When you think about getting extra money for the holidays, your first thought may be to get a job at your local mall. Retail is certainly one of the easier industries to break into to find a holiday job, and this year's retail numbers are expected to be much better than in recent years. But your next thought may be that we are right on the cusp of the holiday season and those positions have probably been filled by now. After all, most retail companies start hiring for the holiday season in September and October. In fact, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., a career transition firm, noted that retailers “went on a hiring spree” in October, adding more than 180,000 workers to their payrolls in preparation for the holiday shopping season.
According to their press release about the October job gains, major retailers are hiring more holiday workers than last year and that non-retailers, such as UPS and FedEx, plan to increase their hiring levels as well. But John A. Challenger, the chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, also said that, “While the bulk of the seasonal hiring has already been completed, it is never too late to find openings. Many of the areas adding seasonal workers, including retail, food service and shipping companies, tend to have high turnover. Because these employers are adding so many workers so quickly, the odds of failed hires increases significantly. They just don't have the time to make sure the applicant is the best fit for the job. As a result, job seekers may be able to continue to find opportunities well into the holiday season.”
So retailers and non-retailers seem like the obvious place to start looking for a last-minute seasonal job, but are there other opportunities to pursue as well?
- Winter tourism — Do you love to ski? If you live near a ski resort, you may still find openings doing everything from ski rentals to helping people put chains on their car. A winter wonderland doesn't necessarily have to be cold, though. You could just as well find seasonal work at a resort or theme park in one of the southern states.
- Food delivery — Your favorite pizzeria may have openings or you may even consider something like DoorDash if you live in Los Angeles, the Silicon Valley, or Boston. These jobs require that you have suitable transportation, but what about “delivering” food at catered holiday parties? Depending on your experience, you might land work as a waiter at a restaurant near the mall or at a popular fast-food joint.
- Odd jobs — Depending where you live, again, there are any number of odd jobs to be found at the last minute. You might find work removing snow in your neighborhood or chopping and stacking firewood. Houses, pets, and babies need “sitting” occasionally, especially when neighbors leave to visit relatives, take vacation, or have a company party to attend.
- Tax preparation — If you are willing to look and plan further ahead, tax season is just around the corner. Now is a good time to look into part-time and temporary jobs at the Internal Revenue Service or your local tax preparation company. Both offer seasonal positions and some provide training as well.
The job market for seasonal work seems to be fairly strong this year, but be prepared to be flexible and think outside the box. Do you think it's too late to get a seasonal job for the holidays? What is the best seasonal job to get last minute, and is there more or less competition for this type of work if you don't start early?