this thesis? I experienced only old school managers hating part time employees in Germany.

Its part of German labor law that it’s required under certain circumstances. That doesn’t mean managers like it necessarily of course. I’ve had friends do it successfully.

>under certain circumstances

its basically: be 6 months in the company when the company has more than 15 FTE.

the company can deny it but its the same as the "Nebentätigkeit" thing where the reasons have to be substantial and its not that easy.

As a someone who has worked part time (50%) for a few years now in different companies, I just apply to full time positions and ask about part time towards the end of the process. I found more often than not companies i talked to agreed. Asking early in the process might be more of a reason for a company to just reject you outright. It seems many hiring managers I met think that 50% time equals 50% output which is far from the truth.

I think there might be a bigger shift towards part time being the norm in some time.

Of course another way is to do consulting/freelance :)

Also i’m in the EU so YMMV.

https://4dayweek.io/ has both 4 day week positions and part-time positions.

Yeah 4 day week is great and I know the creator!

I'm looking for more companies of Gumroad's type though where it's far more flexible, or maybe all employees are given the option of FT vs PT.

For what it's worth, Gumroad actually stopped that program if I recall correctly, similarly with another company called Maybe. It seems like from a management perspective, there's simply not that much work that can be assigned that substantially helps the company at part time levels.

I recently did an interview with Sahil and they’re still doing it. I believe they’ve iterated on it and changed parts of their policies though as they’ve gone along.

Any easy job you can do in 4 hours per day for 8 hours of pay.

Won't work if there are presence monitors.

WiebeTech Programmable Mouse Jiggler MJ-3 (Single Unit) https://a.co/d/7dWe1I0

Outside of tech, optional part time roles are extremely common.

Pretty much mandatory if you want to retain women, TBH.

Why specifically women?

Typically when women have kids they realize that raising their offspring is more important than maximizing their earnings. I’m sure many would prefer to quit altogether, but many still have to work to make ends meet. On the balance, men don’t care as much about raising kids and they also derive more self-worth from work.

Is this comment from your perspective as a woman?

I'm a woman and it's correct as a data point though their assumptions about how the women feel about it are less accurate. In most cases, the male earns more and/or it would be a bigger hit to his career to be the primary caregiver, so from a household composed of a het couple and their kids perspective it makes sense for her to be the primary caregiver.

Usually someone has to step back/make compromises once children are had, because even good childcare won't take your kid if they're sick, and things like pandemic/staffing school shutdowns can leave people without childcare. For example, my boss's kid's school just shut down 3 hours early because too many of their staff were out sick. So the parents were just kind of stuck.

Thank you, I appreciate your detailed input.

Silly question, and I hope you don't mind, but Feet, about how old are you? I'm curious, that's all.

At some point in your life, things like these will be "of course" to you. (Eg women more often wanting to be with their kids, or choosing jobs where they get to take care of others. And men, looking at large numbers, caring less, and more about themselves. För evolutionary reasons...).

My age is in the range of 35-45. I'm also a scientist, nothing is "of course"

Ok :-)

I'd be wary of assuming the women's (and men's) choices are evolutionary - or at least nature versus nurture. It needs to be remembered both that having a choice at all is a fairly recent decision - 99.99+% of humans who ever lived didn't really get to 'choose' in the way we do now - and that choices are really hard to separate from societies in which we live.

When you live in a small group like most humans, you do what needs doing because if you don't, it doesn't get done. Think a nuclear family unit: If mom is out of the house, of course dad changes the diaper because otherwise it doesn't get changed. But all the time. There are some tasks that only can be done by one sex, but very few. Turning down a competent hunter or caregiver because they had the wrong genitals is suboptimal for group survival. Overspecialization in general is only possible after a certain number threshold has been reached.

The social part is important because it's also important to remember that evolutionary history =/= written history. We don't have records from most human societies. Limiting our data set to written records on gender/sex cuts out all pre-literate societies and also introduces substantial bias. (e.g. just because cuniform exists doesn't mean that any average person can use it or that their writing would survive or be accurate).

Modern societies have, up until recently, been fairly restrictive on the basis of sex. My mother wasn't allowed to go to college and her interest in electronics wasn't acceptable. This in turn impacts what I (and my sister) were told: Most parents will give their children advice that they think will help the children survive and flourish, so girls are told to lean in to their communication skills while boys are told to lean in to other things (I'm not a boy, I'm not going to speak on y'all's experience). Likewise, I've heard from men that a fair amount of them had to discard the part of them that would want to care for others/go into a caring profession.

There's also how we categorize professions as caring or not. Doctors vs. nurses are a good example as are college professors vs. high school teachers. A high school AP Calc teacher is in a 'caring' profession, but an adjunct teaching algebra in a community college is not.

And that's without even getting into 'is the average human aware of why they make choices'? The majority of what I've been told/seen has suggested that the couples make the decisions on the basis of finances, but I don't know if that's true or if it's just the most comfortable story for everybody. Humans are great at lying to ourselves, particularly if it helps us fit into a group.

For sure the social part plays a role, I agree about that.

And if that part was eliminated, afterwards, there would be more female doctors than male, and more male software developers than female, from what I've understood about this monkey species.

And it's important that everyone gets the same chances and encouragement to do whatever s/he likes :-) Teaching both ones boy and girl how to code (if one has kids) and build mechano spaceships.

