When the pandemic struck, some side hustles fell by the wayside. You’d be hard-pressed to find a mystery shopping, tour guide or restaurant job in the midst of the economic shut-down, for instance. However, several industries are now picking up steam.

Some are back from the dead, while others are simply ramping up to new highs for the holidays. Here are jobs that are revving up and reviving.

Jobs revving up


Lock-down orders were good for delivery services, which surged when stay-at-home orders caused Americans to have groceries and meals sent to their homes. A recent uptick in Covid cases, coupled with the traditionally busy holiday season, is turning delivery into the hottest side hustle of the 2020 holiday season.

“Delivery jobs are through the roof because of the shift to e-commerce,” says Aaron Hageman, chief executive of Delivery Drivers, Inc., a contractor management service for delivery platforms. “Covid was an accelerant, and the holiday dynamic adds to that trend.”

Of the 10 jobs in greatest demand, two are in the delivery space, according to a recent LinkedIn survey. Demand for “delivery specialists” soared 72% during September. And that was before Amazon — parent of delivery giant Amazon Flex — announced plans to hire 100,000 more workers.

Some delivery platforms where you may be able to find work: GrubHub and DoorDash, for food delivery, as well as package delivery services Amazon Flex, Roadie, Citizen Shipper and UShip.

Grocery shopping and delivery services Instacart, Shipt and Dumpling also are worth a look.


Grocery stores were caught flatfooted by extraordinary demand in the early days of the pandemic. That forced warehouses to go into overdrive to help beleaguered grocery chains keep food, bleach and paper products on the shelves.

Many of these warehouses turned to freelance platforms to find the necessary staff. The holiday season pushes this already high demand into the stratosphere.

“First we saw a big boost from essential businesses such as meal kit and food-production companies and now we’re seeing a ton of growth with e-commerce and retail businesses trying to meet unprecedented demand,” said Monica Plaza, vice president of strategy for Wonolo, a warehouse and retail staffing platform.

Demand for warehouse workers is likely to soar 475% this holiday season, according to Wonolo’s in-house research. Average pay for holiday warehousing hires has risen 16% to $14.18 per hour, Plaza adds.

Good sites to find a warehouse job include WonoloBlueCrew, and SnagAJob.

Jobs reviving

Mystery shopping

Mystery shopping jobs were a casualty of the shut-down. After all, few stores and restaurants were left open to shop. These jobs, which have freelancers posing as customers to test customer service and product offerings, are now coming back as more cities and states loosen pandemic restrictions.

Mystery shopping jobs don’t pay particularly well — usually $10 to $25 per assignment — but a number are offering “bonus” pay to get mystery shoppers back into the stores. The best places to sign up for mystery shopping positions are with BestMark and SecretShopper.


While in-person retail traffic remains light, the holiday season always spurs seasonal hiring. Target, Kohls and Walmart, among others, are already advertising for seasonal sales associates. So, too, are specialty retail, electronics and game stores.

Since demand is far lower this year than in past holiday seasons, don’t expect to earn much more than minimum wage. Still, even seasonal employees usually qualify for employee discounts.

It’s smart to apply for holiday work at a retailer where you like to shop. You can figure that a portion of your pay comes from discounts on your holiday purchases.

Dog sitting

Covid slammed travel plans for the majority of Americans. However, most say their plans were “postponed,” not cancelled, according to Ally Bank. Roughly 60% of the bank’s customers have segregated funds for future travel, the bank says. That’s not only good for furloughed hotel and airline workers, it’s a positive sign for dog-sitters, who have been largely idled by people staying at home.

If you’re interested pet-sitting work, the best site to sign up is Rover.