Networking Work Part-Time Work-Life Balance

Networking for the Win! How a New-in-Town Mom Scored Two Part-Time Job Offers

Networking for the Win! How a New-in-Town Mom Scored Two Part-Time Job Offers

If at all possible, don’t settle for full-time work if you really want a part-time schedule! Networking can lead you to the job offer you really want. Photo by Ryan Riggins on Unsplash

I first mentioned networking in this post, which is about why an employer might say Yes! to your request to work part-time. In the traditional 40(+) hours per week workforce, it can be difficult to find a part-time position. Here is a true story where networking paid off for a mother of three:


Once upon a time, there was a mom (Mom #1) who worked. Many of her neighbors were stay-at-home moms, as she had been for a few years, too, but now Mom #1 had a part-time job because she really enjoyed working in a professional capacity. She worked part-time so she could take her kids to school, be home with them after school, and drive them to their afterschool activities.

One day, she met a new neighbor, another mom with three kids – two in grade school and one in preschool. Mom #1 asked New-in-Town Mom if she worked outside of the home. Yes, she had before they’d moved to town, but on a part-time basis. New-in-Town Mom had a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree. The two moms recognized they were on a similar career path and both felt strongly about at least one parent having the flexibility that part-time work offers a busy family.

Mom #1 excitedly asked New-in-Town Mom for her email address. “We’re hiring soon, and I can get a referral bonus!”

Mom #1 told her office manager about her new friend, and how she would be a good fit but would likely only want a part-time position because she had young kids and a husband with a demanding career.

When the time to hire arrived, Office Manager #1 posted the position as both full-time and part-time. Mom #1 was so excited that her Office Manager was supportive of working moms who strive for more work-life balance.

She told New-in-Town Mom, who applied immediately and went to the interview several days later. Soon, New-in-Town Mom had part-time Job Offer #1.

A few days later, while still pondering Job Offer #1, New-in-Town Mom told Mom #1 that she had attended a professional networking event in this new-to-her city. She’d met a very dynamic woman and the two hit it off immediately. The dynamic woman wanted New-in-Town Mom to work for her, and the job description sounded incredible!

There was a problem, though. Dynamic Woman’s boss didn’t prefer part-time employees. “I know about you part-timers,” Office Manager #2 reportedly said, “you’re never here when I need you.”

New-in-Town Mom had a dilemma. Dynamic Woman’s job sounded amazing! But she still had a preschooler and two grade-schoolers, and she didn’t want to work full-time. She wasn’t even sure she wanted to work at all until her youngest started kindergarten.

So she decided to accept Job Offer #1 and enjoy a part-time job. “Whee!!!” said Mom #1 to her husband, “I’ll get a $N,ICE referral bonus after she works 90 days!”

One day, New-in-Town Mom told Mom #1 that Dynamic Woman never gave up, and that Dynamic Woman had finally persuaded her boss, Office Manager #2, to extend Job Offer #2 with a part-time schedule.

New-in-Town Mom excitedly accepted Job Offer #2 and professionally undid her acceptance of Job Offer #1.

“I’m happy for you! Congratulations on scoring two part-time job offers when you really weren’t even trying!” Mom #1 told New-in-Town Mom. And she meant it.

Sure, there would be no referral bonus.

Sure, she wouldn’t get to work with her new friend and neighbor.

But Mom #1 was happy for New-in-Town Mom, who was starting a new job that met her criteria:  exciting, challenging, rewarding, and PART-TIME.


The lessons of this networking story:

  • Network! Make and maintain personal and professional connections, even when you aren’t actively job-seeking.
  • Attend networking events sponsored by professional organizations in your industry. You never know who you’ll meet!
  • Don’t settle for a full-time position if you really want a part-time schedule. This clearly establishes your personal boundary up front.
  • Use your voice, whether or not you’re in a leadership capacity, to influence positive changes in your workplace.
  • Advocate for others! If you know your company will be hiring, ask the hiring manager to post the position as full- and part-time. There is a lot of talent and brainpower currently serving as stay-at-home moms and dads, and a part-time position might offer a win-win solution to help them re-engage with their career.
  • Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Sure, Mom #1 would have enjoyed the referral bonus, but the terms of earning it had not yet been fulfilled.
  • Encourage your employer to implement a referral bonus program so existing employees can submit personal referrals and receive bonuses that cost less than a professional recruiter’s commission.




Tell me about a time when you helped someone get a new job. Or maybe you were the one helped? Share in the comments below!

6 Comments

  1. Vicki@MakeSmarterDecisions

    This is a great story Carol! I love this “This clearly establishes your personal boundary up front.” If you have those goals clearly articulated and ranked – this is MOST important to me, it’s easier to make that decision too! Excellent way to tell this great story too! Well done and congrats to New-In-Town Mom!

    1. Vicki, thanks! Yes, it’s so important to establish that boundary early. Saves time for both parties in the negotiation. I’m glad Dynamic Woman was willing to fight for New-in-Town Mom.

  2. Good story! In my old 9 to 5 days I used to hire a lot of people and in my experience most jobs were filled by someone who networked their way into the process instead of by someone who just responded to an ad. Having some personal contact with the job being offered gives a huge advantage over being a total stranger interviewing for the job.

    1. Hi Steveark, thanks for stopping by! Yes, I’d think the hiring party also likes to have some sort of personal referral regarding the person they’re considering. It definitely works both ways, doesn’t it?!
      Thanks for your comment!

  3. Encouraging & so insightful! Everyday is a networking day and we never know where connections may lead. (New-In-Town Mom found them right outside her front door!)

    1. Hi Roseann, I like your “everyday is a networking day.” So true! Seems like some people are more natural at connecting with others, but really we do all do it everyday. Depends in part how mindful you are about it. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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