You might find it interesting to read about what jobs people choose, in countries with higher equality and social safety nets, compared to more dangerous countries where you're left on your own. There was an article here on HN a while about that, maybe I can find it

I've read them and they're interesting, I just take most/all social science research with a giant pillar of salt, that included. For example, I have major doubts about how countries are evaluated for sex equality and I don't think you can meaningfully disentangle the fact that those nations have social safety nets from the decision making. If we are taking those metrics and studies at face value, one also has to consider things like the higher number of childless women/very small families in wealthier countries: There are lots of women who seem to opt out of the family game altogether and basing one's idea of what women and men do naturally on parents ignores childless humans. If women were naturally inclined to making our decisions based on family planning, then what's up with those of us without kids?

I agree that it makes sense for women with newborns/infants to choose less intense professions due to the material reality of nursing and childbirth (you need a job that at the least lets you stop what you're doing every couple of hours) and there are some biological indicators that would suggest on average you'd see more male software developers in a vacuum (e.g. a greater prevalence of autism causing a greater affiliation for the type of systems thinking that's helpful, particularly in lower level programming, greater variance in IQ and ability due to the single X chromosome meaning males are more likely to do most things at the highest and lowest levels). And there are definitely biological factors at play - almost all recorded societies have an exponentially greater female prostitute class than male for a reason.

It'd be brilliant if we could try to disentangle those variables but it's difficult given we are all apes who want to fit in with one another and it's difficult to discuss outliers without judging them in some way. At this point, I agree with the observations based on sex because I'm not into denying reality, but the ascribed motivations tend to be illogical and quite silly. (On all ends: bad evo psych about how women don't want status is up there with 'all men are inherently prone to violence' from radfems).

What's the bad ev psych about women not wanting status? (I think everyone wants status, to various extents)

The X thing -- yes I've seen that before. Found some research articles about it now when I websearched.

> basing one's idea of what women and men do naturally on parents ignores childless humans. If women were naturally inclined to making our decisions based on family planning, then what's up with those of us without kids?

Not sure about that. Evolution didn't take contraceptives into account. (If there had been no contraceptives, maybe the childless people in today's society instead would have had kids? I mean, the lifes they're living, works for making kids ... If there had been no contraceptives)

(This: "naturally inclined to making our decisions based on family planning" Im unsure what it means -- hmm what decisions? Like, what job to have?)

s/monkey/great ape/

Yeah in most cases the men earn more because they’re more driven towards their careers and how much they earn.

The data are very clear. It’s not even a debate. It’s not surprising at all that women find deep value in motherhood.

Which data?

Take a look at Scandinavian countries that have the highest levels of gender equality. When women are given the most freedom, they choose to spend more time raising children than men, and they choose less demanding jobs than men. Women and men have overlapping interests but women tend towards children.

This is the scientific answer. The 'hey, im old now answer' is from life. Most of the women I worked with have exited (80% not in tech nor working), and the women in my friends group are raising kids rather than some shit job.

You might want to take a look at the cost of Kindergarten or similar care. People I know (in Germany though) made this calculation: to work and pay what I earn for Kindergarten or one of us does not work and takes care of the kids.

More likely from their perspective as a person untainted by the woke, western cultural hegemony.

Yeah we need to keep that out of here.

Not the original commenter on this thread, but I wrote about this here: https://blog.parttimetech.io/p/fix-gender-inequality-hire-pa...

But TLDR, whether by preference, or because there's no better choice, much of the gender wage gap can be attributed to the fact that women are usually the primary caretaker when kids come along. Part-time roles can be a good way to give women (but really any parent) more options on how to balance career and family. At least in the US tech industry, often times the answer is really work or quit without many intermediary options (that are well known at least).

I wanted to recommend this really great blockchain page called Rather Labs (https://www.ratherlabs.com) to you. They offer a wide range of part-time positions in the blockchain industry, and I think it could be a great opportunity for anyone looking to get into the field or gain more experience.

The page has a lot of useful information about the different positions available, as well as information on the requirements and application process. I think it could be a great resource for anyone looking to find a part-time job in the blockchain industry.

In addition, if you have a Web3 project in mind and you want to develop it, Rather Labs can help you with that. I contacted them in the past in order to tell them about my project, and they were willing to help me.

I hope you find this recommendation helpful! Let me know if you have any questions.

Most people have the opposite problem; they have to take multiple jobs just to equal full time work.

This is of great interest to me. Unfortunately I'm probably not talented enough to be competitive.

Why do you think so? While being really senior and very talented will always give you more options and leverage, I’ve met a lot of people at varying stages of their career do part time work.

It’s difficult to work a part-time and a full :(

4 days a week (30+ hours) is not part time.


I see on their site:

> We have no set hours or expectation that you’re online from 9 to 5. You create a schedule that allows you to get your best work done.

But no mention of part time.

They say you create the schedule that allows you to get your best work done. The schedule that works for you is part time. That's your schedule. No need to be more explicit about it.

Hi, there! We're actually hiring part-time positions as our brand ambassador. we're a start up, click https://www.producthunt.com/posts/allvalue to know more and leave a comment if you're interested in our brand ambassador and I'll reach out to you ASAP :)

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