Are you in the market for a part-time job, but you're not thrilled about the usual options? If you aren't interested in waiting tables, babysitting or working retail, you might want to consider some of these less common types of part-time work.
1. Location scout
Locations can play a critically important role in movies, TV and print advertisements -- imagine the 1976 film "Rocky" without the iconic scene on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to name a famous example. Location scouts find just the right beach, doughnut shop or other physical location to make a shoot successful. Not only do location scouts need a good eye, they must have excellent communication and negotiation skills to convince property owners, municipalities and others to give camera crews access. Some location scouts, especially for film, are needed on a per-project basis and therefore have somewhat unpredictable schedules. Other location scouts have steady part-time gigs for catalogs or recurring TV shows, for example.
2. Product demonstrator
Many product demonstrators run booths at trade shows, showing interested passersby how to use a particular coffee maker, type of software or other new product. But their jobs can take them to other places, too: they might demonstrate luxury cars by driving them around to a city's happening night spots, for example. Some product demonstrators try to spur immediate sales, while others have the subtler task of boosting brand awareness. Because their employment is driven by special events geared to product promotion, they usually have part-time or irregular schedules.
3. Food stylist
Those delectable images of food in glossy magazines, TV and the Internet -- the ones that make you hungry just looking at them -- are almost always the work of food stylists. These workers are typically responsible for meeting with photographers and/or creative teams deciding what the food should look like, and then doing the shopping, storing, organizing, presentation and cooking that produce those mouth-watering shots of lobster tails or strawberry shortcake. While some food stylists work full-time for cooking shows or advertising agencies, others, especially those who are self-employed, may work on a part-time basis.
4. Corn detasseler
If you grew up in Iowa, Nebraska or another corn-producing state, chances are you have heard of corn detasseling. For the rest of us, this is probably a new one. Detasseling serves as summer employment for many Midwestern high school and college students, as well as for adults seeking seasonal work. It involves tramping through cornfields and pulling the topmost part, or the tassel, off the ears of corn. (The tassels are left on some ears, so that the two varieties can cross-pollinate.) The work is typically easy to get but very tough to do: count on exhausting days and plenty of cuts and scrapes on your hands.
5. Field inspector
Insurance companies and mortgage lenders are among the companies that hire part-time inspectors to assess the condition of homes, cars, offices and other properties. If you have reliable transportation, a digital camera and good phone and Internet access, you've got most of the tools you'll need to set up shop, usually as an independent contractor. Once you get started, you can boost your income by working for more than one company.
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