Full Time Vs. Part Time – What’s Right For You?

One of the first things you should ask yourself when looking for a new job is: “what type of contract do I want: part-time or full-time?”.

The debate of full-time vs part-time work is an important one and one that is perhaps more complicated than it first appears. Both options offer a wide range of benefits depending on the employee’s current circumstances, so it’s important to take all elements into consideration before you begin applying.

Below, we will explain a little about the benefits of full-time vs part-time employees and vice versa, to make it easier for you to decide which option is best before you take your first steps towards applying for a new role.

Career Progression

In some circumstances, the question of whether to work full-time vs part-time boils down to your career goals. Being a full-time employee in certain companies might mean that you are more likely to be promoted than a part-time worker, as you might be seen to be able or willing to offer more time and commitment to your job. This means that you may wish to consider your long-term aims before you apply for a part-time position.

However, this is certainly not always the case. Employees who work both full-time and part-time at Sainsbury’s are considered for progression, and their success is mainly down to the standard of their work and their attitude as a team member.

Of course, part-time work can be beneficial in terms of the impact it can have on your career. As you’ll see in the next section, this type of contract is very popular with those who are in higher or further education; or who have other commitments.


It’s certainly worth considering working part-time vs full-time as a student. The flexibility this provides usually means that you can earn money without missing out valuable study time. Furthermore, it may allow you to get a foot in the door at your chosen company before your time at university is over – so you’ll have somewhere to work as soon as you graduate. At this stage, you may decide to go full-time or apply for a promotion with the help of your new qualification, if there is an available opportunity.

Even if you don’t necessarily wish to pursue a career in the same field as your current part-time employment, taking on an entry-level job on this basis will provide you with the life skills and basic workplace capabilities that will allow you to quickly progress after graduation.

As we’ll explain further in the next section, individuals with dependents and other responsibilities outside of work may also want to consider working part-time rather than full time, in order to help them juggle their commitments.


Of course, you shouldn’t only consider working part-time vs full-time as a student. Parents who wish to earn money whilst being able to spend time raising their children will also benefit from the level of flexibility that working part-time can offer, as will carers and those who are semi-retired and looking for a reduced number of hours to supplement their pension.

Part-time work is also highly beneficial to those who wish to take responsibility for their own mental health, as reducing the number of hours you work may provide you with a good opportunity to relax and ground yourself during or after a stressful period in your life. Some employers may allow staff members to reduce their hours on a temporary basis, then return to full-time work when the time is right – although this depends on the availability of the hours in question, so you should not depend on this possibility when applying for a position.

Different people find that the benefits of being full-time vs part-time employees vary significantly depending on their lifestyle and circumstances. If you are trying to decide whether to take on a full-time or part-time position, you should first take into account what is best for you and your situation.

Before making any decision regarding the type of contract you wish to take on, you need to consider:

  • Your existing responsibilities
  • Your desired level of career progression
  • The flexibility you require in order to pursue other interests or keep up with other aspects of your life
  • Your mental health, and what would be most beneficial for you at the present time

Take a look at our dedicated recruitment site to browse both part-time and full-time jobs at Sainsbury’s.