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There are plenty of reasons why a part-time job is appealing. Even people who have saved for retirement see continuing to work in some fashion as a financial safety net. It helps stave off dipping into retirement accounts and makes it easier to delay Social Security benefits. There are also psychological and health reasons to consider, including staying engaged with a social network and feeling relevant.
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If working on your own terms appeals to you, here are six varieties of part-time work to consider.
1. Self-employment and consulting work
Tap your expertise and skill set to launch a part-time gig as a consultant. These are typically short-term projects. The trick to landing assignments is leveraging your professional network. Past employers are a good first stop to test the waters. Contact former colleagues and clients for help in identifying opportunities. For leads, you might get involved with an association in your industry, an alumni group, a local Rotary Club or a regional small-business association. You might also want to use websites such as PatinaSolutions.com, for those with at least 25 years of experience, or HourlyNerd.com, for those with MBAs or graduate degrees.
2. Seasonal jobs
Plenty of jobs run the course of a season, such as fall, winter, or summer, and can help you pay bills and keep busy. If you like to drive, for instance, limo services provide work year-round, but their dance cards fill up during prom and wedding season, from April to June.
Tax preparers are in hot demand during the first part of the year. Large tax firms, including H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, hire thousands of tax preparers each year to come on board from January until May 1. You usually need to take the firm’s income-tax course in the fall to prepare. To fly solo, become an enrolled agent with the Internal Revenue Service. You can gain experience through AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, where volunteers help lower-income seniors do their taxes. AARP trains all volunteers.
Substitute teaching, working as an adjunct professor or doing private tutoring during the school year is another seasonal possibility. If you like the great outdoors, each year the National Park Service, as well as state and local parks, hires temporary and seasonal employees. There are also guest service and hospitality jobs at park stores and restaurants; they’re available through Aramark, a national firm that’s authorized by the National Park Service to provide facility and concession management. The holiday season, too, is a great time to land a temporary job. Retailers have a seasonal demand not only for sales clerks but also for customer service helpers, cashiers, stockroom clerks and security guards. You may also find restaurant employment, as a greeter, server, bartender or barista. Package-delivery firms such as UPS and FedEx are inundated with a surge in demand and hire accordingly.