Now is as good a time as any to consider perfect part-time work since thousands upon thousands of US government employees will be forced to take unpaid days off due to sequestration budget cuts.
Washington is poised to reduce the federal budget by USD 85 billion between March 1 and September 31, which will lead to furloughs, otherwise known as forced leaves of absence. This unpaid time off can wreak havoc on federal workers when it comes to paying the mortgage, making car-loan installments and keeping up with other expenses.
Fortunately, there are lots of options for part-time work options for federal workers, though it’s important that these employees abide by the rules. For instance, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics [OGE] publishes regulations and policies to govern standards of ethical conduct for the executive branch. Following the rules will help federal workers to understand what is and what isn’t permitted in terms of activities and finances.
What follows are just a handful of suggestions for part-time work for federal workers:
To be certain, the OGE states that federal employees can indeed earn money outside of their government roles, including owning their own businesses. It is up to federal workers, however, to consult the OGE regulations and policies to ensure that their part-time work choices don’t break the law. Workers also need to inform their supervisors about any jobs they hold outside of their official duties with the executive branch of government. Doing so will enable the supervisors to ensure that the workers are complying with conflict of interest rules. Federal workers who don’t already have businesses can always start up operations. Whether choosing to offer products, services or a mixture of both, you can use business ownership as a way to negate the adverse impact of furloughs. In some cases you can be in business as soon as you hang out your sign, which these days means making a website.
Many businesses supplement their full-time staff with part-time help. Federal workers have the sort of varied skill sets that can well suit them to provide consulting services, perhaps, to businesses that would benefit from the expertise of critical thinkers. Some companies actually have policies in place that govern the process of hiring former or current government workers. Before taking on any consulting gig, federal workers should consult their supervisors to ensure that they are not violating any rules.
Teaching, Speaking & Writing
Part-time work for federal workers could involve teaching, speaking and writing. Whether for colleges and universities, for conventions and assemblies, for newspapers and online publications, or tutoring, federal employees can use their skills to make some money on the side. There are lots of opportunities available for occasional or ongoing teaching, speaking and writing gigs for people who want to diversify their income streams. That said, there are some important things to consider before going this route. It is against the law, for instance, for executive branch workers to get payment from any source aside from the federal government for teaching, speaking or writing that relates to the workers’ official job responsibilities with the federal government. Consult the OGE for more specifics on this requirement.
Businesses and post-secondary institutions can often benefit from hiring part-time workers with extensive experience when it comes to conducting research and searching through records to unearth critical data. Government workers looking for part-time work might find a job as a researcher or research assistant to be one of the best part-time jobs available if they think they would enjoy helping out with research projects.
Facing forced days off, without pay, can be a hard pill to swallow for federal workers. But by pursuing a part-time job, they can negate the impact of a lighter paycheck from their full-time job.