5 Odd Jobs to Pay the Rent

On-campus jobs are out-of-date; here are some smarter ways for NY students of makin’ that paper.

Managing a student budget in one of the world’s most expensive cities can be a tricky task. After a couple of months of eating dollar pizza slices in your bed — that is also your desk — and crashing random conferences where there may or may not be free food, you’ll start considering alternative ways to stay afloat.

You may not wanna put them at the top of your resumé

But don’t worry, there is to need to start selling organs yet. The gig-economy isn’t limited to Uber driving and bartending. The trick is to think outside the box — far outside.

Here are some gigs you probably haven’t thought of. (Obs. You may not wanna put them at the top of your resumé.)

Professional Cuddler

By Lila (Flickr Creative Commons)

By Lila (Flickr Creative Commons)

If you’re the snuggly type, this may be the gig for you. Professional cuddling is completely platonic and should not be confused with prostitution. “The Snuggle Buddies” — one of several companies specialized in snuggling — describes it more like a “touch therapy” that can help relieve depression, anxiety and stress. The flexible schedule of a cuddler is perfect for a busy student. Customers can sign up for regular cuddling on an hour-to-hour basis, phone cuddling, or an overnight session. The salary is usually around $40/hour and companies provide their employees with snuggle training.

Line Waiter

IPad Launch Day by Dan Nguyen (Flickr Creative Commons)

IPad Launch Day by Dan Nguyen (Flickr Creative Commons)

New Yorkers are impatient people, and as big city life involves plenty of waiting, hiring others to do the waiting for you has become a trend over the last years. Whether it is for a sample sale or for Broadway tickets, you can make some extra dough by simply standing in line. This may not be the most exciting gig, but if you bring a fold-up chair it’s a perfect opportunity to study for your next exam. There are companies providing the service — like New York-based “Same Ole Line Dudes” — and others do it on a freelance basis where marketing is done on Facebook or Twitter. Most line-waiters charge $25 the first hour and then $10-$20 for additional hours.

Dog Walker

Dog Walkers by John Fraissinet (Flickr Creative Commons)

Dog Walkers by John Fraissinet (Flickr Creative Commons)

If you don’t suffer from allergies and happen to have a schedule full of daytime gaps, walking a few dogs may be a good idea. You can join an agency — like the “NYC Dog Walkers” — or you can build your own network. The most common way is picking up a bunch of dogs and doing a group walk, but some owners with less sociable dogs prefer private walks which pays better. If you feel like going all-in, there are even schools offering dog handling certifications. Salary: between $10-$20 per walked fido.

Sperm Donator

Super Sperm to the rescue by Nathan Rupert (Flickr Creative Commons)

Super Sperm to the rescue by Nathan Rupert (Flickr Creative Commons)

Probably the least time-consuming gig out there. Once you’ve been accepted to a sperm-donation program, you can make up to $15,000/month. However, before you start stocking up on lubricants, know that the process of getting enrolled in one of the programs is somewhat cumbersome. California Cryobank, that also has a branch in New York, has a strict set of prerequisites such as height, age, and educational requirements. You’ll have a better chance of landing the job if you’re enrolled at a prestigious institution and have a good academic record — so keep up the studying.

TV Watcher

Netflix and Chill by Crazybananas (Flickr Creative Commons)

Netflix and Chill by Crazybananas (Flickr Creative Commons)

Yep, that’s right — you can actually get paid for binge-watching TV. There are a few different categories within this field and they involve different levels of slacking. There are talk shows and other broadcasters that pay you for watching hours of video and picking the right clips. An example is “Jimmy Kimmel Live” that offered $500 to $600 per week to TV watchers. The most slacker-friendly category is probably “tagging” for Netflix. You get paid for watching hours of movies and series and then to categorize them into different genres of entertainment. These openings doesn’t show up too frequently, but for the chance of working in your pajamas, it could be worth keeping an eye on the Netflix Job Board.

Cover picture courtesy of Max Braun (Flick Creative Commons)

Carl-Johan Karlsson is a freelancer writer based in New York but made in Stockholm. He is also a decent bartender and an excellent chess player.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+WhatsApp