The holidays always seem to bring a strange mixture of joy and financial anxiety into our lives. Many of us find ourselves looking for seasonal jobs just to make it through to the New Year without breaking the bank. The good news is, the best holiday jobs are more plentiful—and more lucrative—than ever.
We often associate seasonal jobs with positions at large, traditional retailers like Target or Kohl’s, and for good reason. Each year, such retailers take on thousands of seasonal employees to help manage the increase in sales both in store and online. And according to CBS’s Money Watch, this trend shows no sign of slowing down. This year, retailers are hoping to hire 704,000 seasonal workers, the highest since 2014. As an example, Target announced in September it would be hiring 120,000 team members for the holidays—up 20 percent since last year. So if you think you’ve got what it takes to work retail during the busiest shopping season of the year, check out this list of established retailers who are hiring during the 2018 holidays.
Driving, delivering, and tasking
Is there any product or service that can’t be delivered for a price these days? Just about anything you want can be brought directly to your doorstep, especially if you live in or adjacent to a large metropolitan area. And during the holidays, the need for deliveries of all kinds, whether it’s packages, groceries, takeout, or even help with tasks and projects around the house, increases tenfold.
The holidays offer the perfect opportunity to earn some extra cash by driving for a delivery service or offering to bring your unique skill set directly to the customer. If you have a valid driver’s license, car insurance, and a clean driving record, chances are you’ve already got the basic qualifications. What’s more, certain types of holiday delivery jobs can even lead to full-time employment. According to Dan McMackin, public relations manager for UPS, about 35 percent of seasonal hires come back after the season. "It is definitely a foot in the door, a stepping stone for a career," he says.
Hospitality and tourism
If you live near a large or tourist-friendly city, chances are hotels, resorts, restaurants, caterers, and event planners will be in need of extra staff for the winter season. Not surprisingly, holiday jobs tend to crop up where tourists do.
For these types of positions, it’s often best to check local job listings to see who’s hiring in your area. Not sure where to start? Focus on what you’re good at, and what your city or region is known for. For example, if you live in California or Colorado and you love to ski, you can make extra money by working at a ski resort. Or, if you have experience in bartending, catering, or food service, try calling local restaurants, caterers, and hotels and ask if they’re hiring extra hands for the holidays. Writer Leigh Anderson, a veteran of cater-waiter jobs, suggests making yourself available for last-minute opportunities. “You’ll get more work if you’re ready to take a gig at a moment’s notice,” she says. “These kinds of jobs have a lot of last-minute cancellations, so check in regularly and keep your outfit ironed and ready to go.”
Opportunities from home
You don’t have to have a niche skill or even a car to earn extra cash during the holidays. Say you’re a stay-at-home parent or you live too far from an urban area to work retail or reasonably manage a seasonal gig as a delivery driver. You can earn money without even leaving the house.
Believe in a Budget’s Kristen Larsen has been earning extra holiday cash for years by participating in online surveys. “One of the very first ways I made extra income was to take surveys online. There are a ton of survey companies out there that let you earn money this way,” she says. With companies like Swagbucks, YouGov, and Pinecone, you only need to sign up (for free) and participate in surveys to earn points that you can then redeem for cash, gift cards, and more.
You can also earn extra cash through rebate programs. Larsen recommends Ibotta, a mobile phone app that lets you earn cash back from all sorts of purchases, and Ebates, which pays you a $10 bonus just for signing up.
If you like the idea of earning holiday cash from the comfort of your own home, taking surveys and earning rebates is just one option. If you’ve got good phone skills, companies like Amazon, Alorica and HSN offer remote phone jobs where you can take orders or assist with customer service. Visit the Work at Home Wife blog to learn more.
Sell, sell, sell
Are you a pack rat with a basement or garage brimming with items that have been gathering dust for years? A fashionista with a closet full of designer or vintage items you’ll never wear again? Or perhaps your grandparents left you furniture that you don’t have the space for or simply isn’t your style. Selling some of these items is perhaps the easiest way to make quick cash over the holidays.
If you’re looking to sell some used clothes without driving around from thrift store to thrift store, Poshmark and ThredUp are both great online options. If you’d rather offload items like furniture, kitchenware, or old books, you can always go the tried-and-true route of posting an ad on Craigslist. Another increasingly popular options is the Facebook Yard Sale, which lets you to broadcast your for-sale items to a large, local community, tag friends who might be interested, and send private messages to potential buyers.
Just remember to think twice before getting rid of an item that has sentimental value. You may regret selling great aunt Helen’s wedding ring when your big day comes along. Happy earnings and happy holidays!