By Jessica Lyons
Many businesses that have a telemarketing component need people to make calls at various times to accommodate time zone differences or people who work during the day and can only be reached in the evening or on a weekend. While some telemarketing positions might have set shifts for you to choose from, others might give you the chance to make your own hours. If you are a people person who doesn't mind work that could include asking people to make donations or purchase something, this could be a job to consider.
Particularly in busy cities where something is always going on, people could need rides at any time of day or night, meaning that taxis will always be in demand. If you like driving and are good at finding your way around, working for a car service could be the perfect fit and allow you to tailor your hours to your schedule by working evenings, nights or weekends.
Health Care Settings
Many health care settings, like hospitals and nursing homes, operate 24/7 and need support staff at a variety of hours. You don't necessarily have to have a background in health care and might be able to work as a janitor or receptionist during times you're not in classes. For students who are interested in eventually going into a health care-related profession, these starting jobs could give them a chance to make important connections and might prepare them to advance to higher positions after they earn their degrees.
Retail and Grocery Stores
Stores are also open for extended hours and could even be open 24 hours a day. Duties could include stocking shelves, checking out customers, cleaning the store or providing customer service. Working in stores is popular among students since it does offer flexibility and typically no previous training or experience is required.
Security guards are needed at different times depending on the location. A bar might want a security person during its evening and nighttime hours of operation while an apartment complex might want someone even during the day to patrol the area. Before applying to a security position, though, you just need to make sure that you're comfortable with being responsible for protecting people and their property.
Other Things to Consider
In addition to the jobs mentioned above, there are some other ways you can find work with flexible hours. First of all, you can try to find jobs with telecommuting policies that also allow you to make your own hours. You also might want to work on campus, where employers fully understand that students need flexible schedules.
When you're beginning your job search, it can be a good idea to target 24-hour businesses and those with shift work. It's doubtful that a business that's only open Monday through Friday from nine to five will provide you with the type of flexibility you're looking for. Applying with companies that need people at all sorts of times will increase your chances of finding something that will be compatible with your schedule.
If you're thinking about applying to a job but aren't sure if the employer offers the kind of flexibility you need, talk to someone there beforehand and explain that you're a student. Some companies might already make special accommodations in such cases and it's just not well known that they do so. You could also find a company that hasn't previously worked around a student's schedule but is open minded and willing to give it a try.
In addition to offering flexibility, there are several other benefits to working on campus.