More Uh-Oh Than Ho-Ho-Ho

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The holidays are filled with traditions. Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings. Hot cocoa and apple picking at the orchards. Hayrides, harvest moons and Black Friday. Holidays mean giving gifts and lots of shopping. 

Another holiday tradition for hundreds of thousands of workers is a temporary job working retail, food service and the endless variety of stores at strip malls and shopping centers. The businesses need the help and people need the extra income for all the gifts, family dinners and airline tickets or gas money for trips to see friends and families.

Even though the recession is officially over, people are feeling the effects of a tight job market and lower salaries for jobs that are available. Close to 800,000 seasonal jobs were created in 2012. This year, seasonal jobs are predicted to be about 700,000. As if competition for full-time jobs isn’t bad enough, now the seasonal job market is going to be tough as well.

One job doesn’t quite make it anymore. Even McDonald’s budget lessons for its employees assumed a person would have two incomes. Holidays bring a lot of expectations. Kids make their lists for Santa or just Mom and Dad. Parents don’t want to disappoint the kids. Family traditions demand the annual get together at the beach, the mountains, or just traveling to visit family or friends. 

If you want to be one of the lucky 700,000 to get a seasonal job this holiday season, you’ll need a strategy and some luck as well. 

The best way to be employed for the holidays is to start now. Why wait until the seasonal jobs are advertised and the rush is on? Apply online and if you can manage a part-time evening job, sign on. You’ll be fully-trained and comfortable when the holiday rush is on. 

If you’re already working part-time, rearrange your schedule to accommodate a seasonal job. Consolidate your hours to a few days a week instead of spreading them out. Make yourself a desirable seasonal employee by having full days or evenings available for that second job.

Get the family or your spouse on board. Working an extra job may mean someone else will have to pick up the kids from band practice, make cupcakes for the third-grade holiday party, help with the kids’ homework projects or write out holiday cards. 

Line up reliable child care in advance. Start collecting take-out menus to make it easy for the spouse or family to order dinner while you’re working in the evenings. Rearrange your life early so you’re prepared to take that seasonal job. Planning ahead will ensure you won’t miss out and can put the Ho-Ho-Ho back in your holiday bank account.

Photo Source: Stock.xchng: MeiTeng


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