money·3 min read

Why This Is a Good Year to Get a Seasonal Side Gig

seasonal side gig 2021
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Alamy
Oct 28, 2021

The Story

If your holiday budget could use some help, it might be time for a side hustle. Especially since this season is going to be a weird one.

Why’s that?

Two words: labor shortage. During the pandemic, thousands of laid-off workers looked to temp holiday gigs as an unemployed SOS. But now the tables have turned. Some people are taking their time reentering the workforce, while millions more are quitting, including more than 300,000 women in September alone. Read: companies are desperate to fill roles, and workers have the upper hand. More than 10% of seasonal job postings on mention that hiring is “urgent” vs. 1% last year. 

So who’s hiring? 

Here are a few holiday opps that might stand out.

  • Williams Sonoma: Their remote customer care jobs involve answering customer Qs, placing orders, and processing returns. Pay is $14 an hour. Plus, there’s a 40% employee discount on most items at all of the company’s brands, including Pottery Barn, West Elm, Rejuvenation, and Mark and Graham. Holiday shopping, handled.

  • Calling all wannabe sommeliers. The online wine retailer is hiring remote customer service reps in multiple states, including New York, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Texas, and Ohio. The job entails 20-25 hours of customer service work a week, with additional hours available between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

  • Uncommon Goods: The Brooklyn-based retailer that sells unique (er, uncommon) gifts is hiring for multiple positions – both remote and in-person  – during the holidays. 

  • Amazon: Ever heard of them? They’re hiring 150,000 seasonal employees. The bulk of these jobs are order fulfillment (read: packing boxes), and pay starts at an average of $18 per hour.

  • Nordstrom: The luxury store chain is hiring a bunch of seasonal jobs in various locations. A discount on your Nordstrom haul, included.

  • Vail Resorts: No need to brave the snow for this job. Vail Resorts is hiring seasonal remote travel consultants and sales agents to book ski vacations and answer inbound calls. Pay is around $15 an hour.

What should I do with the extra cash?

This holiday season is going to be more expensive than usual, thanks to product shortages. So extra funds from a side hustle could help offset extra costs. And if you’re behind on any big goals, like paying off high-interest debt, saving for emergencies or investing, you can use the money to get ahead in the new year.

Anything else to keep in mind?

Some companies are offering sign-on bonuses to sweeten the deal. For example, Amazon is offering $3,000 in some locations, plus an extra $3 an hour for workers in certain shifts. Make sure to read up on what the competition is offering for seasonal positions and ask for what you want.


‘Tis the season for side gigs. And this year, employers are saying ‘pick me, choose me, love me.’ So now might be the perfect time to pick up some extra hours, and negotiate your terms.

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