Ideas for Part-Time and Evening Jobs

Need a little cash? Want to save for a special event? Or just need some help with paying the bills? Whether you are a student looking for a way to pay the rent, or a stay-at-home parent who needs to supplement the household's income there are quite a few options. Although New Zealand is said to have high unemployment, a quick look on Trademe or another job site will provide a long list of part-time and evening jobs. My local mall's sushi bar has been advertising for several part-time roles for weeks now.

Part-time job sign

Part-Time Opportunities

Some industries have a lot more part-time work than others do. Trying to get a part-time role in information technology is difficult, as with many professional jobs, the requirement is for 40+ hours a week.

Other industries are much better suited for people looking for part-time work. A casual glance at the jobs boards on Trademe will give you multiple opportunities as:

  • telephone sales
  • cleaners
  • nurses
  • rest home workers
  • childcare
  • customer service and sales
  • baristas, waiters, chefs
  • retail assistants
  • security staff and bouncers
  • furniture movers
  • drivers
  • part-time accountants and administration staff

If you specifically want evening work to fit around looking after the kids during the day, or a day job, then consider:

  • night cleaning (usually offices and other commercial premises)
  • restaurant and bar work
  • some home support and rest home jobs
  • telemarketing (yes they do prefer to call you in the early evening!)

Online Freelancing

There are also a number of telecommuting jobs where you work for client who needs your skills, but not your physical presence. These are freelance jobs for clients who may very well live on the other side of the world. Our time zone can be an advantage, but the bigger advantage is that there is a huge market out there for almost any skill that can be done remotely:

  • software programming
  • design work from logos to websites
  • writing anything from blog posts to books
  • administration tasks such as diary management
  • translating
  • online surveys

For all of these jobs it doesn't really matter where you live, so long as you have an account with you can be paid from international sources and you can then subsequently transfer funds to a New Zealand bank account. For most new freelancers, it's better to go through a middle-man or brokerage site such as, or These sites provide some protection against non-payment, by providing a third party escrow services which means a freelancer is guaranteed to be paid. There are however some issues with these forms of sites, which include:

  • jobs are generally priced in US dollars - that means if the US dollar weakens against the kiwi dollar, you will get paid less in our local currency;
  • it's an international market place and many freelancers from Western countries find it hard to compete against those in lower-wages countries such as India and the Philippines

Avoiding the scams

Part-time and particularly freelancing work attracts the scammers. Remember the golden rule with any job - they pay you! Sounds obvious but a "job" which requires you to first buy a product to review, or pay for expensive software, is likely not a job at all, just a con.

Which is best option for you?

Do a skills audit - what skills do you have? Not just qualifications, but demonstrable skills, if you have kids, you have childcare skills whether or not you are degree qualified. If you are fit and have a clean licence, particularly a truck licence, then you have the skills required for delivery work.

What are your personal skills? Being polite, conscientious, and punctual, may sound old-fashioned, but these are often qualities that employers will hire on. If you can't be arsed turning up on time to open the cafe, then you are a problem, not a help to the boss.

What resources do you have access to?

  • driver's licence and a clean record;
  • reliable car;
  • computer and reliable Internet connection

Depending on the type of work you are looking for spending the money to get a First Aid Certificate or additional endorsements on your driver's licence may be a good investment.
What work environment are you looking for? If you enjoy the buzz of a work busy place then maybe you are better suited to working in a busy cafe rather than freelancing on the Internet?


I recall when the government were advertising for Census workers, there were come backlash, because applicants didn't want to work early evenings and weekends, which is of course the prime time for delivering and collection forms! Part-time work is scheduled for the benefit of your employer, not you. If you don't like working nights and evenings, then chasing bartending work may be a mistake. Maybe a barista role is a better fit?

Although we may dream of a part-time job that will fit our lifestyle, the reality is that, quite often it's a juggling act, particularly in the early days. Sometimes you will have very short-notice, covering for staff who are suddenly sick I've filled in with as little as a few hour’s notice. Make yourself useful like this for a while though, and you will find that you name gets higher up the list of who to call first.

Keep it Legal

Trying to cheat on your taxes or benefits is just stupid. It's not worth risking the heavy penalties if you get caught. If you are on a benefit, find out what, if any effect, making money on the side will have on your entitlements. Earning money online isn't tax free income. You need to declare income, and probably deal with provisional tax. On the plus side if you earn an income using equipment such as your own computer, and an office space in your home, you may well be able to claim those expenses against that income, even a percentage of your rent and power bills!

It's a myth that secondary jobs are taxed more highly. However the tax rate from your first job includes the first $19,000 income which is taxed at only 19.5% - so if your day job brings in $30,0000 - the part-time income of another $5000, will all be taxed at the higher rate. You’ll pay the same tax that you would if you had one job paying $35,000.

The only time when you don't pay income in New Zealand is if the income is from a "hobby". This is a general definition, but a few hours a week doing say online surveys would probably count as a "hobby" rather than a job, particularly if you are paid in goods or vouchers.