The Complete Guide to Full-Time Jobs

Many people in the UK work full time. You spend most of your adult life at work, so it makes sense to choose something that you find enjoyable and fulfilling. This guide will provide you with a detailed insight into full time work including what it is, where to find it, benefits and drawbacks, career progression and the application process.


A full time job in the UK is defined as working more than 30 hours per week. This is different to part time work which is typically anything less than 30 hours. The average work week is around 37 hours.


Full time work brings with it plenty of benefits such as a regular income, stability, more opportunities for career progression and networking to name a few. However, full time work can also be demanding and challenging, with long hours and little flexibility. It is important to make sure that you are prepared for the commitment before applying for a full time job.


When to Consider Full-Time Work

If you are of working age, typically between the age of 16 years and retirement, full time work is probably how you will spend most of your time. When it comes to this working pattern, there are lots of things to think about. First, identify what you want to achieve in your career. Are you looking for stability and a regular income? Do you want to progress up the ladder quickly? Or do you simply need to earn enough money to support yourself or your family? Full time work can offer all these things, but it is important to make sure that you are clear about your goals before you start job hunting. It’s no use being in a job you hate feeling miserable and unmotivated.


Another thing to consider is the type of work that you want to do. Not all jobs are suitable for full time work – some may be too demanding, or require too much travel, for example. It is important to think about the kind of work-life balance that you want to achieve before applying for full time jobs.


Finally, take a look at your lifestyle and commitments. Do you have young children or other dependents? Are you studying for a qualification? Do you have any hobbies or interests that you need to make time for? Full time work can be demanding, so it is important to make sure that you will be able to fit it into your lifestyle before applying.


Benefits and Drawbacks of Full-Time Jobs

Full time work can give you a sense of purpose. It offers fulfilment and a sense of contribution to society and depending on the role, it’s an opportunity to make a real difference to others. It also offers a sense of stability in terms of your income. You know exactly how much you will make every month so you can budget for your lifestyle and contingencies. There’s also the benefit of paid time off work for holidays that you can take advantage of. All employees are entitled to paid leave and this will be worked out based on your hours. Lots of employers now make provision for pensions, so you know that you are contributing to your retirement every month.


Although the benefits of full time work are plentiful, it also has its drawbacks. You may find it problematic to juggle your home and work life, increasing stress and impacting your wellbeing. Sometimes in full time work, you may become stagnant, not striving to any goals and just going through the motions of every day without much thought. Make sure you set goals and you are always working towards something. Another drawback is that it leaves little time for you to explore different career options to find the one that really sparks something inside and gets you excited for the future. 


The Application Process

Applying for a full time job is like applying for any other job. The first step is to identify the vacancy and make sure that you meet the minimum requirements, such as having the right qualifications or experience. Once you have found a suitable vacancy, the next step is to write a great CV and cover letter to submit with your application. Some employers will require you to complete an online application form with a section at the end of the form to demonstrate how you match the criteria listed in the person specification.


The final stage of the process is usually an interview, although this may vary depending on the company or role.  You may also be invited to participate in some assessments or psychometric tests to assess your suitability. The interview is your chance to sell yourself to the employer and convince them that you are the right person for the job. Preparation is key, so make sure that you research the company and role thoroughly before the interview.


Often, there is little difference between the application process for full time and part time employees. An employer or recruiter will still want to ensure that you have the right skills, knowledge and expertise whether you are working full time or part time hours.


Where to Find Full-Time Jobs

There are many places to look for full time jobs and you can get started in these places:


Search online job boards – There are lots of them, some better than others. Look for job boards that offer a variety of roles in different industries.


Check company websites – Do you have a couple of dream companies you would love to work with? Check out their website career pages to see if there are any vacancies that may be suitable.


Ask for recommendations - Your network of family, friends, and acquaintances may be able to put you in touch with someone who is recruiting


Attend job fairs - These events bring together employers and jobseekers in one place, and can be a great way to make connections and find out about new opportunities


Reach out to recruiters - Specialist recruiters can help you to find vacancies that match your skills and experience.


Using social platforms such as LinkedIn – Use LinkedIn to connect with employers and recruiters, as well as research companies and roles.


Sign up for job alerts – A job alert will send you email notifications when new vacancies that match your requirements are posted online.


Full time employment can be found in every sector from healthcare to retail, and in every region of the UK. However, some sectors and regions are more likely to have full time vacancies than others. For example, there is currently a high demand for full time workers in the healthcare sector due to the coronavirus pandemic.


When looking for full time jobs, it is important to consider your skills, experience, and career goals. You should also think about your lifestyle and whether full time work will fit into your schedule. Once you have a good idea of what you are looking for, you can start searching for vacancies online or contacting recruiters to see if they have any suitable roles.


Career Progression

Many people choose to start their careers with full time work to progress quickly. There are many opportunities for career progression within full time work, and most employers will be happy to support employees who want to develop their skills and experience.


There are a few things that you can do to improve your chances of progressing up the career ladder:


Build a good relationship with your boss - Take the time to get to know your boss and build a good working relationship with them. This will make it easier for you to ask for opportunities, such as training or development programmes.


Be willing to take on extra responsibility - Demonstrate that you are willing to go above and beyond in your role. This will show your boss that you are enthusiastic and motivated, and that you are willing to take on additional responsibility.


Keep up with industry trends - It is important to keep up with developments in your industry, as this will demonstrate that you are invested in your career. You can do this by reading industry news, attending conferences, or taking courses.


Be proactive – Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, be proactive and go out and find them. If there is a particular project that you are interested in working on, speak to your employer about it.


Make a positive impact - Try to make a positive impact in your role and become known for your good work. This will make you more likely to be considered for promotions and other opportunities.


Rights and Entitlements for Full-Time Employees

As a full time, employee, you have certain rights and entitlements. These include the right to:


Receive a written contract of employment - This should be given to you within two months of starting your job. The contract should outline your main terms and conditions of employment, such as your salary, hours of work, and holiday entitlement.


Receive a payslip - You should receive a payslip on or before each payday, which will show your gross pay (the amount you are paid before tax and other deductions) and your net pay (the amount you are paid after tax and other deductions).


Be paid the National Living Wage – The bands of the national living wage will depend on your age, starting at £4.62 for 16 to 17 year olds rising to £8.91 for those over the age of 22 years.  


Receive paid annual leave - All employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave (28 days for those working five-day weeks).


Work a maximum of 48 hours per week - the Working Time Regulations state that employees cannot be required to work more than 48 hours per week, on average. This includes overtime.


Receive rest breaks - All employees are entitled to receive 20-minute rest breaks if they work more than six hours per day.


Be safe at work - All employees are protected by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which requires employers to take reasonable steps to ensure that their employees are safe at work.


If you choose the right full time work, it can be exciting, rewarding and can bring new challenges and opportunities every day. As the saying goes, find something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.