Ideas for part-time jobs that don't require you to commit to very many hours per week?
February 10, 2008 5:33 PM   Subscribe

Ideas for part-time jobs that don't require you to commit to very many hours per week?

I'm a student but the on-campus jobs are basically all taken. Jobs where I could work with other students (or recent graduates) would be ideal.

Similar threads suggested Starbucks/Borders/Barnes&Noble/Princeton Review/Kaplan -- if you've worked for one of them, how did you like it?
posted by socrates to Work & Money (13 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Private teaching. High hourly pay (in a major metro area $30 to $60 per hour). Do you have any skill you can sell to middle class kids? (Music, figure skating, dance especially if you have an arcane specialty like tap, language or math tutoring, etc.)
posted by nax at 5:42 PM on February 10, 2008

That's what I was going to say. Teaching guitar works out quite well for me. Incidentally, I was in training to teach for Kaplan before the guitar teaching picked up, and I just quit Kaplan as I didn't like it. It didn't really feel like teaching -- they expect you to follow the book very closely, and the training felt like public speaking class. It seems like they're mostly concerned that you present the appropriate image of the company.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:48 PM on February 10, 2008

If you can swing a bookstore job, I've found them to be quite nice. Good atmosphere, theyll let you get away with 10-15 hours a week, friendly people, and kickass discount. I worked for Chapters (the CDN equivalent of Barnes and Nobles?) for a stint over Christmas and it was the best part time job I'd held down despite the insane holiday rush.
posted by Phire at 6:06 PM on February 10, 2008

Honestly, the committment to Best Buy when I was a part-timer was really pathetic. You give them an availability, which they almost always adhere to. You can tell them that you basically want two days a week, and they'll give it to you. They'll significantly bump your hours between Nov 15 and Jan 1, and you MUST work Black Friday. But, you get fantastic deals with their employee discount (cost + 5%) and a great 401k, if you stay there long enough.
posted by santojulieta at 6:29 PM on February 10, 2008

Oh, and I was student teaching when I started with Best Buy part time.
posted by santojulieta at 6:29 PM on February 10, 2008

I worked at a supermarket stacking shelves all through my degree. Once I showed them I could do it better than other people, I could pretty much ask for as many or as few hours as I wanted. A big corporate type place usually has enough employees that they can run with this; a smaller one may have so few people that they can't afford that kind of flexibility.
posted by twirlypen at 6:50 PM on February 10, 2008

Catering. Also ask about banquets at hotels. May not be working with students but you'll probably work with some nice positive people. Lots of free food too.

I guess it depends on what level of mental skill you want to use in your part-time job.
posted by powpow at 7:54 PM on February 10, 2008

Art gallery attendant. I used to work at a small gallery... it was a good opportunity to catch up on reading. The curator even encouraged it.
posted by perpetualstroll at 9:18 PM on February 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

I got hired by Kaplan and didn't make it all the way through the training. I had the same problem as ludwig_van: it was more about presenting "the Kaplan method" energetically than actually teaching anything.
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 9:26 PM on February 10, 2008

Re: Princeton Review/Kaplan: I worked for a private SAT test prep company, tutoring one-on-one in student's homes. The money sounded good, but I hated all of the driving, and even though they paid (half-rate) for drive time, I found it wasn't worth my time and I didn't last more than 4 or 5 months. I do have a friend who's taught for Princeton Review (mostly the big classes, some private tutoring) and makes pretty good money at it, so maybe the secret is to take the classes that ostensibly pay less but reduce drive time.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 9:51 PM on February 10, 2008

I'm a college student and I work at Starbucks - I'd say if you can get them to hire you, work there.

It probably varies store to store, but my manager's great with flexibility/changing schedules/however many hours you want. I worked about 8-10 hours/week when I started about 4 months ago, then did about 25-30/week over Christmas break, now I'm doing 12-15/week - my point being, I told them up front I didn't want many hours a week, and they hired me anyway. A lot of it will probably depend on what your availability is and what they need. A lot of stores seem to need people to work Sundays, YMMV.

I love my job. Everybody's mostly nice, they love to throw free stuff at us ("hey, it's christmas! here's a t-shirt and a mug!"), and I get paid to drink free Starbucks while I work. Life is good.
posted by Quidam at 12:06 AM on February 11, 2008

Check to see if your student federation has any off-campus businesses(or even on-campus businesses that you haven't considered yet). Mine does have an off-campus store, for contractual reasons (only one store is allowed to sell textbooks on campus, and the federation's store ain't it), and it's the best job I have ever, ever had. Mainly because it's 95% students.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 3:52 AM on February 11, 2008

i second catering for sure, it's usually great dough.

also: if you're in an urban area, look on craigslist in the art/media/design jobs section; a lot of installation artists require labor to put together their work and i made a tidy sum doing this when i was living in Brooklyn. one job involved something like 15 hours a week soldering tiny LED lights to metal bases, another crimping silver beads on long strings (I could do that one from home, watching movies, making my own hours and getting paid by the string).
posted by pieliza at 5:55 AM on February 11, 2008

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