Traditionally, if you wanted to make a little extra money for the holidays, you got a seasonal job at a retail store or restaurant. But this holiday season, there are lots of options that don’t involve long hours standing behind a cash register or avoiding customer stampedes on Black Friday.
“The retail industry is an obvious area for possible seasonal and holiday employment but it’s not the only opportunity,” says Sherry Kast, communications and public relations manager at Express Employment Professionals. “Retail drives the need for additional workers in warehouse, shipping and packaging, gift wrapping and more.”
According to Snag A Job, an hourly jobs website, hiring for seasonal, hourly jobs is up 26 percent from last holiday season. And while many of those jobs are in retail stores, there are a variety of other opportunities as well. This holiday season, look beyond retail to pad your pockets with some extra cash from one of these out-of-the-ordinary seasonal positions:
Virtual assistant. As a virtual assistant, you can often work flexible hours, helping customers “with any personal or business tasks that can be done over the phone, email or Internet,” says Nikunj Mittal, CEO of Rent a Smile, a virtual assistant company that is looking to hire about 75 workers for the holiday season. “We have a lot of bookings for our service from small business owners looking for an extra hand with the busy season,” Mittal says. For jobs like this, seasonal workers earn close to $6 per hour and just need to be comfortable with the Internet and willing to work remotely.
At-home customer service representative. According to Christine Durst of Rat Race Rebellion, a leading online destination for legitimate home-based jobs and projects, many companies are hiring for seasonal home-based positions right now. Some of the opportunities include home-based customer service agents for retail stores, tax software companies, a home shopping network and a major book retailer. Durst says thousands of these types of jobs are available for the holidays for people who can work flexible hours and have strong customer service skills. Some of the companies hiring for such at-home positions include Arise Virtual Solutions, VIPdesk, Convergys and LiveOps.
Shipping and fulfillment positions. As a response to the increase in retail sales during the holiday season, there is also an increased need for people to work in manufacturing, distribution, fulfillment and shipping. For instance, UPS is looking for seasonal help
And staffing company Staff Management, Inc., plans to hire more than 12,000 seasonal workers during the fourth quarter of this year to “staff the facilities that manufacture, package and ship goods that consumers purchase either in retail stores or from online retailers during the holiday season,” says Staff Management COO Joan Davison. “Our clients, who include some of the world’s largest retailers, third party logistics providers, online retailers and consumer goods manufacturers, rely on temporary associates to staff during their holiday peak seasons. Our clients, at facilities across the country, will increase their workforce in excess of 100% during this holiday season.” Positions in fulfillment and distribution often pay more than retail jobs, and at Staff Management, they come with additional benefits like “referral bonuses, gas card programs, sign-on bonuses for hard-to-fill shifts, weekly gift card drawings, attendance and safety incentives, and retention incentives,” Davison says. “Associates are eligible for benefits on day one, get paid weekly and have a really good chance of working overtime hours.”
Childcare providers. During the holiday season, there is also an increased demand for childcare workers. “The nanny job market is booming during the holidays due to extra shopping that needs to get done without the kids, Christmas parties and just some down time need by parents to keep their sanity,” says Candi Wingate, president of Nannies4Hire. “A nanny job is a great way to earn some extra cash [during the holiday season].” Locate child care opportunities through websites like Nannies4Hire, local babysitting services, or by advertising your availability through family, friends and neighbors.