Do you already have a career?

It takes courage to leave a secure full-time position for part-time employment.  But, don’t let this prevent you from focusing your life around volunteer work.

You may be able to arrange your circumstances to stay at the job you are in, just working fewer hours.

Or, you may be able to leverage your knowledge and experience to be a freelancer or consultant.

What is your expertise?

Teacher

If your teaching work is seasonal, you may be able to arrange your circumstances to use the time you are not teaching to increase your volunteer work. Some teachers have left their permanent position for tutoring and substitute teaching. Perhaps you could teach an on-line course. Some schools, colleges and universities have part-time positions available. You may be able to offer a continuing educational workshop at a local tech school. Or, start your own business teaching a class once or twice a week.

Computer Field, IT Professional

You may be able to continue working for the same company. Talk to HR to see if there is any way you can come in just a few days a week. You may be able to use your skills as a consultant. Consider starting your own company providing computer support or repair.

Medical Professional

There are many part-time and temporary assignment Nurse or Medical Assistant jobs listed on-line.  Talk to the HR Department where you are working now. Ask about flexible or reduced hours. Many pharmacies now have a clinic in the store. Flexible hours are listed for these positions. Some healthcare information specialists, nurses,  and patient advocates telecommute. There are many websites and employment agencies to assist medical professionals in finding contract, independent, part-time and flex-time jobs.

Accountant

Accounting work can allow for a lot of flexibility. Many businesses need someone to come in just two or three days a week to do anything from payroll and payables to providing financial oversight and auditing to their full-time staff. Some bookkeeping can be done at home or around your own schedule. Some volunteers have been able to successfully juggle seasonal work as a tax preparer and tax professional with their other priorities.

Lawyer

Some experienced lawyers have found a way to cut back to a part-time practice. Keep firm control of your time. Carefully schedule your availability. Be ruthless in saying no to more work than you have time for.

Any consultant wishing to prioritize volunteer work has to limit the size of the business. If you are good at what you do, it is a constant battle to keep your business a manageable size. I do it by limiting the number of clients I accept.

Sometimes leaving your current career may be a better option. A successful volunteer I met had been a well-respected pediatric neurosurgeon. He changed his life to start a carpet cleaning business so that he could devote more of his time and energy to volunteer work.