Should I Tell My Employer I'm Committed to My Part-Time Job (When I'm NOT)?

Just Who is Committing What, to Whom?

Dear Liz,

I finally received my degree last month. With the economy in such bad shape, full-time entry level positions in my chosen field are scarce, so I have applied to and received an interview invitation for
a part-time position that would help me gain valuable experience and provide a great jumping off point for advancement or future professional positions.

How should I address any concerns about my commitment to this part-time position? I don't intend to stay there in this position for years, and I will state that, but I also don't intend to jump
ship at the first available opportunity. Like I said, this will be a great time to gain experience and I won't be actively searching for a new (and full-time) job for a little while. How can I turn this around so that I would be a good hire for the organization? I have the skills that this position requires. The manager has already asked me about my level of commitment and I feel that I have to address the question directly the next time I talk with her. Thanks in advance for any advice.


Hi JaNae!

Congratulations on your graduation. I'd turn that sales objection on
its axis, but only if the part-time commitment question comes up in the
interview. Here's how that might go:

THEM: So JaNae, is a part-time job your first choice? We worry that you might
leave here as soon as you can get a full-time job.
YOU: Have you had that sort of thing happen before with other employees?
THEM: Well, no, not specifically, but...
YOU: Oh, that's great. I was curious about that. I can understand how training
someone and then having him or her bolt would be a huge pain for you.
THEM: That's the problem. We need some kind of time commitment.
YOU: You do? That's magnificent! I would love that. Let's make a mutual
commitment. I have a simple contractor agreement that I got from this online
community I belong to, called Human's one-page, and just defines
the agreement where I'd commit to, say, one year on the job, and you would
commit to keeping me on board for that same period of time - assuming I don't
stop coming into work or something! (Hearty laugh)
THEM: Well, we're not about to make a legal commitment. I just want to make sure
you're committed.
YOU: Oh, I'm eager to work here - but your observation gives me pause, frankly.
Is there something in my background that makes you wary to hire me? I am happy
to get any feedback you could give me.
THEM: No, not at all, it's just that can't do a formal contract...
YOU: Oh, that is interesting -- so there is a bit of risk on my part if I take
the job -- well -- if you make me an offer we can dig into that.

See what I'm sayin,' JaNae? We need to shake out the Kool-Aid that tells us that YOU,
the candidate, have to make a commitment and get on your knees and beg for a job
you're overqualified for -- when the EMPLOYER isn't committing to Jack! You will
do brilliantly. Keep us posted!