Types of Work you may find yourself doing

In today’s workplace, there is a wide range of different working arrangements, and technology is driving even more changes. Here is an outline of the various types of work you will hear about or may end up doing.  

Full-time work

  • Full-time usually means you work between 30 and 40 hours a week. Today employers are sometimes open to workers’ start and finish times being a little flexible to suit both parties. 
  • Full-time employees sometimes work shifts which may be outside of standard business hours and which may change from week to week. 

Part-time work

  • Part-time hours mean a person works a set amount of hours each week, which can range from just a few hours up to about 30 hours.
  • Part-time work gives you a steady income while giving you time to do other things like study or other training. It may also be a pathway into full time work with the same employer or in that industry. 

Casual work 

  • Casual workers are generally hired for one-off tasks or to do ongoing work on an irregular basis.  For example, a shop might hire some casual staff for the month of December to help with Christmas shopping. 
  • There is a major difference between casual work and what are called “zero hours contracts”. With casual work, you can say ‘no’ if you choose not to work or are not available. Zero hours contracts mean you must be available to work but the employer does not have to pay you for being on standby to possibly be called in to work. Do not rush in to sign one of these.

Seasonal work 

  • Seasonal work means jobs that only happen at certain times of the year and are important to New Zealand’s agricultural, food production, horticulture and forestry industries. Fruit picking at harvest time is an example.  

Contract work 

  • Contractors are usually engaged to do a specific piece of work over a defined time frame, or may be filling in for another employee who may be on long-term leave.
  • Contractors often bring specialist skills that an organisation needs for specific projects.  


  • Self-employment means just that, you work for yourself. You may own a business, or maybe work for, or provide a service to, a number of employers at the same time.
  • Many trades people are self-employed, and so are many professionals like lawyers and accountants. 

Working from home 

  • Telecommunications now means an increasing number of people are able to perform many of their work tasks from their home or another location (which is called working remotely). Email and good internet means employees can keep in touch with each other. 

Portfolio work 

  • Portfolio work is like contract work and means working for different employers in two or even more part-time roles.
  • Together, these two or three jobs add up to full-time work or even more. A freelance writer for example would build a portfolio of writing opportunities.

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