Welcoming Wiggle Work

Tomorrow we are soft-launching a little product over at YupGup: Wiggle Work, a new kind of job board for hosting and finding part-time remote positions that pay at least $25 an hour.

Wiggle Work logo with three wiggly purple, pink, and orange Ws

All too often part-time job postings are treated as an afterthought and there seems to be a widely held misconception within the tech industry that part-time jobs are not especially sought after or to be looked down upon. This is not correct and this line of thinking creates unnecessary barriers.

There are countless reasons why someone is not able or does not want to work full-time. Here are some examples:

  • Physical disabilities
  • Emotional disabilities
  • They are parents
  • They are Caretakers
  • They are students
  • They are chronically ill
  • They are open source maintainers
  • They prefer multiple part-time roles for flexibility and variety
  • They travel the world
  • They live in rural, isolated areas
  • They need to keep the lights on while they fund their passion project
  • They simply don’t want to

These are highly qualified and skilled people being overlooked and often left with no choice but to accept a full-time role or scramble for a series of short-term gigs, avoiding any sort of stability and peace of mind. They are perfectly able to do the work and positively contribute to a remote team culture, but just need some flexibility in regards to their working hours. This is all very distressing and causes burnout. Not only is a typical 40 hour work schedule already too much for these people mentioned above, but I have never worked for a tech company where a typical full-time work week is 40 hours—it is frequently more. Again, this is not possible for many.

So, employers are forced to post any part-time jobs on boards that prioritize full-time and they get buried. They are paying for these and not even reaching their target audience. There are usually no rules or vetting and these postings end up not being truly 100% remote or end up paying too little to make part-time manageable, yet the job seeker may not find this out until later after an interview. It is all just so wildly inefficient for both sides and we want to fix this.

The story behind Wiggle Work is deeply personal for me. I became chronically ill after having my son, Ben, six years ago. I have only recently started speaking openly about this after finding comfort in connecting with others in similar situations.

Not feeling well, having a newborn, and living in an incredibly isolated part of the country at the time is what initiated my transition into tech in the first place. I was very drawn to the higher hourly rate compared to my previous career and the idea of being able to work from home and keep my own schedule was exciting and entirely essential; I could not predict when I would feel especially bad or when Ben’s nap time would be.

I began learning and writing about my adventures and misadventures with design and front-end development on this blog which led to freelance writing and design work. These gigs were huge for me at the time, being able to financially contribute to the household but also having control of my schedule.

Now that Ben is in school I have found that the demands of the household on my time have certainly lightened a bit but full-time inflexible work remains not ideal and a source of endless stress and burnout until I started YupGup last year.

Kindergarten lasts for six hours a day. Ben also has all the major food allergies and I have been making all his food from scratch since he was 6 months old. In addition, I remain not especially well. While I do have some good days I also have many bad ones. I can work but I need to do it from the comfort of my own home and not for eight+ hours each day.

As I connected more and more with the larger tech community over the years it became increasingly clear that there are countless people that, like me, are not able to work full-time or simply do not want to yet struggle greatly to find something that meets their needs.

I’ve spoken with employers and have been on hiring committees that are looking for just a bit of help and have no idea where to start this outreach process. We want to help fix this problem and eliminate this stress for everyone involved.

We have a bunch of exciting plans for Wiggle Work with of course this soft-launch tomorrow being the first step in making them all a reality. There is a need for a genuine community here—fewer robots and more human connections. I truly cannot wait to help people find flexible, wiggly (😜) positions with the right companies and make some friends along the way.

If you are an employer feel free to start posting positions on the site, if you are looking for a job feel free to sign up for the newsletter or keep an eye on the blog, on Twitter, and Mastodon.

Hope to see you all around the new space 🤗 〰️