Plenty of life events can motivate you to get a second part-time job. Some families need the extra cash for important budget categories, and others simply like the supplemental income to help with the extras. It can also be your way of testing the waters before a career change, or a short-term method to boost savings before a large purchase like your first home.
Getting a traditional part-time job might not fit into your schedule. But several unconventional job options can give you the flexibility to choose your own hours and still make some decent side money. A career counselor might tell you to “think outside the box,” and then send you on your way.
These jobs you probably haven’t heard of may seem strange at first, but an odd job might be just what you need.
1. Casino Party Dealer
Once while I was searching for poker tournaments in my area, I found a local company that ran casino parties and was looking for dealers. My curiosity got the best of me, and I sent an email asking about the position. They invited me to an introductory session, and I was hooked. I met some great folks, and the owners of the company couldn’t be nicer. In fact, they loaned my wife the equipment to throw me a surprise casino party last year. This job is a great one to take during the holiday season, since players are more likely to tip generously (just like in a real casino).
Other than at hotels, the staff for most catered events is made up of contractors and part-timers. You can often find good wages for jobs on a wait staff, as a bartender, or in the kitchen. If the catering company doesn’t provide a uniform, you might need to get a tuxedo, but you can find appropriate and affordable options at a consignment store. A friend of mine tried out catering work a while back, and it was a great source of part-time income.
Hit the Road
3. Field Inspector
Insurance and real estate companies need people to travel locally to take pictures of properties for verification of a completed repair or occupancy. Rather than hiring part-time workers themselves, the companies turn to field service agencies who hire independent contractors to go out and take pictures and write brief summaries. After I was doing this kind of work for a while, I ended up building a small enterprise. I even hired my own part-timer to help me as my client base grew. There was one instance when I had to shoot a bunch of photos in a new home community to verify completion of the construction. That day, I earned $200 before showing up at my day job!
4. Auction Assistant
Growing up, my family and I lived next to a wealthy couple, and one day the husband asked my brother if he wanted a part-time job. He owned an auction gallery and needed people to hold the items being auctioned. My brother went to work for him and I eventually joined in as well. We both got paid to hold up luxury items as people were bidding on them (plus we got the leftover desserts they didn’t sell afterward). The money got even better because we helped with deliveries the day after the auction, and that’s when the high-class clients would tip, and tip well.
5. Beer Tap Cleaner
A friend of mine landed a job cleaning beer taps in restaurants. I had never thought about how beer taps and lines were cleaned, nor did I realize that it was a problem to not clean them. Apparently, this is a big deal in the food service industry. My friend had a pretty flexible schedule and eventually turned this part-time gig into a full-time job. It’s steady work that can help you make some contacts in the food service industry if you’re looking for a career change.
6. Dumpster Painter
When I was in high school, I saw an ad for a local waste management company that was looking for people to paint their dumpsters. When I told my friends they laughed, and to this day some still ask if I have painted any dumpsters lately. I never applied for the job after being ridiculed by my friends, but you never know, they might have kept me from earning a hidden fortune. I learned a valuable lesson: Dirty jobs pay off, and they aren’t necessarily all that dirty.
A part-time job can be a long-term commitment, but it doesn’t have to be. An hourly position can help bridge the gap during a furlough or give you a few months of cushion for your emergency fund. With unemployment so high, you’ll face a lot of overqualified competition for the standard positions in retail and food service. Sometimes you’ll have to look for the more obscure options. Remember that different doesn’t necessarily mean unattractive. You can make good money doing work that most people don’t think about every day.
Perhaps these ideas opened your eyes to some interesting possibilities. What part time jobs have you found or heard of? I always enjoy hearing about unique ways that people make money so please share in the comments below.
(photo credit: Shutterstock)