Need some extra cash for the holidays?
While it’s getting to be a little late to start the hunt (remember this for the summer seasonal job hunt), there are people looking to hire.
According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, retailers will typically hire between 500,000 and 600,000 a season.
Of course, the traditional seasonal job market is dominated by holiday sales industries: retail sellers, clothing, department stores, big box stores, etc, but there are some entrepreneurial opportunities to be had as well.
Here is a look at what’s out there. The pros and cons are certainly not exhaustive, and differ depending on your area.
Pros: Good hours, outdoors, competitive pay.
Cons: Lifting, and a lot of it.
UPS has Driver Helper positions during the Christmas season. No driving required, just help the route drivers, usually in the vicinity of your own neighborhood. Lifting is required, but you aren’t required to work on the weekend (UPS HR). If you prefer wearing blue over brown and want to drive, FedEx offers seasonal driver opportunities. For non-traditional local delivery/courier and personal shopper jobs, check your local Craigslist.
Big Box Stores
Pros: These jobs are available ASAP.
Cons: Average pay.
Walmart, Target, Kmart, JCPenney, Home Depot, Lowes; you name them, these stores hire a lot of seasonal help. Toys R Us alone is expecting to hire 45,000 seasonal workers. These stores expect to move some serious volume this season despite a sluggish economy. According to Jon Lucas, executive vice president at CIT, “Consumers today are very value-conscious and retailers are increasing their advertising and discounting to get them in the door.”
Department Stores/Clothing/Specialty Retailers
Pros: Usually an employee discount comes with the job.
Cons: Late/ weekend hours, average pay
These jobs demand the ultimate flexibility in hours, usually requiring night and weekend availability. The pay may not be the greatest, but this is usually mitigated by a generous employee discount on merchandise. If you’re looking to make extra money primarily to buy Christmas gifts this season, seek out one of these jobs to maximize your spending power. Macy’s offers a 20% employee discount the first day of work as a seasonal hire (Macy’s Jobs).
Cons: Occasional impatient/rude customers, lots of holiday shoppers in a rush
Okay, so all holiday jobs give the employee exposure to rude customers, but it just seems like wait staff get the brunt of it. If you’re good at serving people, look for one of these jobs and make a small fortune in a heavy holiday traffic area. Terrible at serving? Look for a valet parking position.
Holiday Grab Bag/Miscellaneous
Now it’s time for the holiday grab bag: basically everything I could not find a specific place for in this article, but no less important and helpful.
Resources. Here is list of valuable sites to search for seasonal jobs, get information on what it is that employers are looking for, and how to show that you have it.
- Women for Hire: Tory Johnson is the guru on career/recruiting/jobs for women. Men, fear not, there is a wealth of information on her site that pertains to both genders. Check out her article “Who’s Hiring for the Holidays.”
- Snag a Job: The number one source for hourly employment.
- Craigslist: Craigslist is definitely the way to find non-traditional seasonal job opportunities.
Get entrepreneurial. Let’s get creative. Brainstorm possible entrepreneurial scenarios based on what occurs during the holidays. I’ll provide the paintbrush and canvas, the art is up to you:
- People shop, run errands, leave the home frequently; tend to not give their usual attention to pets; kids tend to have more functions to attend; People worry about their home being ready for visitors; worry about their home looking ‘lived in’ while they’re on vacation; homes need decorations.
- Bad weather usually coincides with the holiday season; gutters clog; heaters and fireplaces are used for the first time; cars (especially in harsh winter areas) need special attention
- Small businesses need more staff too. These businesses also need holiday ‘curb appeal’ and decorations; advertising around town for these businesses doesn’t come cheap; it is doubtful that they can compete on shipping with major stores
One last note on seasonal jobs: get started early lining up seasonal summer jobs at water parks, amusement parks, resorts, travel jobs, etc. Apply the same entrepreneurial thinking to summer if you want to strike it on your ownwhat actually occurs in summer? What do people do? What do they need?
Good luck in finding your seasonal job. Don’t let news about a slow economy stop you, there are jobs to be had this season. Albeit temporary, a seasonal job can lead to some great opportunities down the road.
Can you think of any other good seasonal job opportunities? Leave them in the comment section below.
Image by zyphbear