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.
Explore our list to find the opportunities that are right for you:
1. Retail sales
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 this year, retail may provide more opportunities than ever: Target, Kohl’s, and other large retailers recently announced that they are increasing pay and adding perks to attract more than 230,000 seasonal hires, according to CNBC.
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 2019 holidays.
2. 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, increase 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. At
Kevin Whitehill started as a seasonal worker and used UPS tuition reimbursement program to get his degree and become a supervisor. “I never intended UPS to be a career,” he said. “I took a job for Christmas. As I moved along, the opportunities were just too good to pass up.”
3. Hospitality and tourism
If you live near a large or tourist-friendly city, chances are hotels, resorts, restaurants, caterers, and event planners will need 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 job listings in your local newspaper or on job-search sites such as Monster.com 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.”
4. Customer service 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.
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. For a list of companies that offer these jobs, check out this guide from The Work at Home Wife.
5. Maximize rebates
Believe in a Budget’s Kristen Larsen says rebates can also boost your bank account. She recommends Ibotta, a mobile phone app that lets you earn cash back from all sorts of purchases, and Rakuten (formerly Ebates), which pays you a $10 bonus just for signing up.
6. 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 or eBay. Another increasingly popular option is Facebook Marketplace, which lets you broadcast your for-sale items to a large, local community, tag friends who might be interested, and send private messages to potential buyers. Make sure to follow Facebook personal safety guidelines.
7. Get crafty
If you sew, knit, paint, carve, or make anything, you may find success selling your wares on Etsy.com. It’s also a great place to sell unusual, vintage or custom jewelry, furniture, and other items.
In addition to Etsy, you may find buyers by setting up a booth at a farmer’s market or craft fair.
8. Apply for work with a temporary staffing agency
When employers need help, they turn to temporary staffing firms such as Kelly Services, Manpower, and Randstad. These companies tend to have openings across a wide variety of industries and professions. A temp job can also open the door to a permanent job if the employer likes your work.
9. Take care of kids and pets
Holiday parties and travel generate demand for babysitters and pet sitters. Ask friends, post fliers, and check in with new parents’ groups or at dog parks to advertise your services.
It may also help to get training in first aid. For more on picking up babysitting work, check out this primer from The Balance Careers.
For pet sitting jobs, sign up for Rover, an app that connects owners with dog and cat minders.
10. Help around other people’s houses
At this time of year, people may need their gutters cleaned, their gardens winterized, and their driveways shoveled.
Promoting your services on neighborhood social networks such as Nextdoor and distributing fliers at coffee shops and in mailboxes can help you get the word out that you’re available. For some jobs, such as cleaning gutters or garden cleanup, customers may expect you to bring your own ladders, cutting shears, or other equipment. If you have not done these jobs before, research what they require. Knowledge and physical fitness are the best way to prevent injuries in these types of jobs.
11. Rent a room
Airbnb is so popular among travelers that it’s become a verb, as in “I Airbnbed it in Seattle and found a perfect spot right near Pike Place Market.” Becoming an Airbnb host may provide a quick path to extra money if you have a spare room or carriage house.
Getting started on Airbnb is fairly easy, but it can help to read up on how to make your hosting job easier and your business more successful. You should stay up to date with local regulations on renting rooms and know how to stand up for yourself if a guest misbehaves. For more pointers, read this prime from The Points Guy.
12. Hire yourself out to your landlord
Rental properties need constant maintenance and repairs. Why not offer to help your landlord with projects or chores like raking the leaves? You might earn some money, or at least a few dollars off your rent.
13. Be an online tutor
Calling all math whizzes and grammar gods! You can put your book smarts to work by tutoring students online. Some online tutoring sites require teaching certificates and experience, but not all. You may be paid by the hour or as a percentage of the fees generated by your students, according to The Balance Careers, which provides this list of online tutoring companies.
Finding the side hustle that suits your personality and schedule can provide the funds you need for holiday gifts and entertainment. If you are concerned about taking on too much work, you may want to target a specific savings goal so that you can reevaluate the job when you hit your target. And who knows? You may even find work that generates extra income throughout the year!