Getting more hours at your job

Snagajob |

If you're not getting enough hours at work, it can be frustrating and stressful. You’re not alone. In fact, a recent survey found that 60% of part-time workers in the U.S. report not getting enough hours at work. There can be many reasons for this problem, including slow business, lack of seniority, low demand for certain skills, or a company-wide policy of limited hours for part-time employees. 

Asking for more work hours the right way is a valuable skill. It not only ensures a steady income but also opens up avenues for better opportunities. 

We do know, however, that sometimes it may not be possible to persuade your manager to increase your hours. If all else fails, you may need to find a new job that better meets your needs, whether that’s another part-time job to increase your total number of hours, or a new job with a better schedule. 

Tips for asking your boss for more hours

Asking for more hours at work can be daunting, but we’ve got some tips for approaching the situation with your employer:

  • Do a reality check of your employer's needs: Before approaching your boss, make sure you understand your employer's scheduling needs. Are there peak times when they need more staff? Are there any time constraints that could prevent them from giving you more hours? Understanding these factors can help you make a stronger case for why giving you more hours is good for the business.

  • Be professional: When asking for more hours, it's important to be polite and professional. Start by approaching your supervisor or manager and expressing your interest in working more hours. Give them specifics in a constructive way. For instance: “I’ve noticed that it’s been tough to get people to work the 3rd shift, and maybe we could start by putting me on there on Tuesdays.”

  • Highlight your achievements: If you've been a valuable employee, make sure your boss knows it. Highlight your accomplishments and explain how having more hours would allow you to continue contributing to the team's success. Consider offering to take on additional responsibilities, work during peak hours, or work during less popular shifts when the business still needs to operate.

  • Be open to negotiation: Your boss may not be able to give you all the hours or shifts that you want right away. Be open to negotiating a work schedule that suits both your needs and your employer's needs.

The dos and don'ts of asking for more hours

Asking for more hours at work can be intimidating, but with the right approach, it can lead to career advancement and increased job satisfaction. However, it's important to avoid common mistakes that workers make when requesting more hours.


  • Do your research: Understand your company's policies and procedures regarding work schedules and requesting more hours. This will help you communicate your request more effectively.

  • Do offer solutions: Propose a schedule that works for both you and your employer. Be flexible and willing to compromise to find a solution that benefits everyone.

  • Do follow up: If you don't hear back from your employer or don't get the response you were hoping for, follow up in a polite and professional manner. This shows that you are committed and serious about increasing your work hours.


  • Don't be demanding: Avoid coming across as entitled or demanding. Instead, frame your request as an opportunity to contribute more to the company and further your own career goals.

  • Don't make assumptions: Don't assume that your employer knows you want more hours or that they have the ability to provide them. Be clear and specific about what you are looking for.

  • Don't burn bridges: Even if your employer is unable to provide more hours at the moment, remain professional and gracious. You never know when a future opportunity may arise.

Bringing it all together

Asking for more hours at work can have a positive impact on your career development and financial situation. By increasing your work hours, you can improve job security, earn a higher income, and potentially advance your career. When asking your boss for more hours, it's important to be professional and prepared, and to negotiate a work schedule that meets both your needs and your employer's needs.

If you can’t get more hours at your current job, you still have options: 

  • Seek cross-training opportunities: Cross-training in different areas of your workplace can make you more valuable to your employer, potentially leading to more hours.

  • Get a second job: If you can't get more hours at your current job, consider seeking additional work outside of your workplace. Part-time jobs or gig work can provide additional income and valuable experience.

Still stuck? Then it might be time to search for a new opportunity. 

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