10 Ways to Earn Extra Cash during the Holidays

Make additional money with this seasonal jobs.

woman in apron working

The holiday season can be a great opportunity to meet employers, earn extra cash, and even land a full-time gig.

"Look at a seasonal job as an opportunity to build your network, get references, or get a referral," says Michael "Dr. Woody" Woodward, author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy.

A seasonal job can be a chance to impress employers with your dedication and passion, and to show off your potential. "I'm a big fan in getting in front of the right people," says Dr. Woody.

Whether you're looking to make a career move, or earn extra spending cash, we've put together a list of jobs in high demand this holiday season:

1. Errand running: Are your closets color coordinated, and your list of chores alphabetized by category? If so, this might be the perfect job for you. The busy holiday season makes it more difficult for people to take care of everyday tasks like picking up dry cleaning, getting a car inspected, or booking airline tickets. Or, they might want someone to decorate their front yard, go holiday food shopping. Search and apply for Care Gigs on Care.com or Task Rabbit.

2. Babysitting:
Between last-minute runs to the mall, and office holiday parties, parents need extra help with childcare around the holidays. You can update your profile on Care.com or spread the word among mom groups in your city.

3. Toy assembly: If you're a wizard with a screwdriver, and always dreamed of being a Santa's helper then this job's for you. Retail stores like Toy's R Us need handy employees to put together bikes, train sets and doll houses. Visit careerplanner.com.

4. Mall retail: According to the National Retail Federation, retailers are projected to hire between 480,000 and 500,000 temporary workers this holiday season. Seniors who don't have experience working the cash register can find jobs as a gift wrapper or greeter, welcoming shoppers who walk through the door. You can go directly to the stores at your local mall to fill out an application or check out careerbuilder.com

5. Delivery jobs:
"Online sales continue to grow each year," says Dr. Woody. Companies that deliver goods need help getting packages to eager customers on time. The job can be physical and fast-paced, and it's a good fit for workers who like to stay on the go, and who want a flexible schedule. Contact career services at FedEx.com, dhl.com, ups.com. Also consider stopping by your local florist or catering company, if local delivery is more your speed.

6. Tutor:
Fall semester grades usually come in before winter break, and kids may need a little extra help with algebra or biology. Care.com is designed to link tutors with students (learn how to post your tutor profile), and organizations like Kaplan and Princeton Review always seem to be hiring tutors and teachers for standardized test prep.

7. Secret Shopper:
Do you love spending other people's money? Secret shoppers are hired by companies to measure quality of service or compliance to regulations. On the job you can stay at four star hotels and dine at some of the best restaurants. To find out more, check out Certified Field Associate, Coyle Hospitality , and ICC Decision Services.

8. Temp Jobs:
If you're an Excel pro, or can type up a report in record speed, consider office temporary work. Temping is one of the fast growing employment sectors in the country, and these positions can lead to full-time employment. Temporary agencies often seek additional staff for their clients during the holiday season. Kelly Services, Snelling & Snelling and Manpower all provide searchable databases of temporary positions.

9. Driving Services:
The holidays are the busiest travel time, and you can make some quick cash getting families to the airport gate on time. The elderly may also need someone to help them get to the mall to pick up gifts, to the post office, or to doctor's appointments. Use Craigslist, post flyers in town and update your Care Gig profile to recommend this service.

10. Small party catering:
Do friends beg you to make your chocolate cheesecake for their dinner parties? If so, you may want to consider joining what the National Association of Catering Executives estimates is a $7.1 billion a year business. Before you book any jobs, check with your local health department to find out the regulations in your area. Dr. Woody advices you tap into your friend network on Facebook and Twitter to spread help spread the word about your business.

Before you apply for any of these jobs, Dr. Woody recommends you join LinkedIn, which can be one of the easiest ways to build an online professional presence. Employers usually turn to Google as a first reference, and in this competitive job market it's important to put your best foot forward. "Make sure your online profile is accurately projecting what you want to portray," says Dr. Woody.

