This COVID-19 pandemic has created a stressful situation and hardship for many individuals, especially when it comes to employment. There has been some good news recently on the unemployment front, in terms of an economic recovery of the last three months. An area, however, that was hit hard (in particular with the NY State’s restrictions) has been those in or seeking part-time employment.

Part-time employment can also be a valuable lifeline for you, depending on your current furlough/layoff situation and unemployment. It also sends Hiring Managers the message that you want to work and were willing to accept a part-time position in order to stay employed. The holiday season also just may be the traditional time that you take on part-time employment for additional income, so that your present purchases don’t immediately turn to debt in January.

While there are some industries in New York State prime for part-time jobs that continue to be hit hard by COVID-19, there are others that have a spike in demand. So, instead of looking for work in areas such as bars, salon/spas, restaurants and movie theatres (where capacity limitations have been incredibly impactful) spend your time considering the following areas.

  • Grocery and Mass Market Stores: These employers are struggling to hire to meet the demand of checkout and stock shelving. With the restrictions on eating out, more and more people are buying groceries and making dinner at home. Mass Market stores have also benefited from their “one stop” shopping experience, as it allows COVID-19 concerned individuals to make less store trips than visiting specialty stores for various products.
  • Store Order Fulfilling: In a similar vein as our first bullet, there has been a surge of people having someone else do the shopping for them. The product either gets delivered to them or he/she pulls up and a person deposits their order inside their vehicle. This is great if you don’t want to be directly face-to-face with someone, like a customer, and prefer walking up and down the aisles doing the order selecting.
  • Warehouse Fulfilling/Shipping: While Western New York may not be the fulfillment hub that more centralized locations find themselves in, there are a number of employers in this industry in the area. This work can be especially fruitful for those looking for more hours during this holiday season.
  • Home Improvement Retail: People are spending more time at home and less time going out. This has created a boom time for home improvement retailers, as people are noticing their home imperfections and now have the weekend time to do something about it. Add in the traditional holiday bump, and the home improvement retailers (from the local hardware store to the large national chains) may have hiring needs. If you are someone who is handy yourself and enjoy helping others in this area, the job could also be very intrinsically rewarding to you.
  • Delivery Drivers: The surge in online shopping has created a massive need for people to deliver what was ordered. The holiday season will just magnify further this massive need. If you have a good driving record and can physically handle this type of work, then this can make a perfect part-time job, and potentially lead to more if you want it. There are also, however, other delivery positions to consider, such as, more people are choosing to order out rather than physically sitting in the restaurant to enjoy the meal. Finally, more physical retailers are offering direct home delivery for the product they carry.
  • Call Center/Customer Service: People still have questions or issues, and they are less likely to stop into a retail location to try to get their answers or solutions. This is especially true with the surge of online shopping, and the need to do online follow-up by either calling customer service or participating in the chat feature (if available).

There are a variety of reasons why people seek out part-time employment, especially during a holiday season. COVID-19 may have tweaked some of the more obvious spots to obtain this type of employment, but there are still plenty of opportunities available to you. This may also be a great time to do something different than what you are used to in order to see if you like it. Who knows? You just may find that you have discovered a new career while you were exploring.

As always, best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein


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