Maybe it was kids or a marriage or even a move that left you without a job. Maybe now you want extra money, something to do or to have a conversation with an adult that is not about diapers, potty training or snack time. Whatever your reason is, entering or re-entering the workforce can be tricky, scary and downright overwhelming, so now that you want a side hustle, where do you go to get one?
Thanks to a world that is expanding to include a more flexible, freelance workforce, a part-time job does not mean you have to be a store greeter or an office-based filing temp.
Here are some things to make you rethink what you think you know about part-time work.
Part time technically means less than 30 hours a week, but today part time can also mean freelance, self-employment or project-based work. Tap into your own skill set and expertise to think about how you could lend all of that to a company or organization. There are plenty of temporary gigs and companies that need help on a case-by-case basis. The trick to landing assignments is leveraging your professional network.
- Reach out to past employers to see if they have something or know someone who needs help.
- Talk to old colleagues (thank you, Facebook and LinkedIn, for making this easy) and let them know you are looking for projects.
- Join your alumni association, the local Rotary club or associations that cater to your field of expertise.
- Contact the small business association to ask about small companies or start-ups that might need assistance but can't afford full-time help.
- Look at websites like PatinaSolutions.com (for people with 25-years-plus experience) or the HourlyNerd.com (for people with MBAs or graduate degrees).
This kind of part-time job is heavy on that word "time." These jobs are all about the timing because they come and go with the seasons (that doesn't always mean actual calendar seasons). Seasonal work can bring in good money without needing a long commitment. Think about jobs that peak at certain times of the year like prom or tax season, holidays or back to school. Now think about the services and work that increases during those times.
- Sign up to be an Uber or Lift driver for their luxury service during prom season or the holidays for airport runs.
- Tax offices need all kinds of assistance during their busy January to May season, and you don't have to be a CPA to help with organizing files or helping with office tasks.
- Contact local summer camps in the area to see if they need help with registration in the spring or office work during the busy summer season.
- Register to be a substitute teacher with area school districts, private or church schools to be able to step in when a teacher is sick or out on vacation. You may also be able to register to be a proctor for exams during testing.
- Retailers and holiday labor go hand in hand, so ask around about being a clerk or service helper and don't forget places like UPS, FedEx or locally owned packaging stores.
Another way to look at part-time work is by the hour. There are lots of hourly jobs or one-off project-based jobs that pay for a set number of hours. These can require you to advertise your services as an on-demand helper, but you can do that through people or places you know. Word of mouth really works with these kinds of jobs, but the trick is making sure you play it safe.
- Contact your church or any organizations you belong to and ask them to spread the word that you are available to help with projects ranging from organizing to running errands, whatever you are interested in doing.
- Check your local neighborhood or apartment Facebook page or website to find people needing help, or post your own services.
- Post a notice in your local or regional community paper.
- Contact local retirement communities or communities for the physically and mentally challenged. Many of these residents need assistance with small projects or errands.
- The Craigslist "Gigs" section or other posting services can be a great way to find these small projects, but again you want to do a little investigating before signing on.
- If you like animals, you can try pet sitting or dog walking. There are many on-demand services you can sign up for like Rover or DogVacay that connect people with jobs.
The 9-to-5 work world is changing to allow people to work in unique ways that fit all sorts of lifestyles. We don't have to think of work in the traditional terms anymore, and that means there are opportunities and jobs for everyone.