I have worked at over 30 different establishments in the last 10 years. I may be quite the job hopper, but it’s given me a great idea of what jobs are easy to figure out in a single training shift, and the ones that just make your head spin and want to walk out on your first smoke break. Here are some of the easiest jobs to ease into when you haven’t been in the workforce for a while, based up flexibility in schedule, easy training, and doable work that isn’t overwhelming.
Telemarketing or telephone customer service is tops, in my opinion. Since call centers have a plethora of employees, it’s easy to choose your own schedule and days you can work (making the job perfect for college kids and people with families). The companies will train you for 4-8 weeks, and if you have basic typing skills you can easily learn the mechanisms of any phone service type job. I’ve worked with Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and another company that did phone surveys, and the paid training is easy and works your way in, you make a lot of friends, and when you’re out on your own on the floor you always have the assistance of the floor supervisors (I was one) to assist you if you get confused with a customer on the phone. This job is great in the pay is usually above minimum wage (I made $18 an hour working for Verizon Wireless) and you usually earn bonuses for having a large call volume with no call backs. Health insurance, college reimbursement, and retirement plans are common with call centers. If you need to call in sick, it’s typically no problem- I missed like a month of work at the Verizon Wireless call center and my supervisor didn’t even notice- I just showed up one day and nobody said a word. When I finally quit (walked out in the middle of my shift) I got a call 2 weeks later from my supervisor letting me know that she had approved my day off for the 4th of July- she had no idea I had quit!
So I guess if you’re planning on flaking out on a company, the call center/telemarketing venue is the way to go. If nothing else, you can bomb out after training is over and walk away with some decent cash without ever having really worked.
Pizza service is another good one. It’s the perfect open door to learning the wait service line of work without having to be overwhelmed. I made an average of $30 a day in tips in a 5 hour shift- and the hours are perfect for high-school or college students. Money in your pocket every day, a minor menu to memorize, a computer system that can be learned in a day, and easy service to perform. Even moms can get in on pizza service, as the staff often gets sent home with the turned away food that was over-cooked or mis-ordered, and the soups that have to be thrown out daily can go home with anyone who wants it. My roommates and I lived off pizza and soup for a year when I was a pizza server, and I had cash in my pocket every day (plus, I made regular minimum wage) so I made more working part-time than my full-time roommates did. Pizza service is awesome, easy, and fun.
Note: not as flexible as call center work for scheduling, and hard to get full-time, but a great part-time job for extra cash every day. I loved it.
Dollar stores. If you want the easiest job on earth work for a dollar store. The cash register is insanely simple, because everything is a dollar or less, so you have to memorize, what, 8 keys? Stocking shelves is a beast, but passes the time quickly, and the Dollar Tree I worked at gave me a 10% discount. It’s fun to see the new stuff coming in every week, and the cash register is not daunting in the least. It is the perfect intro to customer service. The only downside to a dollar store is the pay is most likely going to be minimum wage, but scheduling is fairly flexible. It’s the perfect “I just want to get out of the house” job, or supplemental income job. It was not the most exciting work I’ve ever done, but it paid the bills and got me used to a cash register.
Stocking shelves at a department or grocery store. The work is mundane, but it’s easy, and if you have a fear of customer service but still want to work, stocking shelves is the way to go. You basically are left alone with your crate of goods, and stock until you’re done, find your supervisor to inspect your work, and start over somewhere else. Pay is not excellent, but if you work for a decent store sick pay, medical, and other benefits may be available. I didn’t like the work because a lot of crap is HEAVY, but for a part-time or supplemental pay or after school job it’s a great intro into the workforce, if you can lift often. My least fave of the ones I mentioned, but still worth a thought as learning the job is super-easy to do.