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Comments (18)
Patricia P.
I was wondering if anyone has actually gotten assignments from the mystery shopper site....I tried one last year and it turned out to be a scam.I just moved here a few weeks ago and really need to find some kind of work.I am a Registered Nurse by profession,but when I applied to get my license by endorsement,I found out that because I have not worked for two of the last three years as a nurse that I need to take a refresher course that costs thousands of dollars.Does anyone know any other way to get a refresher course??...Any help would be appreciated,Thanks.
Posted: January 01, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Cheryl P.
i just read a comment about secret shopper also they want you to spy and buy a product then they tell you to return it later that is not fair to the store who thinks they just made an honest sale and they should not be allowed as a company to hire people to go to stores to spy and buy and return goods cant they just buy a camera if they want to know what is going on thanks
Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Maribel R.
I would open a checking account just for this purpose and put a few dollars in it and see what happens
Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Shailee C.
If they are approved by the BBB they are also deemed credible for their safety and security programs. Meaning that they take responsibility for your information. If you're not comfortable, don't do it. But the BBB approval is enough for me.
Posted: December 07, 2012 at 2:18 PM
Photo of Marie D.
Marie D.
I feel the same way as a few others above, by giving soc. sec. # on line, is to be giving away something sacred to someone you know nothing about? What's that about? How does one bypass or get over that?
Posted: December 06, 2012 at 7:59 PM
Photo of Cassie N.
Cassie N.
I was also skeptical of entering my SS# and banking info for the Certified Field Associates website. However, instead of just closing the window, I searched for the company online. I found out that it is certified by the BBB, and BBB rates the company as being in good standing. They ask for your SS# and banking info because you are applying for/accepting a job with them. If you earn above a certain level as an independent contractor, you have to report it on your taxes, and they have to report hiring you. So it makes sense that they need that info. Banking info is for direct deposit, and they do have a spot where you can check that you can't enter it at this time.
Posted: December 06, 2012 at 2:05 AM
Photo of Danita C.
Danita C.
Very useful article, Thanks!!
Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Photo of Pamela B.
Pamela B.
Great ideas!
Posted: December 04, 2012 at 5:28 PM
Photo of Alison K.
Alison K.
Very leary of posting ss# for the secret shopper assignments. One even asking for your banking information. I understand the need for the info for payment & taxes but NOT something you give out this early in the game....
Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Photo of Vickie K.
Vickie K.
Thank you so much for your help care.com. I'm new to the area and your help has given me hope,I truly believe now that this move was the right decision. Thanks again and Happy Holidays to all!
Posted: December 19, 2011 at 1:10 PM
Amy
unfortunately, the vetting process for Task Rabbit takes weeks (according to them), if they choose you at all, so definitely not for the holidays or something quick.
Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM
Photo of Sausan E.
Sausan E.
Excellent article!
Posted: December 18, 2011 at 10:10 PM
Photo of Christine M.
Christine M.
Thank You Care.Com for all the advice you give!
It Is going to be a very good new year for me, because of your help.
Happy Holidays to all of you!
Posted: December 11, 2011 at 11:00 AM
Photo of Diana H.
Diana H.
Thank you for the ideas, I have started with half of them, and it is keeping me somewhat busy already! I am so grateful for this site! Once again, thank you for all your help and advice.
Posted: December 03, 2011 at 8:11 PM
Photo of Nadine V.
Nadine V.
Hopefully some of these ideas will help me! I'll keep you updated!
Posted: November 30, 2011 at 5:38 PM
Photo of Christine B.
Christine B.
Great ideas-Thanks! :)
Posted: November 29, 2011 at 8:46 AM
Marlene T.
On No. 7 for Secret Shopper. I went onto the website for Certified Field Assoc and when filling out the form it required a SS No. Could you please remove that website. They are Bogus.
Posted: November 24, 2011 at 9:23 PM
Photo of Suzzan P.
Suzzan P.
Thank you so much Happy Holidays, I am sure to find MORE work now!
Posted: November 24, 2011 at 12:58 PM
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