Are you entering the holiday season short of cash? You may want to consider a seasonal job. Once Halloween passes and cold weather sets in throughout the country, demand increases for temporary workers to fill in during the holiday shopping season.
- Online – Check online employment sites for local opportunities – if you are looking at national rather than local sites, make sure to limit your search geographically. Your local Craigslist has a jobs section, and there are likely other local jobsites that you can find with a simple Google search.
- Traditional Sources – Newspapers are still useful through classified ads, announcements of job fairs, or screenings by local companies. Your local unemployment office will also have job postings available for review.
- Temp Agencies – Registering with a temporary employment agency is another good way to locate seasonal work, and it could lead into a longer-term arrangement for part-time positions throughout the year.
Most of the available seasonal work revolves around shopping, but there are exceptions.
- Retail Sales – Target announced it would be hiring for 120,000 seasonal positions this year, while Macy's has opened 80,000 positions, J.C. Penney is adding 39,000 positions, and Gap Inc. and Kohl's have 65,000 and 90,000 vacancies for the holiday season, respectively. With the wide variety from these and other retailers, you are likely to find a sales position that fits your temperament and skills.
- Production and Warehouse Workers – While the shopping season requires more salespeople up front, it also requires an increase in order processing and warehouse workers to prepare products for shipment. Temporary production workers may be needed to handle increased demand for domestic products.
- Delivery – UPS and FedEx are searching for 100,000 and 55,000 temporary workers, respectively, to service online shoppers. Other delivery services such as DHL are likely to require extra holiday help as well.
- Santa Impersonators – How about a gig as the jolly old Saint Nick? Put that gray hair and extra paunch to work if you have it. If you don’t, work on your hearty laugh and you may still be able to get a job playing Santa at a department store, mall, or other public venue.
If you don’t like the idea of sweating through the holiday in a hot Santa suit or you just aren’t as good dealing with children (and occasionally obnoxious parents), perhaps a role as one of Santa’s helpers may work. As anyone who has taken their children to a mall Santa can verify, Santa really needs his supporting elves.
Santa usually is compensated pretty well for his trouble – $10,000 over the entire holiday season is not uncommon.
- Winter Resorts – Perhaps the glamorous life of a temporary ski instructor is for you? Probably not, but if you live in an area near ski resorts, you may be able to grab seasonal work in a ski shack, coffee shop, restaurant, or other support function. These jobs are more likely to last beyond the Christmas season until the end of ski season.
Your seasonal job may be temporary, but you should treat it as though it were a permanent one. Employers are always looking for hard workers that they can use throughout the year, or keep on file as a valued worker for the next holiday season.
The point is to be professional at the interview, regardless of the job involved. If you land the job, be an equally professional worker and adhere to the company guidelines. Unless it involves a Santa suit, you may find that your seasonal job rolls into a full-time opportunity, making your wallet fatter on a more permanent basis.
Many employers will check a potential hire's credit. Beat them to the punch: check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes by joining MoneyTips. That way, you can address any fraud, mistakes, or other issues that could hurt your job hunt.