Employment options

When deciding on your career, you'll think about how you'd like to work. We're here to help you explore different options.

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When deciding on your career, you'll think about how you'd like to work. Some of the different options we'll explore are:

  • being your own boss 
  • apprenticeships
  • full-time and part-time working 
  • flexible working 
  • working shifts and nights
  • working from home ​​​​​​​

Be your own boss

When you're thinking about your career or job hunting, you're also probably thinking about where you'd like to work. Instead of looking for an employer, you might consider creating that job yourself and starting your own business. 

Learn about entrepreneurship


Apprenticeships let you work, learn and earn at the same time.

There are 3 types of apprenticeships:

  • Foundation Apprenticeships
  • Modern Apprenticeships
  • Graduate Apprenticeships

There's more information on apprenticeships.scot that covers apprenticeships. This covers what type of apprenticeship might be suitable for you, current vacancies and how to apply.

Visit apprenticeships.scot

Full-time and part-time working

A full-time contract will see you working 35 or more hours a week. Depending on your employer, you could work longer hours. You normally would not work more than 48 hours a week on average, but you have the option to choose to. This is called 'opting out' and you can find out more information on this on gov.uk.

Part-time work covers anything from a couple of hours a week up to the standard 35-hour working week. 

Pay rates, pensions, holidays and training should be the same as you’d get if you were full-time. But part-time hours can help you fit work around your life if you have other commitments like family or studying.

Flexible working

If you’ve worked for your employer for more than 26 weeks, you can ask about flexible working. They do not have to agree, but must consider your request. Some workplaces also offer flexibility to all or most staff, depending on their duties. Flexible working can be helpful if you’re a parent returning to work.

There are lots of ways to do this, but some common examples include:

  • job sharing – 2 people do the same job and split the hours
  • compressed hours – working full-time hours, over fewer days
  • flexitime – starting and ending work at different times, as long as you’re there to cover core hours

Working shifts and nights

Shift work is common in many industries, because of the hours which need covered. In tourism, food and drink, manufacturing or health and social care you can expect a shift pattern. You might be dealing with global clients in different time zones or customers who expect service out of office hours.

It just means your hours run over certain times each day or week. You might follow one pattern one week and a different one the next. Some shift work also involves working nights. There are special rules around night working hours and you can find more information on this on gov.uk.

Offshore workers can be away from home for weeks at a time, working different shift patterns.

Working from home

It does not suit all jobs and industries. But thanks to digital technology, home working has become far easier in recent years. If you live in a rural area, have problems travelling or need to be out and about a lot, it could work for you. You’ll need a good connection to your colleagues and a place to work. You also have to be able to avoid distractions.