JCPenney, Williams-Sonoma, Amazon and others are hiring remote workers
Christmas is coming early to cash-strapped homebodies.
Indeed, this is the best year yet to find a holiday job where you can work from home, says Andrew Challenger, the vice president of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That’s thanks to a number of factors, including that big retailers are increasingly hiring for work-from-home jobs for the holidays, and that there is plenty of holiday-related gig and freelance work to be had since the economy is humming along, he explains.
JCPenney, Williams-Sonoma and Amazon are among the large retailers recruiting for remote workers this holiday season — mostly to do things like answer customer questions or concerns over the phone, chat or email, he explains. “For the first time, we’re really noticing a number of retailers moving towards these telecommuting jobs,” he says. “It was not something that came up on our radar much until this year.” This rise is likely due to lowered in-store sales as e-commerce rises.
Plus, thanks to a vastly improved economy with low unemployment, more consumers have money to spend on holiday help — some of it of the work-from-home variety, he adds. That could include everything from hiring someone to custom design their holiday cards to getting a virtual assistant to help manage their holiday calendars.
Of course, this isn’t all good news. The pay for many of these jobs is low (sometimes just minimum wage), and the vast majority of holiday jobs still require you to show up in person. Still, for someone who wants or has to work from home, these opportunities may be worth pursuing. Here’s what you need to know:
Big companies that are hiring remote holiday workers. These include JCPenney, Williams-Sonoma, Home Shopping Network and Amazon, which are mainly hiring for customer service work that typically pays anywhere from minimum wage to about $15 an hour. Additionally, many tax-related jobs start hiring now for work that carries over into next year. Brie Reynolds, Senior Career Specialist at FlexJobs, notes that both Jackson Hewitt and Intuit are hiring remote workers now, with pay ranging from $10 – $57 per hour.
Holiday-related gig and freelance work you can create for yourself. A virtual assistant job can be easy to get during the holidays, as this is when many employees take their vacations and companies need help, Cassidy Rush, spokesperson for PayScale, tells Moneyish. And “if you’ve got a talent—whether it’s baking or doing hair or doing taxes—you could use the holidays as a time to open a home-based business,” says New York City-based career success strategist, Carlota Zimmerman. “For example, if your talent is baking and you’d like to make extra money, you could offer baking classes for adults, or even little kids.
Other ideas: Since many people go on holiday during this time, you can also dog sit in your own home through a site like Rover.com, where you can make $20-$50 and up for a night. People are also looking for others to do things like Photoshop holiday photos, create holiday greeting cards, write thank you notes and organize their schedules, all of which you can do remotely. Expect to get paid anywhere from minimum wage up to $25 an hour or more, depending on your expertise.
How to score these jobs. Most big companies that are hiring virtual holiday workers will list these jobs on their websites, and you can also find them on the job search engines like Indeed, FlexJobs, Glassdoor, and more. For work that you create yourself, like Photoshopping photos or writing thank you notes for people, consider advertising your services on your social media channels and at local religious organizations or coffee shops.
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